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Anemia

Related Terms

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Background

  • The blood is made of three types of cells - erythrocytes (red blood cells), leukocytes (white blood cells) and platelets. Red blood cells are disc-shaped, and are continually produced in the bone marrow. This is because they only live for about 120 days. Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, which is a red, iron-rich protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body's muscles and organs. These cells also remove carbon dioxide (a waste product) from cells and carry it to the lungs to be exhaled.
  • White blood cells are part of the body's immune system, and they fight off disease and infection.
  • Platelets help blood clot and live an average of six days.
  • Anemia occurs when the body does not have enough red blood cells. Individuals who are anemic may experience fatigue because the heart has to work harder to deliver oxygen to the muscles and organs. There are many possible causes of anemia, including chronic diseases, bone marrow disorders, iron deficiency, vitamin deficiencies and genetic abnormalities (like sickle cell anemia).
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Types and Causes

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Symptoms

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Diagnosis

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Risk Factors

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Treatment

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Integrative Therapies

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Prevention

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.