Anaemia

An extreme close-up of some red blood cells
Red blood cells.
Anaemia is when you have a lower than normal level of something called haemoglobin in your blood. Haemoglobin is that part of your blood which carries oxygen around your body. There are lots of causes of anaemia, including not eating enough iron (which is found in red meat, spinach, some fish, and various other foods), bleeding (girls with heavy periods can sometimes become anaemic), and genetic (which means something you inherit from your parents and that you are born with, such as conditions called Sickle Cell Disease and Thalassaemia). People with anaemia are often tired (but there are lots of other causes for tiredness, such as not getting enough sleep!), and may look pale. If you are really anaemic you may become short of breath. Anaemia is diagnosed by a blood test. If you are worried you may be anaemic you should go and see your family doctor. The treatment of anaemia depends on what is causing it. If you are low in iron, you will need to make some changes to your diet, or take iron tablets. People with anaemia because of genetic causes may need help from hospital doctors.