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Why does anemia occur?

Why does anemia occur?
Anemia is a blood disease in which, due to a pathological shortage of healthy red blood cells, the blood is not carrying enough oxygen to the rest of the body to meet the demands of the body's cells. In addition, anemia is expressed through low hemoglobin levels that produce a feeling of frequent tiredness.
Anemia is a serious public health problem in the world that particularly affects young children, women throughout their fertile lives (due to blood loss during menstruation), pregnant women, and postpartum women. The WHO estimates that anemia affects 20% of children aged 6 to 59 months, 37% of pregnant women and 30% of women aged 15 to 49 years.
Between the causes of anemia most frequent are:
  • Lack of iron
  • Folic acid deficiency
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Blood disorder in the production of red blood cells
  • Genetic abnormalities or family history
  • Chronic diseases such as cancer
  • Being an immunosuppressed person living, for example, with HIV
  • Hematological diseases such as leukemia or the presence of lymphomas
  • Intestinal alterations and disorders
  • Age. People over 65 years of age are at greater risk of suffering from the disease.
  • Sudden loss of a lot of blood

Symptoms of anemia

Constant weakness

The main symptom of anemia is feeling extremely weak, without the strength to perform common physical activities that under normal conditions do not involve major effort. You are also likely to feel intense fatigue, especially after exercising.


Although it is a nonspecific symptom, when a constant headache does not have an identified cause related to stress, lack of sleep, or consumption of food or drinks, it is likely related to anemia.

Numbness of hands and feet

Tingling sensations in the extremities can be a first symptom of anemia, especially in the tips of the fingers and toes. At the same time, feeling cold in your extremities can be another sign of this condition.

Pale skin

Suddenly having pale skin and staying that way for a few days can be an indication of anemia. The reduction in red blood cells directly impacts hemoglobin and this affects skin tone. Paleness may be a first symptom to suspect anemia on a physical examination.

brittle nails

Nails that break very easily, even if they are not long, or break even without contact, may be due to external causes, but when accompanied by any of the symptoms on this list, they are a common symptom of anemia.


Dizziness related to anemia usually occurs when standing up, immediately after waking up, or after going a few hours without eating. If they are accompanied by lightheadedness or weakness, the likelihood that they are caused by this condition increases.

blue sclera

The outer membrane of the eyes that surrounds the pupil and iris should be completely white, but in severe cases of anemia, this region can take on a blue hue. This symptom is a hallmark on physical examinations that something is wrong.

Treatments for anemia, which depend on the cause, range from taking supplements to undergoing medical procedures. You could prevent some types of anemia by following a healthy and varied diet.

If you present any of these symptoms, it is important to go to your trusted doctor so that he or she can evaluate the situation and avoid risks to your health.

Remember that prevention is better than cure

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