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Anaemia is a deficiency in the number or quality of red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. It isn’t a disease in itself, but a result of a malfunction somewhere in the body .
When a person is anaemic, their heart has to work harder to pump the quantity of blood needed to get adequate oxygen around their body.
During heavy exercise, the cells may not be able to carry enough oxygen to meet the body’s needs and the person can become exhausted.
Anaemia isn’t a disease in itself, but is a result of a malfunction somewhere in the body.
This blood condition is common, particularly in females, with some estimates suggesting about one in five menstruating women and half of all pregnant women are anaemic.
Anaemia is a lack of red blood cells which carry oxygen from the lungs around the body. It’s important to find and treat the cause of the anaemia as well as the anaemia itself.
If you have anaemia, you will feel tired and short of breath, even when doing things you could usually do easily.
You may also have a fast or irregular heartbeat, look pale, have cold feet or hands, feel dizzy or have problems thinking.
If you have any of these problems it is important to have anaemia testing. This testing can take a number of forms including at your community pharmacy through a simple blood test.
Your doctor may require additional tests depending on the outcome of you blood tests.
You can become anaemic if you don’t make enough healthy red blood cells in your bone marrow. This can be due to an inherited disease, a lack of iron or vitamins in the diet, or bone marrow disease.
You also can be anaemic if you lose red blood cells through bleeding, whether that be heavy periods, a fast bleed or one so slow you didn’t even notice it.
Another way to become anaemic is to have a disease that destroys red blood cells.
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Find out the causes, symptoms, treatment and how to reduce your chances of developing anemia.