Anemia

 Anemia is defined as a low number of red blood cells. In a routine blood test, anemia is reported as a low hemoglobin or hematocrit. Hemoglobin is the main protein in your red blood cells. It carries oxygen, and delivers it throughout your body. If you have anemia, your hemoglobin level will be low too. If it is low enough, your tissues or organs may not get enough oxygen. Symptoms of anemia -- like fatigue or pain -- happen because your organs aren't getting what they need to work the way they should. Dietary iron, vitamin B-12, and folate are essential for red blood cells to mature in the body. Normally, 0.8 to 1 percent of the body’s red blood cells are replaced every day, and the average lifespan for red cells is 100 to 120 days. Any process that has a negative effect on this balance between red blood cell production and destruction can cause anemia.

 

Causes of anemia are generally divided into those that decrease red blood cell production and those that increase red blood cell destruction. If you have anemia, your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives the red color to blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

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