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Home > Symptom > Anemia

Anemia

Anemia

About Anemia

When you have Anemia, your body doesn't produce enough healthy red blood cells to supply your tissues with enough oxygen. Being anaemic, or having low haemoglobin, can make you feel exhausted and weak.

Anemia can have many different forms, each with a unique aetiology. Anemia can be mild to severe and can be short-term or long-term. Anemia typically has multiple causes. If you believe you may have Anemia, consult a physician.

Depending on the underlying cause of Anemia, treatments might range from taking supplements to receiving medical attention. Eating a healthy, diversified diet may help you avoid some types of Anemia.

What is Anemia?

When you don't have enough red blood cells or your red blood cells aren't functioning properly, you have Anemia. The body receives oxygen from red blood cells. Your cells are given energy by oxygen. Your body can't obtain the energy it needs to function if it doesn't have healthy red blood cells that do their job. While some forms of Anemia are minor and transient, others might be lifelong. Anemia could be fatal if left untreated.

How does Anemia affect the Body?

Extreme fatigue or persistent coldness are some of the common symptoms of anaemic people. Different people are impacted by Anemia in various ways:

  • New-borns: Some new-borns have low red blood cell counts at birth. Most new-borns with Anemia don't require medical attention, but others may require blood transfusions if their Anemia is severe.
  • Infants:  When infants begin eating solid food, they’re not obtain as much iron as they require. This is due to the fact that iron in solid food isn't as quickly absorbed as iron in breast milk or infant formula. Infants with Anemia could seem listless.
  • Children: From birth until age two, children grow a lot. Children who are experiencing growth spurts require extra iron. Children with Anemia may experience linked challenges such as delayed motor skill development and learning difficulties.
  • Women who are pregnant:  Iron-deficiency Anemia, which can raise the risk of issues including premature birth or giving birth to kids with low birth weight, can occur in pregnant women.
  • Women and people designated female at birth (DFAB):  Anemia can result from blood loss in women and DFAB persons who experience heavy monthly flow or medical disorders like uterine fibroids.
  • People aged 65 and above:  Anemia is more prone to occur in older adults because they are more likely to have diets low in iron and suffer from certain chronic conditions. They can experience heart problems or weakness that makes it difficult for them to move around if they develop Anemia. They could be depressed or confused.
  • People with chronic conditions:  Anemia may be more common in people with certain long-term illnesses like cancer or autoimmune diseases. This is chronic disease-related Anemia.

What are the types of Anemia?

There are various Anemia forms, and each one lowers red blood cell levels.

Nutritional Anemia

  • Pernicious Anemia: One inflammatory disorder that contributes to vitamin B12 deficiency is pernicious Anemia, which hinders your body from absorbing vitamin B12.
  • Iron-deficiency Anemia: Iron-deficiency Anemia, as the name suggests, occurs when your body lacks sufficient iron to produce haemoglobin. Red blood cells deliver oxygen throughout your body thanks to a protein called haemoglobin.
  • Megaloblastic Anemia: Vitamin B12 and/or vitamin B9 deficiency can result in megaloblastic Anemia, a kind of vitamin deficiency Anemia (folate).

Inherited Anemia

  • Sickle cell Anemia: Your red blood cells change shape when you have sickle cell Anemia, going from being round, flexible discs to stiff, sticky sickle cells that obstruct blood flow.
  • Fanconi Anemia: Fanconi Anemia is an uncommon blood condition.
  • Diamond-Blackfan Anemia: Your bone marrow is prevented from producing enough red blood cells by this hereditary condition.

Anemia caused by abnormal red blood cells

  • Haemolytic Anemia: Your red blood cells degrade or die more quickly than usual if you have this Anemia.
  • Aplastic Anemia: This Anemia develops when the bone marrow's stem cells are unable to produce enough red blood cells.
  • Autoimmune haemolytic Anemia: In this condition, your immune system targets your red blood cells for destruction.
  • Sideroblastic Anemia: You don't have enough red blood cells and your body has too much iron if you have sideroblastic Anemia.
  • Macrocytic Anemia: Your bone marrow produces abnormally large red blood cells, which results in this Anemia.
  • Microcytic Anemia: Your red blood cells become smaller than normal due to a lack of haemoglobin, which causes Anemia.
  • Normocytic Anemia: You have fewer red blood cells than normal and red blood cells that do exist do not contain the appropriate amounts of haemoglobin.

Symptoms of Anemia

You might not even be aware that you have Anemia because the symptoms can be so subtle. The following symptoms may be present, depending on the aetiology of the Anemia:

Other signs and symptoms of some kinds of Anemia include:

  • brittle nails
  • inflammation of the tongue
  • cracks at the sides of the mouth
  • jaundice
  • a heart murmur
  • enlarged lymph nodes
  • an enlarged spleen or liver
  • trouble concentrating
  • unusual cravings, such as wanting to eat ice, clay, or dirt

Causes of Anemia

When your body doesn't have enough iron to create haemoglobin, iron deficiency Anemia develops. Red blood cells contain haemoglobin, which gives blood its red colour and helps them to transport oxygenated blood throughout the body.

Your body can't make enough haemoglobin if you don't consume enough iron or if you lose too much iron, and iron deficiency Anemia eventually sets in.

Anemia due to iron deficiency can be brought on by:

  • Blood loss: RBCs in blood contain iron. Iron is lost along with blood. Due to blood loss during menstruation, women who have frequent periods are more likely to develop iron deficiency Anemia. Iron deficiency Anemia can be brought on by slow, chronic blood loss within the body, such as that experienced by people with peptic ulcers, hiatal hernias, colon polyps, or colorectal cancer.
  • A lack of iron in your diet: Your diet provides your body with iron on a regular basis. Your body may eventually become iron deficient if you ingest too little iron. Meat, eggs, leafy green vegetables, and foods with added iron are a few examples of foods high in iron. Infants and children also require iron in their meals for healthy growth and development.
  • An inability to absorb iron: Your small intestine is where iron from food enters your bloodstream. Iron deficiency Anemia can result from an intestinal disorder like celiac disease, which impairs your intestine's capacity to absorb nutrients from digested food. Your capacity to absorb iron and other nutrients may be impacted if a surgical procedure has bypassed or eliminated a portion of your small intestine.
  • Pregnancy: Because their iron stores must serve both their own increasing blood volume and as a source of haemoglobin for the developing foetus, many pregnant women develop iron deficiency Anemia without iron supplements.

Risk factors of Anemia

These individuals may be more susceptible to iron deficiency Anemia:

  • Women: Women are more likely than men to develop iron deficiency Anemia because of blood loss during menstruation.
  • Infants and children. Infants who don't get enough iron through breast milk or formula, particularly those who were low birth weight or born preterm, may be at risk of iron deficiency. During growth spurts, kids require more iron. Your child may be at risk for Anemia if they don't consume a healthy, diversified diet.
  • Vegetarians: If they don't consume other foods high in iron, vegetarians and vegans may be more susceptible to iron deficiency Anemia.
  • Frequent blood donors:  Regular blood donors may be more susceptible to iron deficiency Anemia because blood giving can deplete iron reserves. Consuming more foods high in iron can temporarily fix the temporary issue of low haemoglobin caused by blood donation. Ask your doctor if you should be concerned if you are advised that you cannot donate blood due to low haemoglobin.

Diagnosis of Anemia

Your medical professional will enquire about your symptoms. They will perform blood tests to check on your red blood cells because Anemia occurs when you don't have enough healthy red blood cells:

  • Complete blood count (CBC): This CBC test is used by medical professionals to examine all of your blood cells, with an emphasis on your red blood cells. They measure the size and shape of your red blood cells in addition to counting them. This test may be used by medical professionals to examine your levels of vitamin B12 or B9.
  • Peripheral blood smear: Your red blood cells are examined under a microscope by medical professionals.

Treatment of Anemia

Your Anemia type will determine how you are treated. There are numerous reasons, which means there are numerous viable therapies.

  • You may require medication, blood transfusions (in which you receive blood from another person), or a bone marrow transplant (in which you receive stem cells from a donor) if you have aplastic Anemia.
  • It's possible that you will need medicine to suppress your immune system if you have haemolytic Anemia. You can receive a recommendation from your primary care physician for a vascular issues specialist.
  • If blood loss is the root of the problem, surgery may be necessary to locate and stop the bleeding. You'll probably need to take iron supplements and alter your diet if you have iron-deficiency Anemia.
  • Treatment options for sickle cell Anemia include oxygen therapy, folic acid supplements, opioids, and sporadic antibiotics. To lessen sickle cell pain crises, a medication called hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea, and Siklos) is frequently administered (complicated mechanism). Voxelator (Oxbryta), a drug, can assist your red blood cells maintain their ideal form.
  • Adakveo (crizanlizumab-tmca) can prevent blood cells from adhering to one another and obstructing blood arteries. L-glutamine oral powder (Endari) can reduce the number of times you visit the hospital for discomfort while also protecting you against acute chest syndrome.
  • You will be given supplements if you are vitamin B12 or folate deficient.
  • If your condition is severe, you might need blood transfusions, a bone marrow transplant, or surgery. Thalassemia is typically not treatable.

Prevention of Anemia

Some types of Anemia, like sickle cell, haemolytic, and aplastic Anemia, cannot be prevented. People with chronic disease who are susceptible to Anemia should keep an eye out for its symptoms. A nutritious diet can also fend off nutritional Anemia.

Diet for Anemia

Eating iron-rich foods can help if nutritional deficiencies are responsible for Anemia.

Some foods that are high in iron include:

  • iron-fortified cereal and bread
  • leafy green vegetables, such as kale, spinach, and watercress
  • pulses and beans
  • brown rice
  • white or red meats
  • nuts and seeds
  • fish
  • tofu
  • eggs
  • dried fruits, including apricots, raisins, and prunes

Lab Test for Anemia

Below are the related tests for Anemia

 

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