Anaemia is a condition rather than a disease itself that results due to a dysfunction in the body. The condition indicates lower than normal levels of red blood cells or haemoglobin or oxygen in the body. Red blood cells use haemoglobin to carry oxygen around the body, which then in turn performs its various duties. Low levels of haemoglobin and RBCs cause the blood supply insufficient amounts of oxygen to the tissues, thus forcing the heart and lungs to work harder to pump additional oxygen to where it is needed resulting in fatigue.
There are different types of anaemia. Iron Deficiency Anaemia occurs when the body runs low on iron, mainly due to inadequate dietary intake, heavy menstruation and certain diseases. Stamina based sports persons can be lower in iron. Pernicious anaemia (B12 deficiency ) This kind of anaemia is caused by inadequate absorption of vitamin B12 from the diet, particularly affecting vegans and those on particular medications. Lower B12 is also common in the elderly. As well as affecting haemoglobin it will affect homocysteine levels and increase the risks for nerve repair,muscle condition and mental acuity. Megobalstic anaemia (Folic Acid deficiency) which is usually caused by excessive alcohol consumption and inadequate intake of dietary folic acid or poor conversion of folic acid to folate.
There are many causes for anaemia and these can include :Autoimmune disorders;Blood loss; Bone marrow disorders ;Dietary deficiency/malabsorption; Medication/diseases.
Dietary measures include consuming more green foods with iron, reducing intake of drinks such as tea /coffee with meals and increasing (where appropriate) increasing nutrient rich protein e.g red meat that is high in iron and Vitamin B12. Low levels of Vitamin A can affect ferritin(iron storage) and poor conversion of folic acid in foods may lead to low folate. Supplements to increase iron have wide variation in absorption and higher bio-absorption iron supplements (e.g. iron biglysinate) are more gentle on the digestive system. High absorption of Vitamin B12 also depend on the particular B12 compound and on the digestive conditions. A sub-lingual Vitamin B12 may have higher absorption.