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Anemia Center

Anemia Causes and Risk Factors

Causes of anemia
There are many reasons anemia can develop. However, anemia has three main causes:

  1. blood loss
  2. high rates of red blood cell destruction
  3. lack of red blood cell production

These causes may be due to a number of diseases, conditions, or other factors. The following conditions can contribute to cause anemia:

  • blood loss
  • exposure to toxic chemicals ( to include some medications)
  • inherited conditions from passed down from one generation to the next
  • long-term infections
  • long-term or serious illnesses
  • nutritional deficiencies

Risk factors
There are certain risk factors that make it more likely that a person develops anemia. Risk factors may not be a direct cause of a particular disease, but seem to be associated with its development in some way. A person has a higher-than-average risk of developing anemia if s/he has:

  • diets low in iron, vitamins and/or minerals
  • family history of inherited anemia (sickle cell anemia or thalassemias)
  • injury
  • menstruation
  • other medical conditions: kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease , liver disease, heart failure and thyroid disease
  • parasitic infections
  • radiation or chemotherapy
  • surgery

People with anemia risk health problems that can become serious quickly. When a lot of blood is lost within a short time, for example, blood pressure and the amount of oxygen in the body can drop suddenly, causing severe symptoms that can lead to heart failure or death. But what are the symptoms of anemia? And when should someone with anemia seek medical help? The next section describes some of the symptoms of anemia, how they can be identified as well as how people may feel when they become anemic.

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