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Physiology of Anaemia

Definition of Anaemia

Anaemia is a condition where the person’s body has the inability of blood to carry an adequate amount of oxygen to body cells. This is due to red blood cell(RBC)count or haemoglobin levels are less than normal. The normal RBC count for men is between 4.7 to 6.1 million mcL and the normal RBC count for women who aren’t pregnant is 4.2 to 5.4 million mcL. The normal haemoglobin levels for men is between 13.5 to 17.5 grams per decilitre and for women, it’s between 12.

0 to 15.5 grams per decilitre. Anaemia can cause abnormal changes in red blood size or colour, detectable microscopically.

Cause of Anaemia

Anaemia is caused by a few factors,one of it being Hemorrhage(excessive blood loss) which can be caused by traumatic injuries such as gunshot wounds or puncture wounds from items like knives and needles. Medical conditions that cause bleeding such as menorrhagia(prolonged menstrual bleeding) and haemophilia can also cause Anaemia. However, more common causes of Anaemia is caused by iron deficiency in dietary intake.

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The recommended daily iron intake for men is 8mg and for women, it’s 18mg. Anaemia also occurs when there is increased destruction of RBC’s which could be due to an overactive spleen. Anaemia is also caused by another disease known as Leukemia, where it affects the bone marrow by producing many abnormal white blood cells(WBC) and this disrupts the normal production of RBC’s.

Category of Anaemia

Iron Deficiency Anaemia

This is the most common form of Anaemia and it occurs when there are not enough iron levels in the body.

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Iron is needed for RBC’s production in the red bone marrow to carry oxygen molecules in haemoglobins. Some examples of symptoms are fatigue, weakness and dizziness. This type of Anaemia can be caused by low dietary intake of iron, somebody that suffers from this type of Anaemia should eat more green leafy vegetables, eggs, red meat or consume iron supplements to increase iron levels in the body. This type of Anaemia can also be caused by an inability of the body to absorb iron from food in the small intestine. This may be caused by loss of surface area for absorption in the intestine after surgical removal. An unusually high requirement of the iron level will also cause this type of Anaemia. This is more common in women because iron requirements rise when there is chronic blood loss such as menstruation.

Bone Marrow and Stem Cell complications

Aplastic Anaemia

This is a type of Anaemia where stem cell numbers are low or none at all in bone marrow due to damaged bone marrow.A stem cell is a type of cell that has the ability to develop into many types of cell. Without stem cells, there will be no production of RBC’s and eventually all types of blood cells. Symptoms of this anaemia are irregular heartbeat, easily bruised and easily prone to infections. Aplastic anaemia can be caused by radiation because it destroys stem cells present in the bone marrow. This anaemia is also caused by some toxic chemicals such as benzene. Viral disease such as HIV may also cause Aplastic anaemia. Aplastic anaemia can also be inherited from your parents. Aplastic anaemia can be relieved if the patient gets a bone marrow transplant or a blood transfusion.


Thalassaemia is a genetic disease where there are a low RBC count and low quantity of haemoglobin. It is caused by a mutation on DNA cells that form haemoglobin. Symptoms of Thalassaemia are pale skin, fatigue and dark urine. Patients with this condition may undergo blood transfusion or bone marrow transplant to treat Thalassaemia.

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Physiology of Anaemia. (2021, Feb 04). Retrieved from

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