Anemia Types and Symptoms
Common Health Issues

Anemia Types and Symptoms

The blood is a fluid that circulates in the veins, arteries and capillaries that caries digested food elements and oxygen to the cells of the body and removes carbon dioxide and other waste products from them. In addition, it performs many other functions vital to the health and growth of the body. 


Blood appears to be a simple red fluid; under the microscope we see that it is actually a very complex substance. Over half (55 percent) of our blood is not red at all. It is a clear liquid known as plasma that is 92 percent water. 


What of the other 45 percent of the blood? It is made up largely of red and white blood cells which give the blood its color. The average person may have as many as 30 trillion red blood cells.  They are constantly wearing out and are replaced with new ones—at the rate of 5 million per second—produced in the marrow of the bones.


Anemia is a disorder of the blood in which the red cells are fewer than normal or have less Hemoglobin than normal. Hemoglobin is the pigment that gives the red blood cells their color. 


These cells are important in breathing, since they carry oxygen from the lungs to all the tissues of the body, and carbon dioxide to the lungs for elimination. 


The red blood cells are manufactured in the bone marrow. Normally there are trillions of them in the blood.


Anemia is usually not a disease in itself, but a symptom of disease. In advanced stages of serious diseases such as cancer and kidney failure, anemia develops as the processes of blood production and purification becomes impaired. In its milder forms, anemia is not a serious disorder; many people have been anemic at one time or another.


Anemia Symptoms

Anemia may show itself in many ways, depending on its severity. The person may be pale; this is particularly noticeable in the fingernails, lips, palms, and the lining of the eyelids. There may be an almost constant feeling of tiredness. In serious cases, dizziness, pounding heart, short breath, and loss of appetite may occur. A blood test confirms that there is a deficiency of hemoglobin.




Anemia Types

There are several types of anemia such as:

Iron-Deficiency Anemia

This is the commonest type, is most often found in pregnant women and in children. Foods containing iron are essential to health, and during pregnancy and the rapid growth of childhood the body’s need may not be satisfied.



Increasing the amount of iron-containing foods in the diet (such as leafy green vegetables, kidney, heart, liver, lean meat, whole-wheat bread, dried peas, beans and fruits) and taking doses of medicinal iron soon correct this type of anemia.


Blood-Loss Anemia

Heavy menstrual flow, bleeding hemorrhoids, peptic ulcers and other chronic disorders that cause excessive loss of blood may bring on anemia. The first requirement is to locate and remedy the cause of the blood loss. Iron and iron-rich foods are prescribed.




Pernicious Anemia

This is usually a disease of middle or old age. In this condition the red cells fail to develop in the normal way, although vast numbers of immature cells are present in the bone marrow. The person may have any or all the symptoms previously described. In addition, there may be gastrointestinal trouble or nervous symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and erratic gait, as well as bladder trouble.


This disease, which formerly was responsible for many deaths, is now fairly simple to control. The patient is given injections of vitamin B12, and most of the symptoms disappear almost overnight. The injections must be continued through life.


Aplastic Anemia

This form of anemia results when the bone marrow is damaged or destroyed. Symptoms include dark spots on the skin, bleeding from the mouth and nose, and frequent infections.


The cause may be sensitivity to certain medicines or chemicals, overexposure to radioactive substances or X-rays, or the presence of cancerous growth in the marrow. 


Immediate hospitalization and blood transfusions are required. The patient may recover if the cause is located quickly and eliminated.


Hemolytic Anemia

In this type of anemia, the red blood cells are destroyed at a faster than normal rate. The condition may arise as a reaction to the Sulfonamides, Quinine or other substances. It sometimes occurs in the child of an Rh-positive father and Rh-negative mother or in a person who has been given a transfusion of the wrong blood type.


This is a dangerous disease requiring prompt hospitalization. The outlook is good provided treatment is begun in time.


Sickle-Cell Anemia

This is a hereditary disorder in which the red blood cells become deformed into irregular pointed shapes resembling a sickle. The deformed cells do not slip easily through the capillaries and small veins and arteries and blood circulation is impaired.


Symptoms including severe pain in the abdomen and the joints, develop when the affected person uses up much oxygen in strenuous exercise. It is found almost entirely among people of African origin. It occurs also in some parts of India and the Mediterranean areas.


Rich Health Editorial Team

Health Research

Rich Health Editorial Team is made up of medical practitioners and experienced writers who provide information for dealing with health issues in a simple and easy-to-understand manner