Also indexed as:Low Hematocrit, Low Hemoglobin, Low Red Blood Cell Count, Genetic Thiamine-Responsive Anemia, Genetic Vitamin B6-Responsive Anemia, Hemolytic Anemia, Sideroblastic Anemia
Boost your red blood cell count to a normal level by replenishing what your body may be missing. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
About This Condition
Anemia is a general term for a category of blood conditions that affect the red blood cells or the
oxygen-carrying hemoglobin they contain.
In anemia, there is either a reduction in the number of red blood cells in circulation or a decrease in
the amount or quality of hemoglobin. There are many causes of anemia, including severe blood loss, genetic
disorders, and serious diseases. (See iron-deficiency anemia, pernicious anemia [vitamin B12–related], and sickle cell anemia.) Anyone with unexplained anemia should have the
cause determined by a qualified doctor.
Some athletes appear to have anemia when their blood is tested, but this may be a normal adaptation to the
stress of exercise,1 which does not need treatment. Further evaluation by a qualified doctor is
Some common symptoms of anemia include fatigue, lethargy, weakness, poor concentration, and frequent colds. A peculiar symptom of iron-deficiency anemia, called pica, is the desire to eat unusual things, such as ice, clay, cardboard, paint, or starch. Advanced anemia may also result in lightheadedness, headaches, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), irritability, pale skin, unpleasant sensations in the legs with an uncontrollable urge to move them, and getting out of breath easily.
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The information presented by Healthnotes is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires June 2016.