Anemia causes, types, diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and natural remedies

Anemia is a condition in which the blood is deficient in either red blood cells or hemoglobin, which is the portion of the red blood cells that contains iron. Either of these conditions can cause a lack of oxygen to be delivered to the tissues, resulting in fatigue, weakness, and pallor.

Anemia can be caused by excessive destruction of red blood cells, excessive loss of blood, or deficient production of red blood cells. Excessive destruction may occur when red blood cells have an abnormal shape, which is seen in sickle-cell anemia and other hereditary diseases and in vitamin and mineral deficiency. Excessive blood loss may be acute (as in a trauma situation) or chronic (e.g., a bleeding ulcer, heavy menstrual flow). Deficient red-blood-cell production is the most common category of anemia, and poor nutrition is the most common cause. The three most prevalent types of nutrient-deficient anemia are those related to a deficiency of iron, folic acid, copper, or vitamin B12.

Anemia causes, types, diagnosis, symptoms, treatment and natural remediesThe only way to get a definite diagnosis of anemia is to get a blood test. If you suspect you have anemia, do not begin a supplement program, especially one that includes iron, until you have a diagnosis from your physician. Iron is very toxic if taken in large quantities.

Iron-deficiency anemia is seen most often in infants younger than two years old, teenage girls, pregnant women, and the elderly. Factors associated with this type of anemia include poor dietary intake of iron, reduced iron absorption or utilization, blood loss, an increased need for iron, or a combination of these situations.

Folic acid deficiency is the most prevalent vitamin deficiency on earth. The groups most likely to have folic acid anemia are alcoholics, pregnant women, and people with malabsorption conditions (e.g., Crohn's disease, celiac disease) or chronic diarrhea. In addition to anemia, a folic-acid deficiency also causes depression, diarrhea, and a swollen, red tongue.

Anemia is particularly dangerous in people who suffer from atherosclerosis (a buildup of fatty plaque in the arteries that restricts blood flow). This combination of illnesses can severely limit the delivery of oxygen to the heart, brain, legs, and other tissues, leading to severe shortness of breath, chest pain, leg pain, and even stroke.

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