Usually yes, but it depends on the type of anemia.
Anemia means having a low blood count – a low concentration of red blood cells in the blood. Because red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues, anemia can cause someone to feel tired, weak, or short of breath.
The most common cause of anemia is iron-deficiency anemia. The body needs iron to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying substance in red blood cells. Women are often iron-deficient, from losing blood (and iron) during menstruation. Iron-deficiency anemia is usually curable by taking an iron supplement, although the pills can sometimes cause constipation or stomach upset. Anemia due to iron deficiency or blood loss can also be corrected (cured) with a blood transfusion.
Nutritional deficiencies such as B12 or folate are also curable causes of anemia. Eating a healthy diet, and possibly taking supplements, will allow the body to naturally build red blood cells back up.
There are many other forms of anemia. A few examples include:
- Anemia associated with chronic diseases (such as kidney disease and cancer)
- Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
- Sickle cell anemia
Simple blood tests can identify the cause in the vast majority of people with anemia. Nutritional supplements, a healthy diet, and sometimes medications can help keep blood counts at an acceptable level.
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