- Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count orhemoglobin is less than normal.
- For men, anemia is typically defined as hemoglobin level of less than 13.5 gram/100 ml and in women as hemoglobin of less than 12.0 gram/100 ml.
- Anemia is caused by either a decrease in production of red blood cells or hemoglobin, or an increase in loss (usually due to bleeding) or destruction of red blood cells.
- Some patients with anemia have no symptoms. Those that do have symptoms may
- feel tired,
- become easily fatigued,
- appear pale,
- have a feeling of a heart racing,
- feel short of breath, and/or
- have worsening heart problems.
- Anemia can be detected by a simple blood test called a complete blood cell count (CBC).
- The treatment of the anemia varies greatly and very much depends on the particular cause.
What is anemia?
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Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or hemoglobin is less than normal. The normal level of hemoglobin is generally different in males and females. For men, a normal hemoglobin level is typically defined as a level of more than 13.5 gram/100 ml, and in women as hemoglobin of more than 12.0 gram/100 ml. These definitions may vary slightly depending on the source and the laboratory reference used.
What are the symptoms of anemia?
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Some patients with anemia have no symptoms. Others with anemia may feel:
- Fatigue easily
- Appear pale
- Develop palpitations (feeling of heart racing)
- Become short of breath
Additional symptoms may include:
- Hair loss
- Malaise (general sense of feeling unwell)
- Worsening of heart problems
It is worth noting that if anemia is longstanding (chronic anemia), the body may adjust to low oxygen levels and the individual may not feel different unless the anemia becomes severe. On the other hand, if the anemia occurs rapidly (acute anemia), the patient may experience significant symptoms relatively quickly, and even with relative mild fluctuations of hemoglobin levels.