ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

7 Facts You Might Not Know About Anemia

Updated on December 26, 2018
madscientist12 profile image

Dani is a writer and actress who loves to learn and share tips and information to help others.

Anemia is characterized by not having enough red blood cells
Anemia is characterized by not having enough red blood cells | Source

Anemia is one of those diseases that people know of and may even know a symptom or two, but don't quite understand. You may be familiar with anemic people feeling fatigued or feeling cold all the time, but do you really know about the disease? This article will shed some light on anemia with seven facts you may not know about the disease.

Keep reading to find out more.

1. There are A LOT of anemic people.

Anemia is the most common blood condition in the United States. Over 5 million people in the country are estimated to be anemic although its one of the most easily treatable conditions. On a worldwide scale, it's estimated that over 1.6 billion are anemic[2]. Anemia most commonly affects people of African descent but can also affect Hispanic people.

In many underdeveloped countries, the percentage of children who are anemic is extremely high. For example, many African countries have very high rates of anemic kids. In a country in Africa called Burkina Faso, 86 percent of children are anemic. In a second African country--Mali 80 percent of children are anemic.[1]

2. Iron deficiency is the number one cause of anemia in the world[2].

Although there is more than one cause of the disease, iron deficiency is the main culprit. Iron deficiency occurs when the body doesn't have enough iron to fully support the production of erythrocytes (red blood cells) in bone marrow. They create hemoglobin and transport oxygen throughout the body. There are several reasons why a person would have an iron deficiency. Some of the more common reasons are:

  • A diet that is poor in iron. Can be common in children, vegans, and vegetarians.
  • Digestive problems or conditions, including certain diseases.
  • Ingestibles such as medication, foods, and drinks.
  • Menstrual periods in women who tend to bleed heavily.
  • Pregnancy, or more specifically, the developmental process of the baby.
  • Breast feeding can also deplete women's iron levels.

Sickle Cell is characterized by hard, stringy hemoglobin that causes misshapen red blood cells which can easily burst before performing its job.
Sickle Cell is characterized by hard, stringy hemoglobin that causes misshapen red blood cells which can easily burst before performing its job. | Source

3. There are several other causes of the disease besides iron deficiency.

Although iron deficiency is the most prevalent cause, there are many internal or external factors that could contribute to the disease. A lot of the causes are inherited from one or both birth parents but some of them could be as simple as getting bit by a spider. In many cases, the cause could be unknown.

4. Sickle cell anemia is inherited from both parents.

This is an extreme type of anemia that can only occur if a person inherits two abnormal hemoglobin genes--one from each parent[3]. Known as hemoglobin S, these genes can cause life long problems such as extreme pain, swelling of extremities, infections, delayed growth, and complications with many different organs. Although the disease can be managed, the only cure is through a bone marrow transplant. Not many people qualify for a transplant.

5. Only one version of sickle cell disease can make people anemic.

Many people aren't aware that there are six variations of sickle cell disease. The variation known as hemoglobin SS is where both of the abnormal genes that were inherited from parents make abnormal hemoglobin. Hemoglobin SS is the most common and most extreme form of sickle cell.

6. Vitamin deficiencies can cause the disease.

Folate and vitamin B12 are also responsible for making red blood cells in the body. The body can either be deficient in the vitamins or have poor absorption rate. Both lead to a decreased production of red blood cells, causing either megoblastic or pernicious anemia. Certain medications and or conditions like Celiac's disease or pregnancy can lead to a vitamin deficiency.

7. Problems with bone marrow or stem cells can cause the disease.

Some stem cells in bone marrow gets converted to red blood cells. If these stem cells become damaged, missing, or cancerous, this can lead to aplastic or thalassemia anemia. These conditions are typically inherited and affect babies from birth.

Some Final Thoughts....

Not all cases of anemia is extreme. Sometimes it can be managed as simply as taking vitamin supplements. Other cases may take a bit more management. There are plenty of successful people who have anemia but have not let their success hold them back. Tiki Barber is a great example. He was drafted by the New York Giants in 1997 and played pro football for almost ten years.

In the cases that are extreme, curing anemia may be difficult or even impossible, but it can be managed to a point that a person can still have a fulfilling life. It takes a lot of effort to manage the disease, and there will be challenges along the way, but with diligence and a positive attitude, a person with anemia can still thrive.

© 2018 Dani Alicia


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • madscientist12 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dani Alicia 

      16 months ago from Florence, SC

      Thank you for reading and I am glad I could encourage your and your family's dialogue!

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      17 months ago from The Caribbean

      Very useful. Been discussing with a family member who is anemic as I was reading. The opportunity arose for me to ask some questions I wouldn't have otherwise. Thanks from both of us.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)