Anemia is caused by a low RBC or red blood cell count. The red blood cells contain a protein known as hemoglobin which transports oxygen to various tissues all over the body. The amount of oxygen being supplied to the different bodily tissues depends on the amount of RBC present in the body.
If an individual has the condition, the body does not have sufficient hemoglobin in the red blood cells that results to deficiency of oxygen being supplied to the tissues. Remember that there are various causes for low RBC that you should be familiar with.
There are certain forms of anemia that are genetic and can be inherited such as thalassemia which is triggered by a defective protein present in the red blood cells. The diseases that affect the immune system which causes the destruction of the blood cells are also another cause for low RBC. This condition is known as hemolytic anemia in which the body produces antibodies that destroy the red blood cells.
There are some medications that can lead to low RBC in the body. These medications include drugs that are utilized in chemotherapy in treating cancers as well as hydantoin, quinidine and chloramphenicol.
Loss of blood might lead to anemia. If an individual suffers from substantial bleeding due to conditions such as cancer and stomach ulcers. Among women, heavy menstrual periods can also lead to anemia.
A diet that lacks vitamins and iron can cause low RBC in the body. Take note that poor diet and nutritional deficiencies can lead to a diminished red blood cell count. Women who are pregnant often end up with nutritional deficiencies which leads to anemia.
Surgical procedures involving the intestines or stomachs can minimize the absorption of vitamin B12, iron as well as folic acid. This can lead to a drop in the level of red blood cells in the body.
Medical conditions that can cause low RBC
There are certain chronic diseases that can lead to a low RBC count such as rheumatoid arthritis, cancer or HIV/AIDS that can reduce the production of healthy red blood cells which leads to anemia.
Most of the red blood cells are generated by the bone marrow which is a soft tissue in the middle of the bones. Certain conditions that affect the bone marrow can lead to a low RBC level which includes the following:
- Multiple myeloma
The kidneys release a hormone called erythropoietin that signals the bone marrow to generate increased amount of red blood cells. Among those who have kidney failure, the production of the hormone is also affected which leads to low RBC.