Anemia is a type of blood condition that develops when there is insufficient health red blood cell or hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is an important part of red blood cell that is responsible for the binding of oxygen in the red blood to form oxy-hemoglobin. Anemia occurs when there is a low level of hemoglobin in the blood or the red blood cell is low or abnormal. When this happen, the cells in the body will not get enough oxygen and therefore will not function well.
Types of Anemia
There are different types of anemia; most of the types are related to the causes. Some common types of anemia include;
- Sickle cell anemia: This is a type of anemia is caused by too much of irregular blood cells that die prematurely thereby resulting in a chronic low shortage of red blood cells. This type of Anemia is inherited from Genetic disorders.
- Vitamin deficiency anemia: This type of anemia is caused by diet low on some important vitamin and other key nutrient.
- Iron deficiency anemia: This happen when the level of iron in the blood is low.
Some other types include; Aplastic anemia, Hemolytic anemia, thalassemia and malarial anemia.
Are you Anemic?
Anemia can be diagnosis through series of blood test like the Complete blood count (CBC) test_ CBC is a type of blood test that measures all the components of your blood. Anemia can also be pre-diagnose if the patient is showing some of the symptoms but Anemia can only be properly diagnose through a blood test. It is recommended to see your doctor for a proper checkup if you are experiencing some of the following Anemia symptoms.
Anemia sign and Symptoms can vary depending on the type of Anemia, but some of the common symptoms include the following:
- Easy fatigue
- Shortness of breath, particularly with exercise
- Loss of energy
- Racing or irregular heartbeat
- Chest pain and occasional headache
- Difficulties concentrate or think clearly
- Cold hands and feet
- Pale skin
- Sexual dysfunction
At first, these symptoms are likely to be light and can easily be read as another illness, especially when anemia is still at a mild stage. At the mild stage of anemia, the body tries to balance and adjust to the loss of oxygen in the blood, this can go unnoticed but as the anemia advances, the body will be less able to cope with the oxygen deficiency and the symptoms will worsen and become more obvious.
Anemia Risk factors
There are some factors that can place you at high risk of developing anemia, like;
- Nutrition: Diets that is low in vitamin B-12, low in iron and other key nutrients.
Intestinal disorders that affect your small intestines like Crohn's disease and celiac disease can also put you at risk of anemia.
- Menstruation: This natural occurrence causes loss of red blood cells in women which place them at risk of anemia. Especially is the menstrual flow is heavy.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy stage in women need proper nutrition like a multivitamin with folic acid. Improper diet during pregnancy increases the risk of developing anemia.
- Chronic conditions: Conditions such as cancer and kidney failure can increase the risk of developing anemia of chronic disease.
Family history and Genetic disorders increase the chance of having inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia.