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Anemia

Frequently Asked Questions: Anemia

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 17:18

Contributing Author: Guy Slowik FRCS

Here are some frequently asked questions related to anemia.

Q: What is the most common form of anemia?

A: By far, the most common form of anemia worldwide is iron deficiency anemia.

Q: How many different kinds of anemia are there?

A: There are close to 100 different varieties of anemia.

Q: How does drinking an excessive amount of alcohol lead to anemia?

A: Alcohol has a direct toxic effect on the bone marrow which leads to decreased red cell production. People with alcoholism are at risk for anemia both from internal bleeding and vitamin B deficiencies.

Q: I work with chemicals such as benzene. Am I at risk of getting aplastic anemia?

A: Aplastic anemia is exceptionally rare. However, if benzene is spilled and inhaled it can cause this life-threatening condition. It's important to follow all safety precautions when in contact with this chemical.

Q: I'm expecting twins. Am I at greater risk for becoming anemic?

A: Pregnancy increases the risk for anemia because of the body's greater demand for folic acid and iron. The risk for women with multiple births is about 27%.

Q: I believe my child may be anemic. How important is it to seek help?

A: You should never self-diagnose anyone with anemia. The symptoms can be indicative of a number of serious diseases. In children, severe anemia can impair growth and motor and mental development, possibly irreversibly.

Anemia