Anemia is a medical condition where the body’s hemoglobin level is less than normal. It is basically caused by the reduction in the production of red blood cells (RBCs). This article discusses five different types and causes of anemia.

Different types of anemia
The common symptoms of anemia are pale skin, weakness, tiredness, and cold hands or feet. The different types of anemia are mentioned below.

1. Sickle cell anemia
This type of anemia is inherited and is caused due to a mutation in the gene. The hemoglobin formed is of crescent shape and hence the name. A situation called sickle cell crises occurs when the sickled RBCs block blood flow to the organs.

2. Aplastic anemia
In aplastic anemia, the bone marrow does not make adequate healthy blood cells. Although rare, this condition is mostly seen in the age group of 20 to 25 and over 60 years. It is a life-threatening condition, also called bone marrow failure. Aplastic anemia can occur suddenly or over a period of time.

3. Iron deficiency anemia
This type of anemia is caused by iron deficiency in the body due to a poor diet. A person suffering from this type of anemia experiences shortness of breath.

4. Thalassemia
An inherited blood disorder, thalassemia, is an ailment in which hemoglobin levels fall below normal, causing anemia.

5. Vitamin deficiency anemia
When specific vitamins, such as vitamin C or B-12, reduce in the body, it can lead to vitamin deficiency anemia. The condition occurs due to a lack of proper food intake or when the body cannot properly absorb these vitamins.

Causes of anemia
Any of the following reasons can cause anemia.

1. Blood loss
Loss of blood can cause anemia. This could be due to bleeding caused due to accidents. Women who menstruate heavily are at a higher risk of iron deficiency anemia.

2. Deficiency of iron
We get iron in our body by food intake. If there is a lack of iron in our food, it can be a cause of anemia. Examples of food that have a high level of iron include green leafy vegetables and meat products.

3. Non-absorption of iron
In certain intestinal disorders, iron cannot be absorbed from the food intake that an individual has. This leads to the deficiency of iron in the body, thus causing anemia.

4. Blood loss within the body
In certain ailments like Crohn’s disease, there is continued blood loss within the body. As a result, anemia occurs due to iron deficiency. Loss of blood due to ulcers can also lead to loss of iron.

5. Pregnancy
Anemia can occur due to iron deficiency during pregnancy. This is a common cause of anemia among women. Hence, care should be taken to have adequate iron intake for both the mother and the fetus.