Anemia is a condition in which the body does not have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells provide oxygen to body tissues.

Different types of anemia include:

– Anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency

– Anemia due to folate (folic acid) deficiency

– Anemia due to iron deficiency

– Anemia of chronic disease

– Hemolytic anemia

– Idiopathic aplastic anemia

– Megaloblastic anemia

– Pernicious anemia

– Sickle cell anemia

– Thalassemia

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia.

Anemia occurs when there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s organs. As a consequence, feeling cold and signs of fatigue or weakening are frequent. Anemia comes in a variety of forms, but iron-deficiency anemia is the most prevalent. By increasing your intake of iron, you can start to reduce the signs of this kind of anemia.

Although many areas of the body contribute to the production of red blood cells, the bone marrow is where most of the work is done. The soft tissue in the centre of bones called bone marrow aids in the production of all blood cells.

Red blood cells in good health have a lifespan of 90 to 120 days. Then, various bodily parts flush out old blood cells. Your kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin (epo), which instructs your bone marrow to produce more red blood cells.

The protein that carries oxygen inside red blood cells is called haemoglobin. Red blood cells get their colour from it. Haemoglobin levels in those with anaemia are insufficient.

Possible causes of anemia include:

– Iron deficiency

– Vitamin B12 deficiency

– Folate deficiency

– Certain medicines

– Destruction of red blood cells earlier than normal (which may be caused by immune system problems)

– Long-term (chronic) diseases such as chronic kidney disease, cancer, ulcerative colitis, or rheumatoid arthritis

– Some forms of anemia, such as thalassemia or sickle cell anemia, which can be inherited

– Pregnancy

– Problems with bone marrow such as lymphoma, leukemia, myelodysplasia, multiple myeloma, or aplastic anemia

– Slow blood loss (for example, from heavy menstrual periods or stomach ulcers)

– Sudden heavy blood loss

Anemia signs and symptoms vary depending on the cause and severity of anemia. Depending on the causes of your anemia, you might have no symptoms.

Signs and symptoms, if they do occur, might include:

– Fatigue

– Weakness

– Pale or yellowish skin

– Irregular heartbeats

– Shortness of breath

– Dizziness or lightheadedness

– Chest pain

– Cold hands and feet

– Headaches

If you feel exhausted but can’t put your finger on the cause, schedule a visit with Dr. Barbara Karin Vela.