What is Anemia?

Anemia is a word used to describe many different conditions having to do with disorders of the blood. These conditions exist when the blood does not contain the normal number of red cells, or when the cells, or when the cells do not have the normal amount of hemoglobin.

Anemia can be caused by poor blood formation, the destruction of cells, or by too much loss of blood. And these conditions, in turn, may be caused by many different body disorders.

So when a doctor treats “anemia”, he has to know exactly which type he’s dealing with. One kind of anemia, for example, can be caused by an injury that result in great loss of blood.

Other body fluids seep into the blood to makeup the volume, the blood is diluted, and the result may be anemia. Another type of anemia is caused by an increased destruction of red blood cells, which can be the result of several conditions in the body.

In some cases it may be inherited, or it may come from a transfusion of blood of the improper type, severe burns, allergies, or leukemia. One kind of anemia many of us know about is nutritional anemia. The most common and least severe anemia of this kind develops when there is not enough iron for the formation of red cells. Iron is necessary for the body to manufacture hemoglobin. Many of the common foods we eat contain only small amounts of iron.

Also, many people cannot afford foods that have a high iron content, such as meat, eggs and leafy vegetables. So iron deficiency is not a rare condition.

The symptoms of this anemia are generally a paleness, weakness, a tendency to tire easily faintness, and difficulty in breathing. If the patient is able to get enough rest and a good diet, he is usually able to recover quite rapidly.   

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