Anemia is a deficiency of red blood cells or the hemoglobin molecules within them. Anemia results in the decreased capability of the blood to bring oxygen molecules to tissues.
This results in hypoxia where the body or parts of the body are deprived of oxygen.
The human body depends on oxygen to survive. You can experiment with this fact by holding your breath underwater. Eventually you will have to come up for air. Oxygen is used by the body for energy and blood brings oxygen to the tissues. Eventually if no new oxygen enters the blood stream as is simulated in the breath-holding experiment, the oxygen stores in the blood will drop and less and less is delivered to the tissues.
The component of the red blood cell that carries oxygen is called hemoglobin and is found in red blood cells. It is capable of binding oxygen in the lungs and releasing it in tissues. A vital piece of hemoglobin’s architecture is an iron atom. Without this, hemoglobin cannot bind oxygen.
So with this background in mind, anemia can result from anything that impairs oxygen uptake by hemoglobin or its delivery to tissues. Anemia can result from low iron in the body. Low iron would mean fewer functional red blood cells to take up the oxygen. If you are severely dehydrated, blood flows more slowly and this could cause anemia. Anemia can result from problems breathing so the lungs pass less oxygen to the blood. Anemia can result from a massive blood loss so there isn’t enough around to supply the tissues. The causes of anemia are widely varied.
The end result of mild anemia is tiredness. Severe anemia can result in tissue death and extreme drowsiness leading to coma. Anemia is a serious condition and should be treated and monitored by a licensed physican.
This is one of the more common blood disorders, it will occur when the level of healthy red blood cells (RBCs) in the body becomes too low. As a result, your blood is low on red blood cells to carry oxygen to carry oxygen to your tissues, which leaves you tired. Some inherited anemias, for instance, sickle cell anemia, can be serious enough to be life-threatening. Losing lots of blood rapidly results in acute, severe anemia and can be fatal.
Anemia is able to be caused by numerous things, but three main bodily mechanisms that will produce it are: blood loss, excessive destruction of RBCs and inadequate production of RBCs.
Women are more suseptible to anemia when they are pregant because additional blood is required for the baby. For pregnant women, it's a good idea to learn about anemia and to disucss this with your OB/GYN doctor or family physician. Getting enough iron is helpful to prevent anemia while pregant. Most board-licensed obstetrics and gynaecology doctors will be able to review this information with you in a competant and professional manner. Both folic acid and iron supplements are typically used to treat anemia in pregnant women. Our featured Centerville Ob/Gyn provides obstetrics care in the Ohio region. For more detailed information on anemia in pregnancy, see here.