The iron deficiency disorder, anemia, affects a staggering two billion people through out the world. Women and children who live in developing countries are more likely to be diagnosed with anemia than individuals who live in affluent countries. If anemia is left untreated it can cause multiple health complications. Severe health problems brought about by anemia can ultimately result in premature death.
An Insight Into Anemia
When the blood hemoglobin levels or red blood cell (RBC) count falls to below 13.5 gram/100 grams in men and 12gram/100 gram in women it can result in anemia. The iron rich protein hemoglobin, which is present in red blood cells, helps to transport oxygen to the various organs and tissues of the body. The medical condition called anemia can cause a dip in the amount of oxygen which is being carried to the vital organs of the body. A consistent shortage of oxygen reaching the vital organs can ultimately cause multiple organ damage or failure.
Different Causes Of Anemia
There are numerous factors which can bring about anemia. While severe iron deficiency is the main causative factor behind anemia, it is not the only contributory factor. Through this article, we will examine some of the possible causes of anemia.
In the United States, nearly two percent of all adults suffer from iron deficiency anemia. When there is an iron deficiency, the bone marrow cannot produce adequate amounts of hemoglobin. A dip in hemoglobin levels leads to reduced amounts of oxygen being transported to the body organs. People who suffer from iron deficiency anemia may have a pallid appearance, experience excessive fatigue and complain of severe shortness of breath.
Many people are unaware of the fact that a deficiency in the vitamin B-12 or folate can also cause anemia. People suffer from vitamin deficiency anemia due to two reasons. Consuming a diet that is deficient in vitamin B-12 and folate can lead to vitamin deficiency anemia. Additionally, some individuals may eat a diet that is loaded with these nutrients (vitamin B-12 and folate), but may still suffer from vitamin deficiency induced anemia. Unfortunately, such individuals may be suffering from a rare genetic condition wherein their bodies are unable to process these nutrients. So, improper food intake and a rare genetic condition are the two main factors behind vitamin deficiency anemia.
Crohn’s disease, different types of cancer, chronic inflammatory disease and AIDS are some chronic disease conditions which can cause anemia. The normal production of red blood cells is hampered by these particular disease conditions. Hence, individuals who suffer from different chronic diseases may also suffer from anemia.
Women are more likely to suffer from anemia brought about by severe blood loss. A woman may suffer from severe blood loss during childbirth. Furthermore, heavy menstrual periods can also cause anemia. The best way to combat anemia brought about by severe blood loss is to have an iron rich diet.
Small Intestine Diseases
Crohn’s disease and celiac disease are two examples of small intestine disease which can cause anemia. Individuals who suffer from small intestine disease are unable to absorb vitamin C, vitamin B-12 and folate. A deficiency is these important vitamins can cause anemia.