Red Blood Cells – cells within the blood responsible for transporting oxygen to the cells of the body and eliminating carbon dioxide from the body (What Is Anemia?, n.d.)
Hemoglobin – protein found in red blood cells that is concentrated with iron; this makes the red blood cells appear red (What Is Anemia?, n.d.).
Anemia is a condition in which the amount of red blood cells OR the hemoglobin in the red blood cells is less than normal (What Is Anemia?, n.d.). The phrase “low-blood iron” is synonymous with anemia (Other Names for Anemia, n.d.). With this condition, the blood is not carrying the amount of oxygen that the body needs to function properly, resulting in fatigue or weakness (What Is Anemia?, n.d.). Anemia can be a short or long term condition with varying symptoms, such as dizziness, headaches, chest pain, or cold skin. These symptoms are a result of the body having to work harder to supply oxygen to the cells (What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Anemia?, n.d.).
A common cause of anemia is blood loss. Females are especially at risk for anemia due to the blood loss associated with menstruation. Bleeding of the organs, trauma, or even surgery can trigger the onset of anemia. A decreased red blood cell production can also cause anemia; a diet that does not include enough iron, folate, or vitamin B12 can influence the body to make less red blood cells. If the body has low levels of the hormone erythropoietin, which is responsible for making red blood cells, than this also puts a person at risk for anemia. Certain pathologies and diseases can also make it difficult for the body to produce red blood cells. Pregnant women are at risk for anemia due to decreased amounts of iron and folate in the blood. A condition in which the body is born not being able to produce enough red blood cells is called aplastic anemia (What Causes Anemia?, n.d.).
Anemia can be diagnosed via a complete blood count test. Doctors are able to see the quantities of all the different types of cells in the blood, including red blood cells (How is Anemia Diagnosed?, n.d.). Common treatments for anemia include iron, folate, or vitamin B12 supplements, as well as a change of diet. Diets should include more meat, especially red meat, as well as green vegetables, dried fruits, and cereals and breads containing iron (How Is Anemia Treated?, n.d.).