1. What is anemia?
Anemia is a condition wherein a person's red blood cell count is below normal or the red cells do not include enough hemoglobin. Men as well as women are prone to this condition, but women of childbearing age are at a higher risk.
2. What are the symptoms of anemia?
The common symptoms of all types of anemia are a lack of energy and a feeling of fatigue. Other symptoms include:
-fast or irregular heartbeat
-shortness of breath
3. Is it a genetic condition?
Yes, anaemia can be genetic too, in conditions like sickle cell anaemia and thalassemia. Other types of anaemia like iron deficiency anemia, folate deficiency anaemia are usually acquired.
4. What are the causes of anemia?
Anemia may be the result of:
-Not enough healthy red blood cells (sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia)
-Bleeding causes loss of red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced (thrombocytopenia)
-Destruction of excessive red blood cells (splenomegaly, malaria)
5. How is this condition diagnosed?
Doctors will ask about the patient's medical history, perform a physical examination, and order blood test for diagnosing anemia. The common blood tests for diagnosing anemia are complete blood count and determination of the size and shape of the red blood cells. Other tests like peripheral smear for malaria, iron studies, vitamin B12 levels and folic acid levels may be done too.