Anemia is a condition in which the ability to transport oxygen in the body is diminished. This occurs because there are less red cells or less hemoglobin. There are many types of anemias and they may be caused by a variety of problems.
Causes of Anemia
The causes of the various anemias are listed separately in this index. To further understand them please click on the appropriate type of anemia.
Signs and Symptoms of Anemia
Initially, people seldom have symptoms from anemia. However, as it progresses the symptoms of anemia become more severe and more obvious. Most people feel tired and may appear pale. When you attempt to exercise, you rapidly become breathless and develop a much faster heart beat than normal.
Pernicious anemia affects the nervous system. People develop problems with numbness and unsteady gait. Also, loss of appetite, impaired memory, and a sore tongue may develop.
Common symptoms which also occur in folic acid anemia are weight loss and diarrhea.
Sickle cell anemia often is associated with episodes of pain, recurrent infections, and a family history of similar symptoms.
Hemolytic anemia often produces jaundice - yellowing of the skin and eyes - dark urine, and a tender swollen spleen.
Iron deficiency anemia is commonly associated with blood loss. This may be due to surgery, to gastrointestinal bleeding, to heavy menstrual bleeding, and to recurrent nose bleeds.
Aplastic anemia is often the result of toxic injury to the bone marrow. There is often a history of antibiotic or medication use.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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