Part 2: Signs Of Anemia and Its Causes

Anemia is the reduction of either the number of red blood cells, or the amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. This results in a decrease in the amount of oxygen that the blood is able to carry. In Part 1: Signs of Anemia and Its Causes, we discussed exactly what anemia is and the role red blood cells play. Now we’ll discuss the causes, signs and symptoms of anemia.

Causes Of Anemia
Anything that causes a deficiency in the formation or production of red blood cells, or that leads to the too rapid destruction of red blood cells, can result in anemia.

The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency. Iron is an important factor in anemia because this mineral is used to make hemoglobin. The component of red blood cells that attaches to oxygen and transports it. Red blood cells exist only to oxygenate the body and have a life span of about 120 days. If a person lacks sufficient iron, the formation of red blood cells is impaired. Other forms include vitamin deficiency anemias, anemia of chronic disease, aplastic anemia, anemias associated with bone marrow disease, hemolytic anemias and sickle cell anemias.

Signs and Symptoms of Anemia
People who are anemic most often experience fatigue. While it’s normal to feel tired after a long day at work, when you’re anemic, you feel weary after shorter and shorter periods of exertion as your body’s cells become starved for oxygen.

As anemia worsens, your body can experience visible physical changes — your skin could become pale, your nails brittle and cuts may take longer to stop bleeding.

Other symptoms associated with anemia include:
Shortness of breath
Irritability
Weakness
Dizziness
Cold hands and feet
Racing or irregular heartbeat
Inability to concentrate or think clearly
Chest pain
Sexual dysfunction

These symptoms are likely to be very light at first, especially if you have mild or moderate anemia. As anemia advances, the body will be less able to adapt and the symptoms will become more obvious. In this case, it is best to consult your physician. They can run Anemia ELISA kits such as Ferritin in order to properly diagnose and treat your condition.

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