Anemia : Overview, Symptoms, Causes, Types, and Dietary Guidelines

Anemia is a condition in which the body lacks enough healthy red blood cells and hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that transports oxygen throughout the body, and it is the structural part of red blood cells. Bone marrow produces red blood cells and requires iron for their production. Anemia has many types, and each type has particular symptoms and treatment options. The common symptoms are fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, headache, leg cramps, and dizziness.

Treatment depends on the type, severity, result of lab tests, and overall condition of the patient. The most common type is iron-deficiency anemia, and iron supplementation is the most effective strategy to treat iron deficiency anemia. Pregnant women, women of reproductive age, adolescence, vegetarians, acute loss of blood such as during trauma, chronic diseases, and family history are some of the risk factors for anemia.

Depending on the size of the RBCs, anemia is further categorized into;

  • Microcytic anemia: In this type, the red blood cells have a smaller size than usual. The leading causes of microcytic anemia are deficiency of iron and thalassemia.
  • Normocytic anemia: In this type, the RBCs have average size but are low in number than usual. Kidney diseases and chronic disorders are some of the causes of normocytic anemia.
  • Macrocytic anemia: The red blood cells have a large size than usual and are deficient in the blood. Lack of vitamin B12 and excessive intake of alcohol are the causes of macrocytic anemia.

1Early Symptoms Of Anemia

There are many types of anemia, and the most common one occurs due to iron deficiency. The lack of iron leads to a critically low level of RBCs in the body because iron is the structural part of red blood cells and required for their production. Hemoglobin is a protein present in red blood cells that transport oxygen in the body and need iron for its synthesis. Anemia develops when blood lacks enough RBCs to carry oxygen to different parts of the body; as a result, tissue and muscles cannot perform their function correctly.

Signs and symptoms of anemia depend on the type of anemia and the underlying cause. Anemia can have a significant impact on a person’s life and can affect the quality of life as well. At the early stages, anemia shows no signs, but the patient can feel some symptoms with the progression of this disease. Symptoms can vary depending on the type, severity, cause, health status, and age of the individual. The following are the most common signs and symptoms of anemia.

Fatigue:

As we know that red blood cells transport oxygen throughout the body, and lack of RBCs in the body results in less oxygen reaching the tissues and muscles that deprive them of energy. The person suffering from iron deficiency gets tired early and feel difficult to perform the tasks of everyday life. The heart rate also increases due to a lack of oxygen-carrying protein, so that all the organs of the body can get oxygen-rich blood and perform their function correctly. Fatigue is the most common sign of anemia, but as all the individuals can feel tired, and it’s a part of everyday life, so it becomes difficult to predict that the person is anemic.

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