Anemia is a disorder in which you do not have enough healthy red blood cells to deliver enough oxygen to the tissues of your body. You can feel tired and weak if you have anemia.

Several causes of anemia exist, each with its own cause. Anemia may be acute or long-term, varying from mild to severe. Whether you believe you have anemia, see your doctor. It can be a sign of serious illness warning.

Anemia treatments range from taking supplements to taking medical procedures. Through eating a healthy, varied diet, you may be able to prevent some forms of anemia.

Types

  1. Aplastic anemia
  2. Iron deficiency anemia
  3. Sickle cell anemia
  4. Thalassemia
  5. Vitamin deficiency anemia

Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of anemia differ according to the cause. If the anemia is caused by a chronic disease, they may be obscured by the disease, so that tests for another disorder can miss the anemia.

You may not have any symptoms depending on the causes of your anemia. When they occur, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headaches

Causes

Anemia happens when there are not enough red blood cells in your blood.

This can happen if :

  • The body is not producing enough cells of red blood.
  • Bleeding allows you to lose red blood cells faster than you can replace them
  • Your body is destroying the red blood cells

Prevention

Many types of anemia cannot be prevented. But you can avoid iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemia by eating a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:

  • Iron. Iron-rich foods include beef and other meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, and dried fruit.
  • Folate. This nutrient, and its synthetic form folic acid, can be found in fruits and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, kidney beans, peanuts, and enriched grain products, such as bread, cereal, pasta and rice.
  • Vitamin B-12. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include meat, dairy products, and fortified cereal and soy products.
  • Vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, melons and strawberries. These also help increase iron absorption.

If you’re concerned about getting enough vitamins and minerals from food, ask your doctor whether a multivitamin might help.

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