Anemia: Meaning, Diagnosis and Overview

What is Anemia?

Anemia is a condition in which the red blood cell count or haemoglobin is less than normal. The normal level of haemoglobin is generally different in males and females.
  • Men anemia is typically defined as haemoglobin level of less than 13.5 gram/100 ml
  • Women as haemoglobin of less than 12.0 gram/100 ml
Haemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color. This protein helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
If you have anemia, your body does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. As a result, you may feel tired or weak.

Anemia overview merged image

Recovery Time

Once the anemia is treated, it takes the body about 120 days to generate healthy blood cells. If your haemoglobin starts at 7 then it will take approximately 1 year to bring the haemoglobin up to the 12 to 14 range. Any other loss of blood or interference with the blood producing mechanisms will extend this time factor. After the haemoglobin starts to improve, the unpleasant symptoms will start to diminish immediately, giving the impression that everything is fine


To diagnose anemia the doctor may listen to your heart and your breathing or place his or her hands on your abdomen to feel the size of your liver and spleen.
Blood tests used to diagnose some common types of anemia may include:
  • Blood levels of iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals
  • Red blood count and haemoglobin level
  • Reticulocyte count

FAQs prepared by doctor

Q1.  What is Anemia?
Anemia is decreased haemoglobin in the circulating blood. It may be caused due to decreased or defective synthesis of haemoglobin due to various factors, Or increased loss from the body.
Iron deficiency anemia which is caused by poor nutrition is the common cause of anemia, which will be discussed here.

Q2.  How do I get Anemia?
You get Anemia (Iron deficiency) due to poor intake of foods containing iron. Iron is the raw material for the synthesis of haemoglobin.

Q3.  What is the treatment for Anemia?
Iron deficiency anemia is treated with oral iron supplements. In severe form Iron injections are given. 

Q4.  How long does it take to cure?
It takes about 2 to 6 months of conservative treatment to replenish the iron stores in the body and the haemoglobin levels to return to normal. 

Q5.  How do I prevent Anemia?
You can prevent anemia by taking food rich in iron, such as green leafy vegetables. 

Q6.  What are the complications of Anemia?
There are no serious complications of iron deficiency anemia, except for asthenia and lethargy.

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