Anemia: Frequently Asked Questions

Anemia (uh-NEE-mee-uh) occurs when you have less than the normal number of red blood cells in your blood or when the red blood cells in your blood don’t have enough hemoglobin (HEE-muh-gloh-bin). Hemoglobin is a protein. It gives the red color to your blood. Its main job is to carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body.

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Anemia Frequently Asked questions,
Q: What is anemia?
Q: What are the types and causes of anemia?

  • Iron deficiency anemia (IDA).
  • Vitamin deficiency anemia (or megaloblastic [MEG-uh-loh-BLASS-tik] anemia).
  • Anemias caused by underlying diseases.
  • Anemias caused by inherited blood disease.
  • Aplastic (ay-PLAS-tik) anemia.

Q: What are the signs of anemia?
Q: How do I find out if I have anemia?
Q: What’s the treatment for anemia?
Q: What will happen if my anemia goes untreated?
Q: How do I prevent anemia?
Q: How much iron do I need every day?
Q: How much iron do I need if I am pregnant?
Q: I am taking menopausal hormone therapy (MHT). Does that affect how much iron I should take?
Q: Does birth control affect my risk for anemia?
Q: I am a vegetarian. What steps should I take to make sure I get enough iron?
Q: What happens if my body gets more iron than it needs?

Download Anemia: Frequently Asked Questions pdf from www.womenshealth.gov, 8 pages, 1548.33KB.
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