But, my chronic illness isn’t lupus

Some people with lupus also have have a condition called anemia. Anemia is the condition that results when there aren’t enough red blood cells to transport the oxygen my body needs.

In the kind of anemia that I have, the substance in the blood called hemoglobin is decreased: Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen.

There are over 400 types of anemia and we can’t discuss them all. However, think of the ad for Geritol™ for “iron-poor” blood; blood that is low in its iron content. Because hemoglobin is the iron-rich protein that carries oxygen, often supplementing the diet with iron decreases or eliminates the symptoms of anemia.

But, many other types of anemia don’t respond to iron supplements. In some cases, red blood cells have a different shape (like the sickle in a hammer and sickle. This can greatly decrease the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood and can be quite painful.

Anemia can also be caused by chemotherapy for cancer or by blood loss during surgery. Women can develop anemia during menstrual periods. Basically, anything that decreases the body’s ability to transport adequate oxygen to its cells can cause anemia.

Symptoms of anemia can include weakness and fatigue, chest pain, dizziness or shortness of breath. This has been a very brief ‘rundown’ of anemia, it’s causes, and a few treatments. Further information can be found at:



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