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Anemia is a condition in which your blood has a lower than normal number of red blood cells. This condition also can occur if your red blood cells don’t contain enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color. This protein helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

If you have anemia, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. As a result, you may feel tired and have other symptoms. With severe or long-lasting anemia, the lack of oxygen in the blood can damage the heart, brain, and other organs of the body. Very severe anemia may even cause death.

The three main causes of anemia are:

  • Blood loss
  • Lack of red blood cell production
  • High rates of red blood cell destruction

There are many types of anemia with specific causes and traits. Some of these include:

  • Aplastic anemia
  • Fanconi anemia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Iron-deficiency anemia
  • Pernicious anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Thalassemias



National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, USA.