Oxygen is carried through the human body via the red blood cells in blood. Anemia is a medical condition that affects red blood cells, reducing the amount of oxygen circulating through the body. There are a number of types of anemia. The connection between anemia and nausea is that nausea is one of the symptoms of some forms of anemia including aplastic anemia and megaloblastic anemia. Megaloblastic anemia is also referred to as pernicious anemia. Folic acid deficiency can also lead to anemia and nausea.
Aplastic anemia is a blood disease that affects bone marrow. Bone marrow produces white blood cells, red blood cells and platelets. This form of anemia causes the bone marrow to stop producing enough of all three of these important cell types. As a result, a person who has aplastic anemia does not have enough oxygen circulating via red blood cells, has a suppressed immune system because of insufficient numbers of white blood cells, and is slower to form blood clots because of lack of platelets.
In addition to the association of aplastic anemia and nausea, a person who has this form of anemia may have spontaneous bleeding, experience chills, or may have rapid heart beats. This disease is potentially fatal. Treatments for aplastic anemia include blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants and immunosuppressants.
The human body needs vitamin B12 in order to produce red blood cells. The body uses a substance called intrinsic factor, which is producing in the stomach lining, to help absorb this vitamin into the digestive tract. When a person is unable to produce sufficient intrinsic factor and absorb vitamin B12, the person can develop megaloblastic anemia.
In addition to nausea, symptoms of megaloplastic anemia include diarrhea, weight loss, and increased heart rate. A person with this blood disease may also experience loss of smell, lack of appetite, and confusion. Treatments include vitamin B12 injections or nasal sprays.
The body uses folic acid, or vitamin B9, to help red blood cells mature. If a person has insufficient folic acid intake, the person may also develop megaloblastic anemia. Others who may develop folic acid deficiencies include pregnant women, who need eight times the amount of vitamin B9 than they need when they are not pregnant, and alcoholics.
Beyond anemia and nausea, folic acid deficiency symptoms can include shortness of breath and vomiting. Folic acid deficiency can be treated by taking folic acid supplements. In addition, a person's diet may have to change to include more vitamin-B-rich foods such as spinach, tomato juice, melons, and bananas.