All About Microcytosis | Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Microcytosis is a term used to describe red Blood cells that are smaller than normal a condition known as Microcytic anemia. Anemia is a condition when the body has fewer functioning red blood cells. In Microcytic anemia, the body has fewer Red Blood Cells and those available are smaller than normal. There are several conditions which can be described as Microcytic anemia and hence there’s no one way of describing the condition.

There are several causes for this conditions especially those that inhibit the body from producing enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is very important in the body because it aids the transportation of oxygen to the tissue and gives the RBC their red coloring. Your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin. What this means is that iron deficiency causes Microcytic anemia. There are several other conditions that can cause microcytic anemia.

There is also a similar condition called, Hypochromasia which is also due to the deficiency of iron in the blood and lead to anemia.

Now, let’s discuss some of the symptoms of Microcytosis.


At first, there are no noticeable symptoms but they may appear in advanced stage. They may start to sprout when the lack of enough red blood cells starts affecting your tissue. Some of the most common symptoms includes:

  • Loss of stamina
  • Pale Skin
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue, tiredness and weakness
  • Shortness of breathe

If you notice any of the above symptoms that doesn’t go away after few days, then pay a visit to your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. However, if you experience shortness of breath or severe dizziness, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as possible.


In this case, the body has fewer levels of hemoglobin that are both pale than normal and smaller. One of the main causes of this condition is iron deficiency. It can either be as a result of inadequate iron intake, maybe as a result of your diet. There are some of the people that also have a problem absorbing iron due to conditions such as Helicobacter pylori infection or celiac disease.

The other issue is chronic blood loss due to a heavy period on women or by gastrointestinal bleeding from upper GI ulcers or irritable bowel syndrome. This condition is also common in pregnant mothers, especially those that don’t consume a lot of iron or have any other underlying problem.

Microcytic anemia isn’t caused by reduced DNA synthesis. According to how the citation is done, Thalassemia can cause Microcytic anemia or it can be considered a cause of Microcytosis but not a cause of microcytic anemia.

As I had already said, Microcytosis is characterized by small red blood cells. They can be small either due to mutations in the formation of blood cells. The other reason is if they are not filled with enough hemoglobin especially in the case of insufficienthemoglobin described above.


Treatment of Microcytosis depends entirely on the underlying root cause. If its caused by deficiency in iron, then the doctor may recommend taking iron and Vitamin C supplements. Iron will help treat lack of hemoglobin while Vitamin C will help increase the ability to absorb the iron. The doctor may also recommend hormonal therapy to treat other conditions related to blood loss.