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7 causes of anemia (and how to confirm it)

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Anemia is characterized by the decrease in the levels of hemoglobin in the blood, which is a protein that is found inside the red blood cells and is responsible for supplying oxygen to the cells of the organism.

There are several causes for anemia, from a poor diet in vitamins to bleeding, bone marrow malfunction, autoimmune diseases or the existence of chronic diseases, for example.

Anemia can be mild or severe, when the amount of hemoglobin is below 7%; on the other hand, the degree of severity in the soil depends on the cause, also on the severity of the illness and on the response of each person’s organism.



Some of the main causes of anemia include:

1. Lack of vitamins

To properly produce red blood cells, the body needs essential nutrients. When these are lacking, they are called deficiency anemias, las cuales are:

  • Anemia due to lack of hierroalso called iron deficiency anemia, which can arise from a diet with low content of hierro, especially in childhood, the debt to bleeding that can be imperceptible in the body, as by a gastric ulcer or varices in the intestine, for example ;
  • Anemia due to lack of vitamin B12 and folic acid, also called megaloblastic anemia, occurs due to poor absorption of vitamin B12, mainly in the stomach, and low consumption of folic acid in food. Vitamin B12 is consumed in meats or animal derivatives, such as huevos, quesos and milk. On the other hand, folic acid is found in meats, green vegetables, beans or garbanzos, for example.

The absence of these nutrients is detected through blood tests ordered by the doctor. Generally, this type of anemia gradually worsens and as the body manages to adapt to the losses for some time, the symptoms may take time to appear.

See the following video for advice from nutritionist Tatiana Zanin on what to eat in case of anemia:



2. Bone marrow defects

The bone marrow is where blood cells are produced, for this reason, in case you are affected by some illness, it could compromise the formation of red blood cells and cause anemia.

This type of anemia, also called aplastic anemia or medullary anemia, can have several causes, which include genetic defects, intoxication by chemical agents such as solvents, bismuth, pesticides, alkyds or anticonvulsant drugs; exposure to ionizing radiation, HIV infections, parvovirus B19, Eipstein-Barr virus or diseases such as paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, for example. However, in certain unusual cases, the cause could not be identified.

See what is the aplastic anemia, what symptoms are present and how is the treatment.

3. Bleeding

The hemorrhages are serious because the loss of blood represents the loss of red blood cells and, therefore, the decrease in the amount of oxygen and nutrients transported to the body’s organs.

Some of the most common causes of hemorrhages can be caused by injuries to the body, accidental trauma, heavy menstruation or diseases such as cancer, liver diseases, varicose veins or ulcers, for example.

In certain cases, the hemorrhages are internal and, for this reason, are not visible; it would be necessary to carry out exams to be able to identify them. Know the main causes of internal bleeding.

4. Genetic diseases

Hereditary diseases are those that are transmitted through DNA, these can cause alterations in the production of hemoglobin, whether in quantity or in quality. Generally, these alterations result in the destruction of erythrocytes.

The bearer of these genetic defects does not always present a worrying anemia, however, in certain cases it can be serious and significantly compromise health. The main anemias of genetic origin are those that affect the structure of hemoglobin, also called hemoglobinopathies, among them are:

  • Sickle cell anemia: it is a genetic and hereditary disease in which the organism produces hemoglobins with altered structure; for this reason, it gives rise to defective red globules, which can take the form of a hoz, making it difficult to carry oxygen in the blood. See what symptoms this type of anemia causes.
  • Thalassemia: It is also a genetic disease that causes alterations in the proteins that form hemoglobin, generating altered red blood cells that are destroyed in the blood stream. There are different types of thalasemia, whose severity varies. See how to identify thalassemia.

Although these are more well known, there are other hemoglobin defects that can generate anemia, such as methemoglobinemia, unstable hemoglobin or hereditary persistence of fetal hemoglobin, for example; las cuales are identified by genetic tests indicated by the hematologist.

5. Autoimmune diseases

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AHAI) is an autoimmune disease, which arises when the body produces antibodies that attack its own red blood cells.

Despite the fact that their exact causes have not yet been determined, it is known that they can be precipitated by other health conditions, such as viral infections, the presence of other immune diseases or tumors, for example. This type of anemia is normally not hereditary and is not transmissible from one person to another.

The treatment mainly consists of the use of medications to regulate the immune system, such as corticosteroids and immunosuppressants. Learn more about how to identify and treat autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

6. Chronic illnesses

Chronic diseases, which are those that can last many months or years, such as tuberculosis, rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatic fever, osteomyelitis, Crohn’s disease or multiple myeloma, for example, cause an inflammatory reaction in the body that can generate anemia due to premature death and changes in erythrocyte production.

Similarly, diseases that cause changes in hormones that stimulate the production of red blood cells can also be the cause of anemia, including hypothyroidism, androgen reduction, or a drop in erythropoietin hormone levels, which can be reduced in renal diseases.

This type of alteration normally does not produce severe anemia and can be resolved with the treatment of the illness that causes the anemia.

7. Other causes

Anemia can also arise due to infections, as in viral or bacterial infections, as well as due to the use of certain medications, such as anti-inflammatories, antibiotics or anticoagulants, or by the action of substances such as alcohol in excess or benzene, for example .

The embarrassment can cause anemia, basically due to the increase in weight and fluids in the circulation, which dilute the blood.

How to confirm if you are anemic

Generally, anemia can be suspected when symptoms such as:

  • Excessive tiredness;
  • Much swine;
  • pale skin;
  • Lack of strength;
  • Sensation of lack of air;
  • Cold Pies and Hands.

To find out what risk you have of poseer anemia, select the symptoms you present in the list below:

However, to confirm the diagnosis of anemia, it is necessary to see a doctor and carry out a blood test to evaluate the hemoglobin levels, which must be above 13 g% in men, 12 g% in women and 11 g% in women. embarrassed from the second trimester. See what are the exams that confirm anemia.

If the hemoglobin values ​​of the blood test are below normal, the person is considered to have anemia. However, it may be necessary to carry out other tests in order to identify the cause and start treatment, especially if there is no apparent reason for the emergence of anemia.

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

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The translator user relied on the following text:

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