What is Anemia?

Anemia is the most common blood disorder. It occurs when your body does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues. Blood loss, insufficient red blood cell production, and red blood cell destruction are the three main causes of anemia. These issues may arise from such conditions as iron deficiency, heavy periods, ulcers, kidney disease, as well as some forms of cancer.

If you have anemia, you may have the following symptoms: shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, cold hands or feet, paleness, and irritability. Anemia is diagnosed when blood tests show low counts for hemoglobin, which is the protein responsible for carrying oxygen to different tissues throughout your body.

Treatments for anemia are dependent on the kind of anemia you have. For example, iron supplementation may correct iron deficiency anemia. For anemia caused by chronic kidney failure, chemotherapy treatments, and HIV/AIDS, a group of medications called erythropoiesis-stimulating agents may be prescribed.

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