If you have anemia, your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron. Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives the red color to blood. It carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
Your iron might be too low because of
- Heavy periods
- Colon polyps or colon cancer
- Inherited disorders
- A diet that does not have enough iron, folic acid or vitamin B 12
- Blood disorders such as sickle cell anemia and thalassemia, or cancer
- Aplastic anemia, a condition that can be inherited or acquired
Anemia can make you feel weak, cold, dizzy and irritable. It is confirmed with a blood test. Treatment depends on the kind of anemia you have.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute