There are 3 major anemia causes. They are blood loss, high rates of red blood cell destruction, and lack of red blood cell production. In some cases, there are people who are affected by more than one cause of anemia.
Blood loss is one of the most frequently seen causes of iron deficiency anemia. Heavy bleeding during menstruation, bleeding in the digestive or urinary tract, trauma, cancer, or surgery can all cause blood loss. If enough blood is lost, the body may be deficient in enough red blood cells for anemia to occur.
High Rates of Red Blood Cell Destruction
Your body naturally removes worn out and old red blood cells from your body. The main organ that does this is the spleen. However, if the spleen is not functioning properly, it may remove more blood cells than necessary, which will lead to anemia.
Some individuals may be born with conditions that cause the body to remove too many red blood cells or make defected red blood cells. Examples of this can include sickle cell anemia, hemolytic anemia, and thalassemia.
Lack of Red Blood Cell Production
Another one of the anemia causes is a lack of red blood cell production. This condition can be either inherited or developed. Factors that can lead to acquired red blood cell production include poor diet, pregnancy, abnormal hormone levels, and some chronic diseases. An example of inherited lack of red blood cell production is aplastic anemia.
Diet is another major cause of anemia. If your body is lacking certain vitamins and minerals, it can prevent your body from making enough healthy red blood cells. Iron, folate, and vitamin B12 are the major components needed in your diet for an adequate amount of red blood cells production. Additional things that you will need in your diet include vitamin C, copper, and riboflavin in small amounts.
Your body requires the hormone erythropoietin to make red blood cells. This hormone primary function is to stimulate the bone marrow to make red blood cells. A reduced level of this hormone can lead to anemia.
You may have heard of individuals who have gotten anemia during pregnancy. This is due to lowered levels of folic acid (folate) and iron in the blood. During the first two trimesters of pregnancy, the fluid portion of the blood (plasma) increases more quickly than red blood cells. This dilutes the blood, leading to anemia.
The severity of the symptoms depends on how mild or severe the anemia is. Those who are in the early stages may have absolutely no symptoms at all. Another common symptom is feeling fatigue and tired. Most people just brush this off as nothing.
This can be a concern, because you may have anemia without knowing it. This will delay treatment and can cause further complications. Additional symptoms include a rapid heartbeat, headache and shortness of breath, dizziness, troubles concentrating, insomnia, leg crams, and pale skin.
If you believe that you are suffering from any of these anemia causes, we suggest you visit your doctor and explain the symptoms you have. Your doctor will then be able to do some tests and properly diagnose you.
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