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    What is Anemia - Symptoms, Causes & Treatments


    What is Anemia - Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

    Updated on 3 November 2023

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    Anaemia is when a person has too few red blood cells. Red blood cells are vital for our survival. They are tasked with one of the most critical jobs. Oxygen is carried to tissues by red blood cells. Lack of red blood cells due to anaemia can lead to fatigue, shortness of breath, and a pale complexion. This can be caused by various diseases, dietary deficiencies, and even genetic disorders. If left untreated, anaemia can lead to serious health problems, including fatigue, poor circulation, and even death.

    In this blog, we discuss everything one should know about anaemia to help readers better deal with any signs of anaemia and maintain healthy blood. Identifying and managing symptoms early is the key to preventing anaemia from turning fatal.

    Types of Anaemia

    Following are some of the types of anaemia:

    1. Iron Deficiency Anaemia

    Iron deficiency anaemia is the most common type of anaemia. It occurs when the body doesn't have enough iron to function properly. A lack of dietary iron can cause iron deficiency anaemia, absorption problems from low levels of iron in the blood, or disease conditions that damage the intestine or liver.

    2. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anaemia

    Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia is a rare type of anaemia that occurs when the body doesn't have enough vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining average red blood cell production and metabolism. It can be caused by problems with the stomach or intestines that prevent the body from absorbing enough vitamin B12 or by cancer treatments that damage the intestines.

    3. Red Blood Cell (RBC) Dysgenesis

    Red blood cell (RBC) dysgenesis is a type of anaemia that affects RBCs (red blood cells). Dysgenesis means abnormal cells are produced in numbers too high for the normal function of RBCs.

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    4. Sickle Cell Anaemia

    Sickle cell anaemia is inherited and is often deadly. Caused by defective haemoglobin, sickle cell anaemia transforms round and flexible red blood cells into crescent (sickle) shape, leading to blood clots.

    5. Anaemia of Inflammation

    Anaemia of inflammation is caused due to rashes arising as a result of certain diseases like HIV/AIDS, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and kidney disease.

    6. Hemolytic Anaemia

    Hemolytic anaemia can either be inherited or can be developed. In this condition, bone marrow cannot generate new blood cells faster than they are being destroyed. This usually happens due to a wide range of blood diseases.

    7. Aplastic Anaemia

    Anaemia due to bone marrow diseases can be caused due to conditions like myelofibrosis and leukaemia. These conditions affect the production of red blood cells in bone marrow, leading to anaemia.

    8. Folate Deficiency Anaemia

    Folate deficiency anaemia, as the name suggests, is caused due to the deficiency of folic acid. This is not as complicated as the other types of anaemia and can be cured by taking folic acid tablets or eating folic-rich food like broccoli and Brussel sprouts.

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    Also read: Anemia During Pregnancy: Symptoms, Causes & Management

    Significant Symptoms of Anaemia

    Understanding the symptoms and signs of anaemia is the first step toward tackling it. If a person fails to identify the severe symptoms of anaemia and eventually doesn't seek medical help for the same, they risk worsening the condition and compromising their health. Following are some of the common symptoms of anaemia:

    • Dizziness
    • Weakness
    • Loss of vision
    • Blurred vision
    • Getting tired easily
    • Pale skin

    Anaemia can be caused by several things, including being infected with a virus or having a low blood count due to illness or surgery. If someone is worried about their iron levels and is experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, speaking to a doctor is imperative. They can recommend ways to improve iron levels and decrease the risk of developing anaemia.

    Causes of Anaemia

    Many different things can cause anaemia:

    • A lack of iron in the body
    • A lack of copper in the body
    • A tumour or infection that affects the bone marrow
    • A blood disorder called thalassemia

    Understanding that there can be many other causes of anaemia is essential.

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    The Role Of Red Blood Cells In Our Body

    Red blood cells are the lifeblood of the human body. They carry oxygen to all body parts and help us stay healthy. Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow and are stored in the liver before they are distributed throughout the body. Understanding the role of blood cells is essential as anaemia affects them.

    How can Anaemia be Prevented?

    There are many ways to prevent anaemia, including eating a balanced diet, exercising enough, and avoiding excessive alcohol consumption. The most important thing one can do is eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of iron-rich foods. The most common sources of iron are meat, poultry, and eggs. Other sources include fortified foods, such as cereal and milk products. Along with eating an iron-rich diet, one can also take supplements to boost their iron intake. If a person experiences frequent bleeding, the doctor might recommend they take a blood transfusion.


    Anaemia is when the body doesn’t generate enough red blood cells. Consequently, one might experience fatigue, lightheadedness, and poor stamina. If left untreated, anaemia can lead to further health complications such as heart disease, stroke, and even death. The treatment for anaemia depends on the patient's diagnosed type and other underlying conditions. Anaemic women need to increase their iron consumption as heavy menstruation and pregnancy can lead to anaemia due to iron deficiency.


    1. Turner J, Parsi M, Badireddy M. (2022). Anemia.
    2. Chaparro CM, Suchdev PS. (2019). Anemia epidemiology, pathophysiology, and etiology in low- and middle-income countries. Ann N Y Acad Sci.


    What is Anemia - Symptoms, Causes & Treatments in Bengali, What is Anemia - Symptoms, Causes & Treatments in Telugu, What is Anemia - Symptoms, Causes & Treatments in Tamil

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    Written by

    Loveleen Gupta

    A working mother with more than two decades of experience in writing for the publishing industry and digital space, Loveleen Gupta loves dabbling in creative writing also. A graduate from Miranda House, she uses her personal experiences to express herself.

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