A condition that affects the blood is the reason I used to be a Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! contestant Olivia Attwood had to leave the TV show – but what is anemia?
The NHS describes anemia as the general term for having fewer red blood cells than normal or having an abnormally low amount of hemoglobin in each red blood cell.
People with anemia are described as anemic.
Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells and carries oxygen throughout the body.
Bone marrow – the spongy center of some bones – is where new red blood cells are made.
These cells usually stay active for about three months before they wear out and are removed from the blood, according to the Lymphoma Society.
The NHS describes different forms of anemia – iron and vitamin B12 deficiency anemia or folate deficiency anemia.
The former is the most common type, it added.
The health service says iron-deficiency anemia is caused by an iron deficiency, usually from blood loss or pregnancy, and can be treated with iron tablets and by eating iron-rich foods such as leafy green vegetables. dark green, cereal, bread, meat. , dried fruit and legumes such as beans, peas and lentils.
Symptoms can include fatigue and lack of energy, shortness of breath, a noticeable heartbeat known as palpitations, and pale skin.
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For pregnant women, iron-deficiency anemia is often caused by dietary iron deficiency, while heavy menstrual bleeding is also a common cause of this type of anemia, the NHS says.
If left untreated, the condition can put someone at greater risk of illness and infection because iron deficiency affects the immune system.
It can also increase a person’s risk of developing complications affecting a person’s heart or lungs, and during pregnancy it can pose a greater risk of complications before and after birth.
The NHS says vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anemia occurs when a lack of vitamin B12 or folate causes the body to produce abnormally large red blood cells that are unable to function properly.
The health service says the disease is more common in older people, affecting about 1 in 10 people aged 75 and over and one in 20 people aged 65 to 74.
Symptoms of this type of anemia include fatigue and lack of energy, pins and needles, pain and red tongue, mouth ulcers, muscle weakness, vision disturbances, and psychological problems that can include depression and problems problems of memory, understanding, and judgment.
Treatment is by taking vitamin B12 supplements, folic acid tablets and eating foods such as meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, yeast extracts, specially fortified foods, and green vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage, and spinach. brussels and peas.
Causes include a lack of these specific vitamins in someone’s diet and certain medications.
Another cause is pernicious anemia, in which a person’s immune system attacks healthy cells in their stomach, preventing the body from absorbing vitamin B12 from food.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), anemia is a serious global public health problem, affecting young children and pregnant women in particular.
The Global Health Organization estimates that 42% of children under the age of five and 40% of pregnant women worldwide are anemic.
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