Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Anemia is the most common blood condition in the United States, affecting about 3.5 million Americans. Women and people with chronic diseases are at increased risk of developing anemia. Dr. Edward Hill explains more about this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Anemia develops when your blood is deficient in healthy red blood cells, the main transporter of oxygen to organs. If red blood cells are also deficient in hemoglobin, then your body isn't getting enough iron.

There are more than 400 types of anemia, which can be broadly classified into three categories:

Anemia caused by blood loss. This kind of chronic bleeding commonly results from gastrointestinal conditions such as ulcers, hemorrhoids, gastritis and cancer.

Anemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cell production, such as sickle cell anemia, or myeloma.

Anemia caused by decreased red blood cell production. This often occurs because of a lack of the mineral iron in the body.

Iron-deficiency anemia, the most common type, is very treatable with diet changes and iron supplements. Some forms of anemia -- like the anemia that develops during pregnancyare even considered normal. Some types of anemia can present lifelong health problems.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.