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6 Risk Factors for Anemia

Anemia develops when your blood lacks red blood cells. Your blood lacks oxygen which then affects all your major organs. Anemia causes your blood to “thin” and is the most common blood disorder in the United States. Anemia can be caused either by blood loss, a decrease in red blood cells or by the destruction of red blood cells. Anemia also leads to iron deficiency in the blood which prevent hemoglobin, or oxygen in the blood, from being produced. The following are 5 risk factors associated with Anemia.

1.Family History

If other members of your family have anemia or other blood disorders there is a great likelihood that you will inherit it. If anemia runs in your family make sure to get your blood tested regularly at physicals. If you have anemia make sure to see a blood specialist who can help treat the condition. Since anemia can take numerous forms, treatment will depend on your diagnosis. Bone marrow disease will require bone marrow transplants while aplastic anemia will require blood transfusions to increase your red blood cell count.

2.Low Iron

Eating well is an important step in preventing anemia. A diet rich in vitamins and minerals will enable your body to produce a sufficient amount of red blood cells. Iron and folate are especially important. If you are not able to eat well throughout the day make sure to supplement your diet with a multi-vitamin.

3.Menstruation

Blood loss from menstruation can lead to anemia. As you lose blood you are losing Iron in your blood making you more susceptible to anemia. Eating well and taking vitamins is especially important during this time of the month to replenish your body with the valuable nutrients it is losing from blood loss.

4.Pregnancy

Pregnancy increases your risk for anemia because your body increases its demand for iron and folic acid. Your body demands more blood for you and the and therefore needs excess nutrients. Taking prenatal vitamins is essential during pregnancy. Furthermore, your body retains blood plasma during pregnancy which can dilute the red blood cell count. Lastly, blood loss during birth can cause anemia months after delivery. Be especially careful when you are pregnant to protect yourself.

5.Alcoholism

Excessive drinking can create folate and Vitamin B deficiency in your blood. It can also cause internal bleeding. The best solution is to drink in moderation. If you suffer from serious alcoholism you should seek help through doctors and support groups.

6.Chronic Illness

If you have any serious medical condition that causes excess bleeding such as cancer, kidney and liver failure you may be at risk for anemia. These conditions cause a shortage of red blood cells and thus a loss of iron. See a doctor regularly for blood tests to monitor for anemia.

All these factors are serious. Talk to your doctor and regularly monitor your blood. Each a healthy diet and take your vitamins to keep you iron and folate levels optimal.

For more information on thick and thin blood conditions click here.

The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.