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  What Is Anemia? Anemia (uh-NEE-me-uh) is a condition in which your blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells. Anemia also can occur if your red blood cells don't contain enough hemoglobin (EE-muh-glow-bin). emoglobin is an iron-rich !rotein that gi es blood its red color. #his !rotein hel!s red blood cells carry o$ygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.If you ha e anemia% your body doesn't get enough o$ygen-rich blood. As a result% you may feel tired or wea&. ou also may ha e other sym!toms% such as shortness of breath% diiness% or headaches.e ere or long-lasting anemia can damage your heart% brain% and other organs in your body. *eryse ere anemia may e en cause death.+ er iew,lood is made u! of many !arts% including red blood cells% white blood cells% !latelets (A#E-lets)% and !lasma (the fluid !ortion of blood)./ed blood cells are disc-sha!ed and loo& li&e doughnuts without holes in the center. #hey carry o$ygen and remo e carbon dio$ide (a waste !roduct) from your body. #hese cells are made in the bone marrow0a s!onge-li&e tissue inside the bones.White blood cells and !latelets (A#E-lets) also are made in the bone marrow. White blood cellshel! fight infection. latelets stic& together to seal small cuts or brea&s on the blood essel walls and sto! bleeding. With some ty!es of anemia% you may ha e low numbers of all three ty!es of blood cells. Anemia has three main causes1 blood loss% lac& of red blood cell !roduction% or high rates of red blood cell destruction. #hese causes might be the result of diseases% conditions% or other factors.+utloo&2any ty!es of anemia can be mild% short term% and easily treated. ou can e en !re ent some ty!es with a healthy diet. +ther ty!es can be treated with dietary su!!lements.owe er% certain ty!es of anemia can be se ere% long lasting% and e en life threatening if not diagnosed and treated.If you ha e signs or sym!toms of anemia% see your doctor to find out whether you ha e the condition. #reatment will de!end on the cause of the anemia and how se ere it is.+ther Names for AnemiaIron-!oor bloodow blood#ired blood#here are many ty!es of anemia with s!ecific causes and traits. ome of these include1 A!lastic anemia,lood loss anemia3iamond-,lac&fan anemia4anconi (fan-5+-nee) anemia  4olate- or folic acid-deficiency anemiaemolytic (EE-moh-lit-ic&) anemiaIron-deficiency anemiaernicious (!er-NI-us) anemiaic&le cell anemia#halassemias (thal-a-E-me-ahs)6 7ooley8s anemia is another name for beta thalassemia ma9or What 7auses Anemia?#he three main causes of anemia are1,lood lossac& of red blood cell !roductionigh rates of red blood cell destruction4or some !eo!le% the condition is caused by more than one of these factors.,lood oss,lood loss is the most common cause of anemia% es!ecially iron-deficiency anemia. ,lood loss can be short term or !ersist o er time.ea y menstrual !eriods or bleeding in the digesti e or urinary tract can cause blood loss. urgery% trauma% or cancer also can cause blood loss.If a lot of blood is lost% the body may lose enough red blood cells to cause anemia.ac& of /ed ,lood 7ell roduction,oth ac:uired and inherited conditions and factors can !re ent your body from ma&ing enough red blood cells. ;Ac:uired; means you aren't born with the condition% but you de elo! it. ;Inherited; means your !arents !assed the gene for the condition on to you. Ac:uired conditions and factors that can lead to anemia include !oor diet% abnormal hormone le els% some chronic (ongoing) diseases% and !regnancy. A!lastic anemia also can !re ent your body from ma&ing enough red blood cells. #his condition can be ac:uired or inherited.3iet A diet that lac&s iron% folic acid (folate)% or itamin ,<= can !re ent your body from ma&ing enough red blood cells. our body also needs small amounts of itamin 7% ribofla in% and co!!er to ma&e red blood cells.7onditions that ma&e it hard for your body to absorb nutrients also can !re ent your body from ma&ing enough red blood cells.ormonesour body needs the hormone erythro!oietin (eh-rith-ro-+-eh-tin) to ma&e red blood cells. #his hormone stimulates the bone marrow to ma&e these cells. A low le el of this hormone can lead to anemia.3iseases and 3isease #reatments7hronic diseases% li&e &idney disease and cancer% can ma&e it hard for your body to ma&e enough red blood cells.ome cancer treatments may damage the bone marrow or damage the red blood cells' ability to  carry o$ygen. If the bone marrow is damaged% it can't ma&e red blood cells fast enough to re!lacethe ones that die or are destroyed.eo!le who ha e I*>AI3 may de elo! anemia due to infections or medicines used to treat their diseases.regnancy Anemia can occur during !regnancy due to low le els of iron and folic acid and changes in the blood.3uring the first  months of !regnancy% the fluid !ortion of a woman's blood (the !lasma) increases faster than the number of red blood cells. #his dilutes the blood and can lead to anemia. A!lastic Anemiaome infants are born without the ability to ma&e enough red blood cells. #his condition is called a!lastic anemia. Infants and children who ha e a!lastic anemia often need blood transfusions to increase the number of red blood cells in their blood. Ac:uired conditions or factors% such as certain medicines% to$ins% and infectious diseases% also can cause a!lastic anemia.igh /ates of /ed ,lood 7ell 3estruction,oth ac:uired and inherited conditions and factors can cause your body to destroy too many red blood cells. +ne e$am!le of an ac:uired condition is an enlarged or diseased s!leen.#he s!leen is an organ that remo es wornout red blood cells from the body. If the s!leen is enlarged or diseased% it may remo e more red blood cells than normal% causing anemia.E$am!les of inherited conditions that can cause your body to destroy too many red blood cells include sic&le cell anemia% thalassemias% and lac& of certain enymes. #hese conditions create defects in the red blood cells that cause them to die faster than healthy red blood cells.emolytic anemia is another e$am!le of a condition in which your body destroys too many red blood cells. Inherited or ac:uired conditions or factors can cause hemolytic anemia. E$am!les include immune disorders% infections% certain medicines% or reactions to blood transfusions.
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