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ANEMIA

Anemia isa condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness.

Types of anemia

  1. Sickle cell anemia
  2. Iron-deficiency anemia
  3. Vitamin deficiency

Symptoms

  1. Fatigue and loss of energy
  2. Unusually rapid heartbeat, particularly with exercise
  3. Shortness of breath and headache, particularly with exercise
  4. Difficulty concentrating
  5. Dizziness
  6. Pale skin
  7. Leg cramps
  8. Insomnia                  

Non specific Symptoms:

  1. Tiredness
  2. Breathlessness
  3. Dizziness
  4. Pallor
  5. Ankle swelling
  6. Increased heart rate
  7. Rapid breathing

Causes

There is no one specific cause of anemia. Due to the sheer number of anemia types, it can sometimes be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause.

Below, is a general overview of the causes of anemia according to the three main causal groups

  1. Anemia caused by blood loss
  2. Anemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cells
  3. Anemia caused by the destruction of red blood cells
  4. Anemia of chronic disease
  5. Aplastic anemia
  6. Anemias associated with bone marrow disease

Diagnosis

  1. Hb level
  2. Hematocrit, RBC count
  3. Mean corpuscular volume(MCV), MCHC
  4. Peripheral blood smear
  5. Confirmation of iron deficiency (plasma ferritin, plasma iron, total iron binding capacity)
  6. Serum vitamin B12 and folate level

Preventions

Choose a vitamin-rich diet

Many types of anemia can't be prevented. However, you can help avoid iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemias by choosing a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including:

Iron Iron-rich foods include beef and other meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, and dried fruit.

Folate This nutrient, and its synthetic form folic acid, can be found in citrus fruits and juices, bananas, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, and fortified breads, cereals and pasta.

Vitamin B-12. This vitamin is found naturally in meat and dairy products. It's also added to some cereals and soy products, such as soy milk.

Vitamin C Foods containing vitamin C — such as citrus fruits, melons and berries — help increase iron absorption.

Risk Factors

  1. A diet lacking in certain vitamins
  2. Intestinal disorders
  3. Menstruation
  4. Pregnancy
  5. Chronic conditions
  6. Family history
  7. Other factors. A history of certain infections, blood diseases and autoimmune disorders, alcoholism, exposure to toxic chemicals, and the use of some medications can affect red blood cell production and lead to anemia.

Complications

Severe fatigue When anemia is severe enough, you may be so tired that you can't complete everyday tasks. You may be too exhausted to work or play.

Heart problems  Anemia can lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat — an arrhythmia. Your heart must pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood when you're anemic. This can even lead to congestive heart failure.

 

 

Treatment

  1. Supplemental iron for iron deficiency anemia
  2. Vitamin B12 and folate supplementation
  3. Transfusion of blood in severely anemic patient
  4. Splenectomy in autoimmune and genetic destruction of RBCs
  5. Bone marrow transfusion: last resort for sickle cell disease and thalassemia