Anemia – Causes and Symptoms of Anemia
Anemia occurs when the red blood cells of your body is lowered or when the blood does not have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the oxygen carrier of the blood. When hemoglobin levels reduce in the red blood cells, oxygen level reduces in the blood which results in many signs like shortness of breath. Anemia can be life threatening. Anemia is one of the sign of a disease process. And in USA, 2-10%of people suffer from anemia.
What are the causes of Anemia?
Medical conditions cause anemia. Some of the causes of anemia include:
- Loss of blood through wounds, injury, heavy menstrual bleeding, gastrointestinal ulcers can cause anemia.
- Severe postpartum bleeding is another main cause among the postnatal mothers.
Iron deficiency anemia:
- Iron is the main factor in producing the red blood cells from the bone marrow.
- If iron intake is less or limited due to poor dietary habits, anemia may occur as a result.
- In this case, it is called as iron deficiency anemia.
Anemia due to any chronic Disease:
- Any illness lasing for long time can lead to anemia.
- Medical disorders like infection or a cancer can cause this type of anemia.
Anemia during pregnancy:
- When there is water collection in the body during pregnancy, it dilutes the blood and thus anemia occurs.
- Kidney is responsible for secreting a hormone called erythropoietin that helps the bone marrow to make red blood cells.
- In case of kidney diseases, hormone production is reduced and as a result the red blood cells are reduced.
Anemia due to poor nutrition:
- Minerals and Vitamins help in making the red blood cells.
- Deficiency of these results in the poor production of RBC’s.
- This occurs to people with poor dietary habits.
Bone marrow causes anemia:
- Blood cancers like leukemia or lymphomas suppress the production of red blood cells.
- Other diseases of the bone marrow reduce the production of RBC’s
- Conditions like Thallesemia, pernicious anemia, sickle cell anemia can also be related to causes of reducing the red blood cells.
- Alcoholism is another factor which results Slowing down the red blood cell production.
If anemia is mild , you may not find any symptoms but if it is severe the symptoms include:
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Shortness of breath
- Looking pale
- Feeling the heart beats
- Chest pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Low blood pressure
- Chest pain
- Pale and cold skin
- Heart murmur
- Yellowish discoloration of the skin
- Spleen enlargement
- Change in stool color which includes black and tarry stools
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain
- Numbness and tingling sensation of the hands and legs
When to consult Doctor?
- When the symptoms like fainting, looking yellow, increased heart rate and chest pain or any other symptom is seen, immediately notify the health care professional.
- Anemia is a life threatening condition and time should not be wasted.