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Health Information For Teens
Anemia is when the number of red blood cells in the body gets too low. Red blood cells carry hemoglobin (pronounced: HEE-muh-glow-bin), a protein that carries oxygen throughout the body. Without enough of them, oxygen doesn’t get to the body’s organs. Without enough oxygen, the organs can’t work normally.
There are many different kinds of anemia, so treatments vary.
The types of anemia are based on what causes them. They include:
Some people with anemia don’t have any symptoms. Someone who does have symptoms might:
Doctors usually can diagnose anemia by:
Sometimes doctors do tests on the bone marrow. The bone marrow is the spongy part inside the bone where blood cells are made. For this test, the doctor puts a needle into the bone to take a small bone marrow sample. The sample is sent to the lab for special tests.
Treatment for anemia depends on the cause. Teens with anemia might need:
If you have iron-deficiency anemia, your doctor will probably prescribe an iron supplement to take several times a day. Your doctor may do a follow-up blood test after you’ve been taking the supplement for a while. Even if the tests show that the anemia has improved, you might have to keep taking iron for several months to build up your body’s iron stores.
To make sure you get enough iron, eat a balanced diet every day, starting with a breakfast that includes an iron source, such as an iron-fortified cereal or bread. Lean meat, raisins, chard, eggs, nuts, dried beans, tomato sauce, and molasses also are good sources of iron.
If someone’s anemia is caused by another medical condition, doctors will work to treat the cause. People with some types of anemia will need to see a hematologist, who can provide the right medical care for their needs.
The good news is that for most people, anemia is easily treated. And in a few weeks they’ll have their energy back!
Sickle cell disease is a blood disorder that makes red blood cells change shape and cause health problems. Find out more in this article for teens.
Periods can be confusing. Get the facts in this article for teens.
About 5 million people a year get blood transfusions in the United States. This article explains why people need them and who donates the blood used.
This common blood test helps doctors gather information about a person’s blood cells and how they’re working. Find out why doctors do this test and what’s involved for teens.
Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that the body needs to work properly. They boost the immune system, promote normal growth and development, and help cells and organs do their jobs.
Find out about the mysterious, life-sustaining fluid called blood.
If periods aren’t regular it’s usually because a girl’s body is still developing. But sometimes, changes in blood flow can be a sign of abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB).
Inflammatory bowel disease is an ongoing illness caused by an inflammation of the intestines. There are two kinds of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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