Anaemia: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

2 min read
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According to the doctors at Mayo Clinic, anaemia is a health condition caused due to low count of red blood cells in one's bloodstream.

Red blood cells are responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. If the red blood cell count becomes low, then the body will lack oxygen and will suffer from a lack of supply.

Anaemia is typically measured according to the amount of haemoglobin a person has in their blood. The symptoms of anaemia can differ from person to person depending on the cause and severity of the condition.

According to WHO, anaemia affects around 1.6 billion people around the world. The risk is higher in women and people with chronic diseases.

Let's take a closer look at the symptoms, causes, diagnosis and treatment options for the condition.


Anaemia: Causes 

Blood cells typically have a life span of 100-120 days, and about 0.8 percent of them are replaced everyday inside the blood. Folate, dietary iron and vitamin B12 help the blood cells mature.

According to Healthline, any internal or external factor causing an imbalance in the development of the cells can result in anaemia.

Anaemia may be caused by the overproduction of blood cells or rapid destruction of them. Factors that can increase the production of red blood cells include:

  • Hyperthyroidism

  • Deficiency in iron, vitamin B12 and folate nutrients.

  • Imbalanced production of red blood cells by the erythropoietin

Factors that cause red blood cells destruction include:

  • Hemolysis

  • Childbirth

  • Endometriosis

  • Accidents

  • Surgeries

  • Excessive uterine bleeding

  • Fibrosis

  • Cirrhosis

  • Liver and spleen disorder

Anaemia: Symptoms 

According to UK NHS, one physical marker of anemia is paleness. The person may also feel more cold than usual, and may also experience dizziness, tiredness, problems in concentration and unusual cravings.

It can also affect the tongue causing inflammation. In severe cases, anaemia can lead to fainting.

Other symptoms of anaemia are:

  • Jaundice

  • High or low blood pressure

  • Increased heart rate

  • Heart murmur

  • Enlarged spleen, liver or lymph nodes.

  • Atrophic Glossitis of the tongue

Anaemia: Diagnosis 

According to US NIH, diagnosis of anaemia starts with a medical history and physical examination. A family history of sickle cell anaemia can make the diagnosis much easier. Common tests to diagnose anaemia include:

  • A Complete Blood Count or CBC test to determine the number of red blood cells in the body

  • A ferritin test to look for iron stores

  • Tests for serum iron levels

  • Vitamin B12 and folate test

  • Stool test to check for occult blood



How anemia is treated will depend on its cause. In case the root cause is the deficiency of iron, folate or vitamin B12, your doctor may recommend nutritional supplements.

In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe erythropoietin injections to stimulate red blood cell production.

In cases where haemoglobin levels are too low, blood transfusions may be required.

(This article is for your general information only. Before trying out any remedy, or treatment, FIT advises you to consult a qualified medical professional. )

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Anaemia 

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