A common disorder of the red blood cells is known as Anemia. The Greek word Anemia means “without blood.” Anemia is a condition in which an abnormally low number of red blood cells circulate in the body.
Generally speaking, it is the most common disorder of the red blood cells and has many symptoms and signs.
Fatigue, weakness, tiredness and uneasiness are very common symptoms of Anemia. A person with anemia will feel tired and weak because the body’s tissues are being starved of oxygen. Actually, fatigue is the main symptom of most types of anemia.
The severity of symptoms is partly related to the severity of anemia. Mild anemia occurs without symptoms and can only be detected during a medical examination including a blood test.
Common symptoms of anemia are:
- Heart palpitations (rapid or irregular beating)
- Hair loss
- Sleep disorder
- Lack of concentration
- Low energy
- Pale complexion
- Low blood pressure
- Abnormal menstruation
Some symptoms and signs depend on the reasons of the anemia as well. These can include spoon-shaped finger nails and toenails in iron-deficiency anemia, mild jaundice in hemolytic anemia, and leg ulcers in sickle cell anemia.
According to the experts, because a low red blood cell count decreases oxygen supply to each tissue in the body, anemia may cause a variety of signs and symptoms. It can also make almost any other underlying medical condition worse. If anemia is mild, it may not cause any symptoms. If anemia is chronic, the body may adapt and compensate for the change; in this case there may not be any symptoms until the anemia becomes very severe.
Symptoms of severe anemia are:
- Chest pain
- Heart attack
- Rapid heartbeat
It is worth noting that if anemia is longstanding (chronic anemia), the body may adjust to low oxygen levels and the individual may not feel different unless the anemia becomes severe. On the other hand, if the anemia occurs rapidly (acute anemia), the patient may experience significant symptoms relatively quickly.
The victims are mostly women and old age persons. However, it is not a disease in itself but a condition that originates from below-normal levels of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Hemoglobin is the iron-containing pigment of the red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.
A healthy person has about 5 million red cells in every cubic millimeter of blood. Each cell contains a protein (hemoglobin) that carries oxygen through the body. The process of creating and recycling red blood cells is exceptionally complex. If the red blood cells fail to effectively transport oxygen throughout the body, anemia can result.