Causes and symptoms of Anaemia

Anaemia occurs when the body is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood. A lack of blood cause pale gums.

In addition to pale gums, a person with anaemia may notice the following symptoms:

  • Inexplicable exhaustion or weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale or Yellowish skin and eyes
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitations
  • Anaemia often results from a lack of iron, folate, or vitamin B-12.

Otherwise, a person may have too few blood cells or not enough haemoglobin. In people with sickle cell anaemia, the blood cells are abnormally shaped.

Medical conditions can also lead to anaemia or increase a person's risk. 

They include:

  • Heavy menstruation
  • Pregnancy
  • Liver, spleen, or kidney conditions
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Bleeding in the stomach or intestines, which may result from gastrointestinal ulcers, cancers, abnormal growths, colitis, or swelling of the large intestine

Certain medications, particularly those for chemotherapy, can increase a person's risk of developing anaemia. 

Others develop the condition after taking too many nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, which leads to internal bleeding.


  • Prescribed iron pills for at least 4 months. These pills are best taken with food and citrus juices. 
  • It can also help to eat foods rich in iron, such as dark leafy greens and fortified cereals and bread.
  • When very heavy periods are responsible for anaemia, a person may benefit from hormone medications that lighten menstruation.

Certain foods can interfere with the body's absorption of iron. A person with anaemia may wish to avoid:

  • Coffee and tea 
  • Alcohol
  • Whole grain products 
  • Dairy products