Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen throughout the body. If the body's tissues don't get enough oxygen, it can cause a variety of complications, including fatigue and stress on organs. Many things can lead to low levels of RBCs, but the three main causes are:
Anemia can be temporary or can last for a long time. There are many different types of anemia, with different causes and different treatments. Inherited disorders, nutritional problems (such as a vitamin or iron deficiency), infections, some kinds of cancer, or exposure to a drug or toxin all can lead to anemia.
Treatment for anemia depends on what's causing the low level of RBCs. In many cases, this means something as simple as eating foods rich in iron or taking vitamin supplements. Other cases will require more involved treatments. Kids often tolerate anemia much better than adults.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation, Inc. This group serves as a resource directory for patient assistance and emotional support while specializing in aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome cases.|
|Iron Disorders Institute Iron Disorders Institute's mission is to reduce pain, suffering, and death because of disorders such as hereditary hemochromatosis, acquired iron overload, porphyria cutanea tarda, sideroblastic anemia, thalassemia, African siderosis, iron deficiency anemia, and anemia of chronic disease.|
|Cooley's Anemia Foundation This organization provides information about Cooley's Anemia and other forms of the genetic blood disorder thalassemia.|
|American Society of Hematology This group provides information relating to blood, blood-forming tissues, and blood diseases.|
|Word! Anemia People who have anemia have fewer red blood cells than normal, which can make them feel tired because not enough oxygen is getting to their bodies' cells.|
|Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) Among kids with leukemia, 20% have this form of the blood cancer. With treatment, most recover.|
|Beta Thalassemia Beta thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body has a problem producing beta globin, a component of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body.|
|Anemia Anemia, one of the more common blood disorders, occurs when the number of healthy red blood cells decreases. This can result in a variety of symptoms, including fatigue and stress on all the body's organs.|
|Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL) ALL is the most common type of leukemia, affecting nearly 75% of kids who have this cancer of the blood cells. With treatment, most recover.|
|Blood Test: Ferritin (Iron) Doctors may order a ferritin test when they suspect kids have too little or too much iron in their bodies.|
|Iron-Deficiency Anemia Iron helps the body carry oxygen in the blood and plays a key role in brain and muscle function. Too little iron can lead to iron deficiency anemia. Read more here.|
|Anemia Anemia is common in teens because they undergo rapid growth spurts, when the body has a greater need for nutrients like iron. Learn about anemia, including how to lower your risk of getting it and how it's treated.|
|About Anemia What does it mean when a kid has anemia? Learn about anemia, why kids get it, and how it's treated in our article for kids.|
|Blood Test: Hemoglobin Hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. A hemoglobin test may be performed as part of a routine health exam, during a time of illness, or to detect anemia.|
|Cancer Center Visit our Cancer Center for teens to get information and advice on treating and coping with cancer.|
|Cancer Center From treatments and prevention to coping with the emotional aspects of cancer, the Cancer Center provides comprehensive information that parents need.|
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