Health TipsWhat Does Anemia Do to Your Body?

What Does Anemia Do to Your Body? – If you’ve ever wondered, “What does anemia do to your body?” you’re not alone. In fact, anemia can be caused by a number of causes, and it’s not always a lack of iron. Learning what causes your anemia will help your doctor prescribe the appropriate treatment. Listed below are some of the main causes of anemia and how to treat them. While most cases of anemia result from a lack of iron, the causes of other conditions can be equally devastating.

Types of Anemia Require Special Treatment

In general, men and women should have a red blood cell count of twelve grams per deciliter. A person with anemia may have a lower or higher count, depending on their specific health. Some cases of anemia are caused by autoimmune disease, while others are due to mechanical factors. Blood tests can determine the exact cause, and treatment will vary depending on the cause. Some types of anemia require special treatment, such as antibiotics and drugs that suppress the immune system.

During childhood, infants need more iron during growth spurts. Once they stop receiving breast milk or formula, infants’ intake of iron may be less than it should be. This is because iron from solid foods is not absorbed as well. People with chronic diseases and iron-deficient diets are more likely to have anemia. People who take blood thinners may also have anemia. If you’re suffering from anemia, consult with a doctor to determine the best treatment options for your particular case.

A person with pernicious anemia lacks the intrinsic factor that helps the body absorb vitamin B12. Because of this, the small intestine may not be able to absorb sufficient amounts of vitamin B12. Similarly, a person with aplastic anemia is unable to produce enough red blood cells because the stem cells have been damaged. As a result, fewer red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow.

Cancer Treatment Causes Anemia

Besides cancer, another cause of anemia is chronic blood loss. Cancer treatments like chemotherapy or radiation may cause anemia in some patients. This may make it necessary to postpone their treatment until their anemia is improved. There are various treatment options available, including iron supplementation, blood transfusions, and drugs to stimulate the production of EPO in the body. However, anemia still has the potential to be deadly.

In addition to a blood test, your doctor can also perform a complete blood count (CBC) in order to determine the extent of your anemia. The CBC will show how many red blood cells your body has, the proportion of these cells in your blood, and other problems with the blood. The doctor may also order a bone marrow test to confirm if you have any other health issues. Your doctor will also discuss the appropriate diet and exercise program for you.

Although anemia can lead to serious consequences, it is easily treated. The treatment depends on the underlying cause. In general, treatment for anemia involves changing your diet or treating an underlying condition, such as an infection or kidney disease. If your anemia is a result of inadequate iron or vitamin B12, dietary changes and vitamin supplements can help improve your condition. For more serious anemias, an injection of vitamin B12 or folate may be necessary.

Anemia Caused By Other Health Problems

Anemia may also result from other health issues, including heavy blood loss during your period, pregnancy, and an underactive thyroid gland. Your bone marrow is responsible for producing healthy red blood cells. When this process is damaged, however, it is impossible for the marrow to produce enough red blood cells. In rare cases, anemia may be passed down from one parent to another, so you may be born with it.

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type. It occurs when you don’t get enough iron in your diet. Fortunately, anemia can be detected during routine blood tests. However, it can also develop later in life due to a lack of vitamin B12.


Silverberg, D. S., Wexler, D., Blum, B., & Iaina, A. (2003). Anemia in chronic kidney disease and congestive heart failure. Blood purification21(1), 124-130.

Pearson, H. A., Vinson, R., & Smith, R. T. (1964). Pernicious anemia with neurologic involvement in childhood: Report of a case with emphasis on dangers of folic acid therapy. The Journal of Pediatrics65(3), 334-339.


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