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by EBSCO Medical Review Board

Conditions InDepth: Nutritional Anemia

Anemia is a lower level of healthy red blood cells (RBCs) than is normal. RBCs pick up oxygen from the lungs and carry it to cells all over the body. The body cannot work as it should when it does not have enough healthy RBCs.
RBCs are made in the bone marrow. Iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 are all needed to make healthy RBCs. Low levels of iron, folic acid, and vitamin B in the diet can lead to anemia.
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What are the risk factors for nutritional anemia?What are the symptoms of nutritional anemia?How is nutritional anemia diagnosed?What are the treatments for nutritional anemia?Are there screening tests for nutritional anemia?How can I reduce my risk of nutritional anemia?What questions should I ask my doctor?Where can I get more information about nutritional anemia?


Anemia. American Society of Hematology website. Available at: http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Anemia. Accessed February 13, 2020.
Anemia in Adults-Approach to Patients. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/anemia-in-adults-approach-to-the-patient. Updated September 27, 2019. Accessed February 13, 2020.
Anemia in Older Adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/anemia-in-older-adults. Updated November 27, 2017. Accessed February 13, 2020.
Anemia. National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute website. Available at: https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/anemia. Accessed February 13, 2020.
Complete blood count (CBC). Lab Tests Online—AACC website. Available at: https://labtestsonline.org/tests/complete-blood-count-cbc. Updated January 11, 2020. Accessed February 13, 2020.
Vieth JT, Lane DR. Anemia. Hematol Oncol Clin North Am. 2017 Dec;31(6):1045-1060.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2019
  • Update Date: 10/30/2020