What Is Anemia — And How To Spot The Symptoms

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What is anemia
Anemia is a health condition associated with a deficit in the number of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells are usually responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. This means that when one has anemia, the oxygen supply to the body tissues is affected, and therefore effective functioning of the body is affected. The condition is also referred to as low hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that binds oxygen and facilitates oxygen transportation throughout the body.

Types of anemia.
Aplastic anemia
Usually occurs when the bone marrow fails to produce enough red blood cells due to damage to stem cells that develop red blood cells.
Vitamin deficiency anemia
This is caused by lower vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy red blood cells. This is due to the low diet content of these vitamins. Thus, the body lacks a protein known as the intrinsic factor, which facilitates the absorption of vitamin B12.
Hemolytic anemia
The red blood cells, in this case, are destroyed at a higher rate than the one the body replaces them. This may result from some conditions such as sickle cell, which are inherited, medication side effects, infections and toxins, and autoimmune factors.
Iron-deficiency anemia
This is usually the most common and usually occurs when one gets inadequate iron which is core in making hemoglobin. This usually results from low iron intake, conditions that make absorption of iron challenging, or even blood loss.
Anemia of inflammation.
This usually results from certain conditions, especially chronic conditions like cancer, kidney disease, and other acute conditions that affect the body’s normal functioning and, as a result, interfere with red blood cells production.

How to spot anemia symptoms
Anemia is detected through the amount of hemoglobin in the blood, and this is usually the first way to know if one has anemia. Therefore, when the hemoglobin count is low, one can develop the condition. If the levels are below 13.5/dL in men or below 12g/dL in women, then developing anemia may be imminent. There are also core symptoms that can be experienced and can help spot anemia symptoms, including shortness of breath, fatigue, and general weakness in the body. This usually results from inefficient oxygen supply to the vital organs.

Signs and symptoms of anemia.
-Shortness of breath.
-Cold feet and hands.
-Headaches and dizziness/ fainting, mostly when standing up.
-Chest pains.
-Enlarged lymph nodes, liver, or spleen.
These symptoms usually result from inefficiency in oxygen supply to the organs or tissues. Symptoms such as fainting and chest pains call for immediate medical attention.

Risk factors for anemia
-Menstruation causes loss of red blood cells.
-Low intake of minerals such as iron and vitamins such as B12 is essential in making healthy red blood cells.
-Pregnancy requires adequate intake of vitamins and minerals failure, which results in developing the condition.
-Genetic makeup, especially a family history of inherited anemia.
-Chronic conditions tend to affect the body’s normal functioning, thus resulting in low production or interference with the functioning of red blood cells.
-The age where those over 65 years are at the risk of developing the condition.

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