What are the causes of Anemia?


There are mainly three known causes of anemia

  • Blood loss

  • Lack of red blood cell production

  • High rates of RBCs destruction

(In some cases, the condition is caused by more than just one factor)

Blood Loss

Blood loss is one of the most common causes of anemia, especially iron-deficiency anemia. Blood loss can be acute or may persist over time.

Heavy menstrual bleeding or bleeding in the digestive tract or urinary tract can cause blood loss. Surgery, trauma, or cancer also can also lead to a loss of blood.

If a lot of blood is lost, the body may lose enough red blood cells which if persists over time can turn into causes of Anemia.

Lack of Red Blood Cell Production

Both acquired as well as inherited factors & also several other environmental factors can prevent your body from the production of enough of the red blood cells. “Acquired” means you are not born with that condition but you, but you somehow developed it. “Inherited” means that you’ve inherited that condition from your parents.

Acquired conditions and factors that will eventually lead to causes of Anemia are abnormal hormone production, some chronic (ongoing) diseases, and pregnancy as well.

The diet that lacks in iron:

A diet that does not contain or lack mineral iron, folic acid (folate), or vitamin B12 can prevent your body from the making the required red blood cells.The body also needs some small amounts of vitamin C, and copper to make red blood cells.

Conditions that are stopping your body from absorbing nutrients also can prevent your body from making enough RBCs

Imbalanced Hormones:

Erythropoietin (eh-rith-ro-POY-eh-tin) is a hormone that the body uses to make red blood cells. This hormone induces the bone marrow for the production of more of the RBCs and imbalance in the level of erythropoietin will lead to the production of lesser or excessive RBCs.

Diseases and Some specific treatments

Chronic diseases, like kidney diseases and cancer, can make it hard for your body to make an adequate number of the red blood cells.

Some cancer treatments may damage the bone marrow or may reduce its capacity to carry oxygen If the bone marrow is damaged, it won’t be able to make red blood cells at a normal rate.

People who are suffering from HIV/AIDS may also develop severe anemia due to infections or medicines used to treat their present diseases.


Anemia can also occur during pregnancy due to low levels of iron and folic acid and changes in the blood.

During the first 6 months of pregnancy, the fluid portion of a woman’s blood (the plasma) grows faster than the number of red blood cells. This dilutes the blood and may even lead to anemia.

High rates of RBCs destruction

Both acquired and inherited conditioning and factors can cause your body to destroy too many red blood cells. A common example of an acquired condition is an enlarged or diseased spleen.

The spleen is an organ that destroys worn-out red blood cells from the body. If the spleen is enlarged or diseased, it may start removing the required RBCs from our body.


Who Is at Risk for Anemia?

Anemia is a quite common problem. It occurs in almost all age, racial, and ethnic groups. Both men and women can have anemia but various researchers have shown that women are more susceptible to anemia than men.

Anemia can occur during pregnancy due to the low levels of iron and folic acid (folate) and frequent changes in the blood. During the first 6 months of pregnancy, the fluid portion of a woman’s blood (the plasma) increases faster than the number of RBCs ultimately diluting the blood and leading to severe anemia.

Infants between 1 and 2 years of age also are at higher risk for anemia. They may not get enough iron in their diets, especially if they drink consume a lot of cow’s milk. Cow’s milk is very low in the iron that is needed for the growth

Drinking too much cow’s milk may prevent an infant or toddler from eating adequate iron-rich foods or absorbing enough iron from foods.

Older adults are also at increased risk for anemia. Researchers are still studying that how this condition affects the older people.

Major Risk Factors

Factors that can significantly raise your risk for anemia include:

  • A diet that which is low or lacks: in iron, vitamin B12, and several other minerals
  • A lot of blood loss from surgery or an injury
  • Severe chronic illnesses, such as kidney disease, cancer, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV/AIDS, inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease), liver disease, heart failure, and thyroid disease
  • Chronic infections
  • A parent history of inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemia


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