Types of Anemia – Their Causes & Symptoms
Do you feel lethargic and weak all the time? Do you have a pale complexion? They could be signs of anemia. In medical terms, anemia is a state of health wherein the body has a low count of healthy red blood cells. These red blood cells are responsible for supplying oxygen to the different parts of your body. Having anemia definitely makes you feel less energetic and tired.
The symptoms of anemia can vary from person to person. The symptoms mainly depend on the type of anemia and any underlying medical problems related to the patient such as ulcers, menstrual problems, brain hemorrhage or cancer.
Types of Anemia
There are several types of anemia and they could be long-term or short-term in nature. Anemia could also indicate the onset of a grave illness.
Let us explore some of the types of anemia:
- Sickle Cell Anemia – This condition is also known as sickle cell disease. According to medical science, it is a genetic disorder. In sickle cell anemia, the shapes of the red blood cells are like the crescent moons. They feel rigid and get stuck in between small blood vessels, thus blocking the blood flow. Sickle cell anemia is incurable but you can reduce the chances of developing associated complications with the inherited disorder.
- Thalassemia – It is also an inherited health condition, which causes a lack of hemoglobin that carries oxygen to different parts of the body. Mild thalassemia does not require medical treatment but severe cases of thalassemia can be contained only by regular blood transfusions. You can fight fatigue by eating a balanced diet and keeping yourself physically active.
- Aplastic Anemia – It is a condition when the body produces new blood cells in fewer quantities. Aplastic anemia condition leaves you weak and susceptible to infections and heavy bleeding. It is a rare condition and can develop suddenly. It can occur in people irrespective of their age.
- Bone Marrow Anemia – Anemia can also be caused by grave illnesses such as myelofibrosis and leukemia. These cancers reduce the production of blood in the bone marrow. This type of anemia can also be life-threatening.
- Hemolytic Anemias – When red blood cells get destroyed faster than their production in the bone marrow, it is known as group anemias. Autoimmune disorders, bone marrow conditions, and thalassemia can cause hemolytic anemias. It can also be an inherited condition.
- Iron Deficiency Anemia – It is a common health condition, many people suffer from this anemia. As the name suggests, iron deficiency anemia occurs due to iron deficiency in the body. When there is insufficient iron, the body cannot produce certain substances in the red blood cells that help them supply oxygen. This anemia can leave you totally fatigued and short of breath.
- Vitamin Deficiency Anemia – When anemic conditions develop due to lack of vitamins in the body, it is known as vitamin deficiency anemia. Low amounts of folate, vitamin C and vitamin B 12 can cause this type of anemia. It can also occur when the body is incapable of absorbing these vital vitamins. You can treat this anemia by having vitamin supplements and eating a nutrient-rich diet.
Common symptoms of anemia include the following:
- Feeling fatigued
- Feeling weakness
- Having pale skin
- Experiencing shortness of breath
- Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Having frequent chest pain
- Getting a cold feeling in the hands and feet
- Getting frequent headaches
Anemia Risk Factors
An imbalanced diet, intestinal disorders, menstruation, pregnancy, chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes, chronic blood loss from an ulcer, blood loss due to accidents, genetic conditions, and advancing age are some of the known risk factors that may lead to an anemic condition.
When to see a Physician?
You can make an appointment with a medical specialist in Dubai if you are feeling very tired or fatigued and you cannot pinpoint the exact reason for it. When you learn that you are low in hemoglobin, it indicates an anemic condition and you should make an appointment with a reputed doctor immediately.
What causes an individual to become anemic?
The common-most cause of anemia worldwide is iron deficiency or low iron levels in the body. Without iron, the cells cannot produce hemoglobin. The hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen supply from the lungs to all parts of the body.
Can anemia kill a person?
Being anemic is a condition where you suffer from a lack of healthy red blood cells that does the important function of carrying oxygen to different parts of your body. Chronic anemia can be life-threatening.
How can you fix anemia?
You cannot cure anemia, but you may manage anemia by eating a healthy diet, having iron supplements, doing exercises daily, and consulting your doctor for periodic check-ups.