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FAQ for Anaemia

What is anaemia ?

Anaemia means:

you have less red blood cells than normal, or

you have less haemoglobin than normal in each red blood cell.

In either case, a reduced amount of oxygen is carried around in the blood.

What are the symptoms of anaemia ?

Common symptoms are due to the reduced amount of oxygen in the body. These include: tiredness, lethargy, feeling faint, becoming easily breathless

Less common symptoms include: headaches, palpitations (fast heart beat) , altered taste, and ringing in the ears (tinnitus).

You may look pale.

Various other symptoms may develop, depending on the underlying cause of the anaemia.

What are the causes of anaemia ?

Lack of iron is the most common cause of anaemia in India. If you eat a normal diet, it usually contains enough iron. The following are some reasons that may cause a lack of iron.

•Pregnancy or childhood growth spurts are times when you need more iron than usual. The amount of iron that you eat during these times may not be enough.

•Heavy menstrual periods The amount of iron that you eat may not be enough to replace the amount that you lose with the bleeding each month

•Poor absorption  of iron may occur with some gut diseases. For example, coeliac disease and Crohn's disease.

•Bleeding from the guts (intestines)  Some conditions of the guts can bleed enough to cause anaemia. You may not be aware of losing blood this way. The bleeding may be slow or intermittent, and you can pass blood out with your stools (faeces) without noticing.

•If you eat a poor diet it may not contain enough iron.

•Worms in intestines, is a common cause.

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