Having anemia means you don't have enough red blood cells. Your body needs these cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Sometimes a long-term disease keeps your body from making enough red blood cells. This is called anemia of chronic disease, or ACD.
What causes it?
Anemia of chronic disease is caused by changes in the body that are triggered by a chronic disease. These changes can include:
A problem with using iron to make red blood cells, even when there's enough iron in the body.
Bone marrow that can't make red blood cells as well as it should.
Red blood cells that don't live as long as they should.
Chronic conditions that can lead to anemia include diabetes, cancer, infection, immune disease, kidney disease, and arthritis.
What are the symptoms?
You may find that anemia of chronic disease causes mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. If you do have symptoms, you may feel dizzy, tired, and weak. You may also feel your heart pounding or feel short of breath. It may be hard to focus and think clearly.
How is it diagnosed?
A blood test, sometimes done as part of a routine examination, tells your doctor if you have anemia. Your doctor may then do other tests to look for a cause.
Your doctor may diagnose you with anemia of chronic disease if:
You have a chronic disease or health problem that's known to cause anemia.
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