Anaemia is a condition in which blood has lower amount of red blood cells or haemoglobin than the normal amount. The blood tests to determine the cause of your anaemia include CBC (complete blood count), blood iron level and serum ferritin level, levels of vitamin B12 and folate or other special blood tests.
In rare cases a sample of bone marrow is taken to determine the cause of this problem.There are basically three different causes of anaemia – loss of blood, less red blood cells formation or destruction of red blood cells.
Haemoglobin helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body.
If you are affected by anaemia, your body does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. This may lead to tiredness, dizziness, weakness, breath shortness, headaches, irregular heartbeats, chest pain, leg cramps, pale skin, insomnia and difficulty in concentration.
Mild to moderate anaemia can be treated with iron supplements, certain vitamins, intravenous iron therapy or medicines which can produce more red blood cells under the supervision of a doctor.
Healthy eating changes can also help to cure the condition along with medication and supplements.
It usually takes four to six weeks to improve the symptoms of anaemia after taking regular iron supplements.Eating healthy foods can also help you avoid both iron and vitamin deficiency anaemia. Include foods rich in iron (nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables), vitamin B12 (dairy and meat) and folic acid (citrus juices, dark leafy greens, legumes and fortified cereals). A daily multivitamin will also help prevent nutritional anaemia.