Anemia (uh-NEE-mee-uh) is a
common blood disorder that happens when the level of healthy red blood
cells (RBCs) in the body becomes too low.
More to Know
Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen throughout
the body. If the body's tissues don't get enough oxygen, it can cause a variety of
complications, including fatigue and stress on organs. Many things can lead to low
levels of RBCs, but the three main causes are:
the body destroying RBCs too quickly
the body not producing enough RBCs
Anemia can be temporary or can last for a long time. There are many different
types of anemia, with different causes and different treatments. Inherited disorders,
nutritional problems (such as a vitamin or iron deficiency),
infections, some kinds of cancer, or exposure to a drug or toxin all can lead to anemia.
Keep in Mind
Treatment for anemia depends on what's causing the low level of RBCs. In many
cases, this means something as simple as eating foods rich in iron or taking vitamin
supplements. Other cases will require more involved treatments. Kids often tolerate
anemia much better than adults.
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