Anemia is a very common medical condition in which a person’s body lacks sufficient healthy red blood cells to transport the needed oxygen to the tissues in different body parts. This condition is also known as low hemoglobin. As a result of low hemoglobin, your body can feel weak and tired. Some people also experience shortness of breath, headaches, an irregular heartbeat, and dizziness.
There are various types of anemia, each has different causes and consequences. Some of the most common types of anemia have been discussed below.
Your body requires iron for the synthesis of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the protein present in the red blood cells, which is responsible for carrying oxygen. Importantly, the main source of iron for your body is the food you eat.
At times like growth spurts, pregnancy, or blood loss, your body is required to make a greater number of RCBs than usual. Therefore, your body also needs an additional amount of iron. If your body doesn’t manage to keep up with the iron needs, it can lead you to develop iron-deficiency anemia.
Groups at risk
- Infants, children, adolescents
- Females of childbearing age
- People with certain medical conditions like celiac disease, kidney failure, or Crohn’s disease
- People who don’t eat iron-rich food items
- People with the problem of internal bleeding
Although the term “anemia” is usually referred to a condition in which the blood has a lower amount of RCBs than what is required.
However, there are some types of anemia, like aplastic anemia, which are caused by a lower amount of some other blood cells as well. Aplastic anemia can occur if the bone marrow is damaged or unable to produce sufficient RBCs, WBCs, and platelets.
As far as the cause of aplastic anemia is concerned, it can be inherited or acquired.
Groups at risks
- People undergoing chemotherapy or radiation
- People who take certain medicines
- People exposed to any kind of toxins drug
- People suffering from any viral infection
- People with diseases or health conditions that can damage the bone marrow
Notably, folate (a type of Vitamin B) and Vitamin B12 are required for making healthy RBCs. The body gets both of these vitamins from the food you eat. If your body is unable to make the needed RBCs, there can be a high chance of you developing pernicious anemia. The primary cause of pernicious anemia is your body not being able to absorb ample vitamin B12 from food.
Groups at risk
- People with medical conditions that stop their bodies from absorbing Vitamin B12
- People who don’t get ample Vitamin B12 from their diets
Sickle Cell Anemia
Sickle cell anemia is a type of hemolytic anemia. This type of anemia is inherited and is caused when the hemoglobin protein is abnormal because of some natural reason. As a result, the shape of the red blood cells is affected, causing them to clog the blood vessels.
Groups at risk
Although anyone can get sickle cell anemia, being inherited, it is more common in particular ethnic groups, like African-Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asians, Mediterranean descent, and Indians.