Anemia : What causes Anemia?

causes of anemia
4 min read

Anemia describes the condition in which the number of red blood cells or Hemoglobin in the blood is low. A person who has anemia is called anemic.

Here’s what causes anemia

Blood Loss

Blood loss is the one of the most common cause of anemia, especially in iron-deficiency anemia. Blood loss can be short term or persist over a long time.Bleeding in the digestive or urinary tract or Heavy menstrual periods can be causes blood loss. Trauma, surgery, or cancer also can cause blood loss. If a lot of blood is lost, the body loses enough red blood cells to cause anemia.

blood loss

Lack of Red Blood Cell Production

Both inherited and acquired conditions and factors can prevent your body from making enough red blood cells. Acquired means you are not born with the condition, but you develop it. Inherited means your parents passed the gene for the condition on to you.Acquired conditions and factors that can lead to anemia include poor diet, abnormal hormone levels, some chronic (ongoing) diseases, and pregnancy.

anemia red blood cells


A diet that lacks iron, folic acid (folate), or vitamin B12 can prevent your body from making enough red blood cells. Your body also needs small amounts of vitamin C, riboflavin, and copper to make red blood cells.Conditions that make it hard for your body to absorb nutrients also can prevent your body from making enough red blood cells.

anemia diet


Your body needs the hormone erythropoietin (eh-rith-ro-POY-eh-tin) to make red blood cells. This hormone stimulates the bone marrow to make these cells. A low level of this hormone can lead to anemia.

anemia hormones


Anemia can occur during pregnancy due to low levels of iron and folic acid and changes in the blood.During the first 6 months of pregnancy, the fluid portion of a woman blood (the plasma) increases faster than the number of red blood cells. This dilutes the blood and can lead to anemia.

pregnancy anemia

Aplastic Anemia

Some infants are born without the ability to make enough red blood cells. This condition is called aplastic anemia. Infants and children who have aplastic anemia often need blood transfusions to increase the number of red blood cells in their blood.Acquired conditions or factors, such as certain medicines, toxins, and infectious diseases, also can cause aplastic anemia.

apastic anemia

High Rates of Red Blood Cell Destruction

Both acquired and inherited conditions and factors can cause your body to destroy too many red blood cells. One example of an acquired condition is an enlarged or diseased spleen.The spleen is an organ that removes wornout red blood cells from the body. If the spleen is enlarged or diseased, it may remove more red blood cells than normal, causing anemia.

red blood cells
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