anemia

What is Anemia?


Blood consists of a liquid called plasma and cells. Floating within the plasma are three types of blood cells: White blood cells (leukocytes). These blood cells fight infection.; Platelets. These blood cells help your blood clot after a cut.; Red blood cells (erythrocytes). These blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs, via your bloodstream, to your brain and the other organs and tissues. Your body needs a supply of oxygenated blood to function. Oxygenated blood helps give your body its energy and your skin a healthy glow.

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Also known as low red blood cell count, Anemias, iron poor blood
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Anemia information from trusted sources:

Anemia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Anemia is a decrease in number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. However, it can include decreased ...

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Anemia

Anemia is common in teens because they undergo rapid growth spurts, when the body has a greater need for nutrients like iron. Learn about anemia, including ...

Read more on kidshealth.org

Understanding Anemia -- Diagnosis and Treatment

From symptoms to treatment to prevention, get the basics on anemia from the experts at WebMD.

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Iron deficiency anemia: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia

Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues. ...

Read more on www.nlm.nih.gov

Low Red Blood Cell Count

Anemia describes the condition in which the number of red blood cells in the blood is low. For this reason, doctors sometimes describe someone with anemia as having a low blood count. A person who has anemia is called anemic.

Anemia Symptoms and Causes; Low Hemoglobin, Low Hematocrit and ...

Sep 1, 2010 ... National Anemia Action Council NAAC offers anemia resource guide and research studies - causes of anemia, anemic symptoms / anemia symptoms, ...

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Anemia Information on Healthline

The cause depends on the type of anemia. Possible causes include: ... The following blood tests are used to diagnose anemia: Blood levels of vitamin B12, ...

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Anemia, severe anemia, lack of hemoglobin

Anemia is a condition in which your blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells.

Read more on www.nhlbi.nih.gov

Anemia | aidsinfonet.org | The AIDS InfoNet

Anemia is a shortage of hemoglobin (HGB). HGB is a protein in red blood cells. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. ...

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Anemia

Aplastic anemia is a rare disease, caused by a decrease in the number of all types of blood cells produced by the bone marrow. Normally, the bone marrow ...

Read more on www.labtestsonline.org

Contents

Complications
Left untreated, anemia can cause numerous complications, such as: Severe fatigue. When anemia is severe enough, you may be so tired that you can't complete everyday tasks. You may be too exhausted to work or play.; Heart problems. Anemia can lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat an arrhythmia. Your heart must pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood when you're anemic. This can even lead to congestive heart failure.; Nerve damage. Vitamin B-12 is essential not only for healthy red blood cell production, but also for healthy nerve function.; Impaired mental function. A shortage of vitamin B-12 can also affect your mental abilities.; Death. Some inherited anemias,...

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Exams and Tests
The doctor will perform a physical examination, and may find:Pale skin; Rapid heart rate; Blood levels of vitamin B12, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals; Bone marrow examination; Red blood count and hemoglobin level

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Medical advice
Call your health provider if you have any symptoms of anemia, or any unusual bleeding.

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Outlook (Prognosis)
The outlook depends on the cause.

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Possible Complications
Severe anemia can cause low oxygen levels in vital organs such as the heart, and can lead to a heart attack.

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Preparing for your appointment
You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, if you have a type of anemia that requires more complex treatment, such as aplastic anemia or anemia caused by other diseases, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in blood disorders (hematologist).

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Prevention
Many types of anemia can't be prevented. However, you can help avoid iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemias by eating a healthy, varied diet, including: Iron. The best sources of iron are beef and other meats. Other foods rich in iron include beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruit, peanut butter and nuts.; Folate. This nutrient, and its synthetic form, folic acid, can be found in citrus juices and fruits, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes and fortified breads, cereals and pasta.; Vitamin B-12. This vitamin is plentiful in meat and dairy products.; Vitamin C. Foods containing vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, melons and...

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Risk factors
These factors place you at increased risk of anemia: Poor diet. Anyone young or old whose diet is consistently low in iron and vitamins, especially folate, is at risk of anemia. Your body needs iron, protein and vitamins to produce sufficient numbers of red blood cells.; Intestinal disorders. Having an intestinal disorder that affects the absorption of nutrients in your small intestine such as Crohn's disease and celiac disease puts you at risk of anemia. Surgical removal of or surgery to the parts of your small intestine where nutrients are absorbed can lead to nutrient deficiencies and anemia.; Menstruation. In general, women are at greater risk of iron deficiency anemia than are men....

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Symptoms
Signs and symptoms vary depending on the cause of your anemia, but may include: Fatigue; Pale skin; A fast or irregular heartbeat; Shortness of breath; Chest pain; Dizziness; Cognitive problems; Cold hands and feet; Headache

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Tests and diagnosis
Doctors diagnose anemia with the help of a medical history, a physical exam and blood tests, including a complete blood count (CBC). This blood test measures levels of the red blood cells contained in the blood (hematocrit) and the hemoglobin in your blood. Normal adult hematocrit values are between 32 and 43 percent. Normal adult hemoglobin values are generally in the 11 to 15 grams per deciliter range.

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Treatments and drugs
Anemia treatment depends on the cause: Iron deficiency anemia. This form of anemia is treated with iron supplements, which you may need to take for several months or longer. If the underlying cause of iron deficiency is loss of blood other than from menstruation the source of the bleeding must be located and stopped. This may involve surgery.; Vitamin deficiency anemias. Pernicious anemia is treated with injections often lifetime injections of vitamin B-12. Folic acid deficiency anemia is treated with folic acid supplements.; Anemia of chronic disease. There's no specific treatment for this type of anemia. Doctors focus on treating the underlying disease. Iron supplements and vitamins generally...

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