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Anemia

     Anemia is a condition wherein there is a decrease in hemoglobin (red coloring and oxygen carrier of the blood) per unit volume of blood below the established normal level for a certain age and sex.
     The World Health Organization description for anemia is below 12 gm Hb/dl of blood for women and below 14 gm Hb/dl for men; and a hematocrit below 34%
Anemias and Other Red Cell DisordersAnemias and Other Red Cell Disorders
Problem Causes
• Iron deficiency-nutritional anemia
• Loss of blood-hemorrhagic anemia
• Deficiency of Vitamin B12 or folic acid-pernicious anemia

Having greater risk of developing anemia are those with increased iron requirement such as:
• frequent blood donor
• a woman having one pregnancy after another
• a woman with heavy menstrual bleeding

Note: Infections must be treated as these can easily depress blood formation.

Probable Symptoms
• Weakness
• Easy fatigability
• Pallor (Paleness)
• Breathing difficulty on exertion
• Palpitation
• Headache
• "Deadtired" feeling
• Thin and brittle fingernails

Iron Deficiency Symptoms click here

Note: The diagnosis of anemia is based on analysis of blood constituents.


Helpful Dietary Management
• Eat high-protein diet with emphasis on other nutrients that aid red blood cell formation including iron, vitamin C  and  B-complex vitamins.
• Provide supplementary foods which are iron-rich for infants as early as 4 to 6 months.

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