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* Oxygen is carried to the body's tissues predominantly by red blood cells. There is a near-constant level of blood cells that make up the blood. Red blood cells live approximately 120 days, and new ones are constantly being made in the bone marrow to replace lost ones. The red blood cell (RBC) count is determined by two equivalent methods: (1) by measuring the hematocrit, i.e., the volume occupied by red blood cells; and (2) by measuring the hemoglobin, i.e., the quantity of oxygen-carrying protein in the blood. Normal hematocrit is approximately 38 to 44, while normal hemoglobin is approximately 12.5 to 14.5. Anemia is defined in terms of hematocrit or hemoglobin measurements below these norms.
* Anemia occurs either because there are insufficient blood cells being made in the bone marrow, or because blood cells are destroyed and are not being adequately replaced. Another cause may be that blood cells are lost due to bleeding.

* Blood loss, especially from bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract
* Rapid loss occurs in bleeding ulcers or slow loss in colon cancer.
* Decreased bone marrow production due to problems with manufacturing cells in the bone marrow
* Cancers such as Lymphoma
* Aplastic Anemia
* Myeloplastic anemia
* Bone marrow damaged by toxins and radiation, or invasion by cancers, fibrosis, and other tumors
* Decreased bone marrow production due to deficiencies
* Vitamin B12 Deficiency
* Folic Acid Deficiency
* Iron deficiency
* Thalassemias -- genetic problems with the hemoglobin molecule structure
* Hypothyroidism
* Kidney disease -- because of decreased level of hormone erythropoietin
* Hemolytic anemias -- cells are destroyed
* Red blood cells are also destroyed in Sickle Cell Anemia, hereditary diseases, spherocytosis, thrombocyopenic purpura, hemolytic-uremic syndrome, and G6PD deficiency
* Drug induced hemolytic anemia

* Treat the appropriate disorder listed above.



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