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What is anemia?

16 May 2018

What is anemia?

Iron deficiency is the most common form of malnutrition in the world, affecting more than 2 billion people globally. Iron deficiency anemia is when you have an inadequate number of red blood cells caused by a lack of iron and is very prevalent in less developed countries, but it also remains a problem in developed countries where other forms of malnutrition have already been virtually eliminated. Iron deficiency is not the only cause of anemia, but it is often the most common cause.

There are other possible causes including:

  • Deficiency of some vitamins or minerals such as vitamin B12, folic acid, or iron.
  • Intake of some medications.
  • Chronic diseases.
  • Bone marrow problems.

Anemia occurs when iron stores are depleted and the supply to tissues is compromised. It usually develops slowly and is not clinically apparent until it becomes severe anemia, begins to affect the body functionality, and there are consequences.

Symptoms of anemia include:

  • Tiredness.
  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness and headache.

According to health sector specialists, anemia can be avoided with a healthy and balanced diet that includes red meat, green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and foods fortified with iron and folic acid, such as whole wheat flour or bread. In some cases, anemia treatment consists of taking food supplements, taking some medications and hormones, or in more serious cases, a blood transfusion is necessary.

It is important to see your doctor if you have any symptoms that may indicate anemia.

Remember that you can find the ABC specialists’ telephone numbers in the medical directory.

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