What Is Anemia?

Friday, 10 Jun 2011 03:55 PM

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Anemia refers to a condition in which there is a radical decrease in the number of red blood cells (RBCs) in the blood. Our blood comprises the fluid part (known as the plasma) and the cells. The red color of the blood is imparted by cells known as erythrocytes (RBCs) which contain a protein called hemoglobin. The hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen to different parts of the body. As the number of red blood cells reduces the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood decreases, resulting in anemia.

Chronic anemia may be caused either due to blood loss (as in injuries or surgeries), reduction in RBC production (due to mineral or vitamin deficiencies) or an abnormal increase in red blood cell destruction. The symptoms of anemia include weakness, headaches, breathlessness, exhaustion, and difficulty in breathing and sleeping.

There are different kinds of anemia namely, iron deficiency anemia (lack of iron results in decreased production of hemoglobin and RBCs), vitamin deficiency anemia (folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiency), and hemolytic anemia (such as in diseases like thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.)

For more information on anemia, see below:

Top 5 Signs of Iron Deficiency

How Iron can Change Your Life


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