Anemia is when your body does not produce enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen to different parts of your body.
The red blood cells (RBCs) carry oxygen from the lungs to all the cells in your body. When the production of red blood cells is compromised, low oxygen reaches your tissues, which causes fatigue and tiredness.
Women in their reproductive age are more at risk of developing anemia due to menstruation. Red blood cells are lost via the blood every month. A healthy diet rich in iron is essential to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
If you experience signs and symptoms of anemia, you should consult an internal medicine specialist. You can consult the Best Internal Medicine Specialist in Islamabad.
Signs and Symptoms Of Anemia
Mild anemia may not show any symptoms. Moderate to severe anemia show symptoms because there are not enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen effectively.
The symptoms may become more prominent when you are physically active. The insufficiency of adequate red blood cells causes oxygen deprivation, which results in the following symptoms:
- Fast heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Feeling dizzy
- Chest pain
- Muscle cramps in the lower leg
Some symptoms may persist without much physical exertion, such as:
- Feeling tired
Other than these symptoms, your skin may lose its usual red tinge and look pale.
How the symptoms of anemia manifest themselves depends upon the severity of anemia. In some people, the symptoms show upon physical exertion. Whereas when the anemia is so severe, the symptoms are present even at rest.
What Causes Anemia?
There are many causes of anemia, such as
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia. Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein that is present in the red blood cells. Low levels of iron in the body cause decreased hemoglobin production. Due to this, enough oxygen can not reach your tissues.
The following factors are commonly responsible for causing iron deficiency:
- Heavy bleeding during periods
- Stomach ulcer
- Low dietary iron intake
- Colon cancer
- Some medications like aspirin
Vitamin B-12 and Folic Acid Deficiency
Vitamin B-12 and Folic acid are vital for the DNA synthesis of red blood cells. When vitamin B-12 or folic acid levels in the body fall low, the red blood cells do not develop normally. The cells formed are bigger than normal RBCs, and its called megaloblastic anemia.
Aplastic anemia occurs when your bone marrow does not produce enough red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. It is a life-threatening condition as all kinds of blood cells are low in number. Few red blood cells cause anemia. Low white blood cells predispose you to infections, and decreased platelets cause bleeding.
Aplastic anemia can occur in the following conditions:
- Autoimmune- when your body’s immune cells attack the bone marrow
Anemia of chronic disease occurs when inflammation is going on in your body for a long time. Some health conditions can affect the RBC production due to chronic inflammation, causing anemia, such as:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Chronic Kidney Disease
The kidneys produce the hormone erythropoietin, which helps in the production of RBCs. In chronic kidney disease, erythropoietin is not produced, which causes anemia.
It occurs when the body’s immune cells attack the red blood cells and destroy them faster than they could be replenished. Hemolytic anemia can occur in the following conditions:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Sickle cell disease
- Blood transfusion reactions
There are many different causes of anemia. Detecting the cause of your anemia helps your doctor treat and prevent it from occurring again. Your doctor will suggest blood tests to diagnose anemia.
If you have any signs and symptoms of anemia, you should consult an internal medicine specialist. You can consult an Internal Medicine Specialist.