Certain long term medical conditions, such as cancer and infectious and inflammatory diseases can cause anemia. Anemia is a low level of healthy red blood cells (RBC). RBCs carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. When red blood cells are low the body does not get enough oxygen. This can cause symptoms such as fatigue, pale skin, or irregular heartbeat.

Hemoglobin
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Certain illnesses will prompt your body to limit how much iron is freely available. This will prevent the infection or cancer from using the iron to grow. Unfortunately, iron is also needed to make healthy RBCs. Over time this will lead to fewer new red blood cells.

Long term illnesses that can lead to anemia, include