Iron deficiency without anemia can occur when a person has normal hemoglobin but below normal serum ferritin and/or transferrin saturation. Iron deficiency with anemia can occur when a person has low values of both serum ferritin and hemoglobin.
Anemia occurs when the red blood cells are normal in size and hemoglobin content, but there are too few of them. This can be caused by: sudden and significant blood loss or a prosthetic heart valve.
Reasons for low RBC :
A low red blood cell count means you have anemia, a condition that could be caused by a variety of factors like blood loss, genetic disorders, cancer treatments, and other causes. Discovering anemia is often the starting point to diagnosing an underlying condition. Red blood cells carry oxygen in the blood.
Is low red blood count serious?
A low RBC count can be dangerous. However, several disorders can cause an RBC count to be higher than expected. The medical terms for this are polycythemia or erythrocytosis.
Anemia can be due to a condition present at birth (congenital) or to a condition you develop (acquired). Anemia occurs when your blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells.
This can happen if:
- Your body doesn’t make enough red blood cells
- Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced
- Your body destroys red blood cells
What do red blood cells do?
Your body makes three types of blood cells — white blood cells to fight infection, platelets to help your blood clot, and red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body and carbon dioxide from the body back to the lungs.
Red blood cells contain hemoglobin — an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color. Hemoglobin enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body and to carry carbon dioxide from other parts of the body to your lungs to be exhaled.
Most blood cells, including red blood cells, are produced regularly in your bone marrow — a spongy material found within the cavities of many of your large bones. To produce hemoglobin and red blood cells, your body needs iron, vitamin B-12, folate, and other nutrients from the foods you eat.
When to see a doctor?
Make an appointment with your doctor if you feel fatigued and you don’t know why.
Fatigue has many causes besides anemia, so don’t assume that if you’re tired you must be anemic. Some people learn that their hemoglobin is low, which indicates anemia when they donate blood. If you’re told that you can’t donate because of low hemoglobin, make an appointment with your doctor.
Many types of anemia can’t be prevented. But you can avoid iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemias by eating a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:
Iron. Iron-rich foods include meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables and dried fruit.
Folate. This nutrient, and its synthetic form folic acid, can be found in fruits and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, kidney beans, peanuts, and enriched grain products, such as bread, cereal, pasta, and rice.
Vitamin B-12. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include meat, dairy products, fortified cereal, and soy products.
Vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, melons, and strawberries. These also help increase iron absorption.
If you’re concerned about getting enough vitamins and minerals from food, ask your doctor whether a multivitamin might help.