For starters people are diagnosed with anemia when they have low hemoglobin levels in their blood. There may be various reasons why the hemoglobin levels are low. What they have in common though, red blood cells cannot carry adequate oxygen to your body tissues. Since there are many forms of anemia, if you suspect that you have anemia you should go to the doctor, it could be a sign of serious illness.
Sign and symptoms may vary depending on the type of anemia. And sometimes no sign and symptoms could be found, even when you have the disease. But if they occur, they may include:
If the anemia worsens, then the sign and symptoms may worsen as well.
As there are many forms of anemia, they all have another reason too. Anemia occurs because of three main reasons:
Since red blood cells include hemoglobin which carries oxygen to the tissue it is no wonder that deficiency of hemoglobin is what makes doctors understand whether you have anemia or not. We have put some of the anemia forms into a table which should let you have a general understanding:
Type of Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia
Shortage of iron in the body, which causes decreased production of red blood cells
The most common type of anemia
Vitamin deficiency anemia
Diet lacking folate and vitamins B1-12
Some people may not be able to absorb the B-12 vitamin even though they consume it
Anemia of inflammation
Certain diseases such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease etc.
Infections, certain medicines, autoimmune diseases and exposure to toxic chemicals may cause decrease red blood cell production
If untreated, very high mortality rates
Because of some blood diseases, red blood cells are destroyed faster than they could be produced
Inherited or developed later in life
Sickle cell anemia
A defective form of hemoglobin (which carries oxygen, remember?) causes abnormal shape of red blood cells
A type of hemolytic anemia, inherited
Could be serious
If you suspect you might have anemia, you should see your doctor. This disorder could be serious if untreated.
Anemia or any other blood disease, if you have any of them then the flu is more dangerous for you. This is mainly because since your tissues do not get enough oxygen as they need, the ability to fight off flu may be weakened. Also the flu, which has immunological complications as we have mentioned before, can make your blood disease worse. To prevent catching the flu, make sure to get vaccinated against flu every year and have pneumococcal shots as well. To do that, talk to your doctor and proceed with your personal prescription. If you suspect that you might have the flu, you can use the FluAI App to understand whether it is the flu or other upper respiratory infection. It is available on App Store and Play Store.
You, Blood Disease and the Flu. (2021). Retrieved 19 January 2021, from https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2445.pdf
Anemia – Symptoms and causes. (2021). Retrieved 19 January 2021, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anemia/symptoms-causes/syc-20351360
PM & CLINICAL TEAM