Anaemia (or anemia) is a low red blood cell count.
Iron deficiency and loss of blood are thought to be the most common causes. However conditions such as folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin A deficiencies, chronic inflammation, parasitic infections, and inherited disorders can also cause anaemia (see http://goo.gl/wQ0mPs). Pregnant women, vegetarians/vegans and children are particularly vulnerable.
Because red blood cells (haemoglobin) carry oxygen to your tissues, anaemia can make you look pale and feel tired and weak. You may notice a shortage of breath on exercise, and/or pounding heart and dizziness on standing. Other symptoms may include:
- sore leg muscles when you walk, or
- experience angina-like heart pain, or
- have headaches, or
- cognitive problems and/or
- cold hands and feet.
The facts are that there are many forms of the condition, as well as many causes.
While it may not seem a huge problem in its own right, anaemia may indicate an underlying condition. These conditions can include arthritis, infection, or certain major illnesses, including cancer. For this reason we strongly suggest you see your doctor if the symptoms above sound familiar. You’ll find more on anaemia here: http://goo.gl/41JmDi and more on iron deficiency here: http://goo.gl/bqWwoA.