Anemia is the most common type of blood disorder among people, as more than a third of the world’s population suffers from one of the different types of anemia, as a result of a number of factors, including malnutrition, or the incidence of various disease states, including those of unknown cause. . (1)
In this article, we learn about the different types of anemia, and the causes of each type.
A person develops anemia when the number of red blood cells decreases, or they suffer from a health or disease condition that causes them to break or weaken in some way that impedes them from performing their functions, which reduces the number of healthy red blood cells.
The anemic patient feels a number of symptoms that are not completely clear and that are similar to other health conditions, including shortness of breath, dizziness, yellowing and pallor of the face, rapid heartbeat, in addition to general fatigue and constant exhaustion. (2)
Anemia is diagnosed by conducting a hemoglobin test (the main protein in red blood cells). A man is considered anaemic if the hemoglobin test result is less than 13.5 g/dl, or less than 12 g/dl for women. (3)
Types of anemia
There are many types of anemia, so that they almost reach 400 types. We mention below the most famous types of anemia: (4)(5)
- Anemia due to folic acid deficiency.
- hemolytic anemia;
- pernicious anemia.
- Anemia due to a deficiency of vitamin B12.
- Anemia as a result of chronic diseases.
- Megaloblastic anemia.
Types of anemia depending on the cause of infection
How do you differentiate between types of anemia? It is easy for the doctor to differentiate between the different types of anemia when knowing the cause of the infection, as all the aforementioned types of anemia occur as a result of 3 main causes of anemia, we mention them as follows: (4)
Anemia due to blood loss
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia resulting from blood loss, where the body loses red blood cells as a result of bleeding, which reduces the proportions of iron that comes out of the body with the blood. (4)
Bleeding can occur sharply in a short time, as in childbirth, surgeries, and accidents, or over long periods of time in a way that is difficult to notice. Causes of anemia as a result of blood loss include: (4)
- Menstrual cycle: The menstrual cycle, especially heavy ones, is one of the causes of anemia resulting from blood loss in women.
- Benign fibroids in women.
- Endometrial ulcers.
- Gastrointestinal diseases: Conditions such as ulcers, cancers, and hemorrhoid infections also cause the patient to bleed and lose blood in the long term.
- Medicines: The use of some medicines, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, results in stomach ulcers that lead to bleeding and anemia.
Anemia due to a lack of red blood cell production
The bone marrow (soft, spongy tissue located in the center of the bones) produces stem cells that develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Some pathological conditions affect the bone marrow, causing an increase in the secretion of abnormal white blood cells, at the expense of as in blood cancer. (2)
Bone marrow disorders cause types of anemia such as aplastic anemia, and the immaturity of red blood cells may cause thalassemia, which is a genetic form of anemia. (2)
Anemia also occurs as a result of a deficiency in the production of red blood cells, due to a lack of minerals and vitamins necessary for the production of red blood cells, as in iron deficiency anemia, or anemia resulting from a deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B12. (3)
Anemia due to damage to red blood cells
Red blood cells are constantly renewed naturally, with an average life of about 4 months, but the body may attack and destroy them before that time has passed, causing anemia, as is the case in
The body destroys its red cells as a result of the immune system not recognizing them, as it considers them a foreign body that is trying to destroy it. (2)(3)
The treatment of each type of anemia differs from the other. The doctor determines the appropriate treatment after knowing the exact cause of anemia. Treatment methods vary between natural methods of food, taking supplements and iron injections, or blood transfusions in severe cases, in addition to treating the underlying disease. . (1)