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Anaemia – Types, Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

ANAEMIA

What is Anaemia?

Anaemia develops when your body’s organs are short of oxygen due to a lack of healthy Red Blood Cells (RBCs). Anaemia occurs when the quantity of red blood cells or the concentration of haemoglobin is substantially lower than usual.  

Haemoglobin is required to transport oxygen, and if you do not have enough haemoglobin, your blood’s capacity to transport oxygen to the body’s tissues will be reduced.

Anaemic red blood cells

There are numerous forms of Anaemia, but iron deficiency Anaemia is the most common among the variants of Anaemia. Adding iron to your diet can help to alleviate the symptoms of iron deficiency Anaemia.

In this article, you will get to know all the information about Anaemia and its causes. Make sure to read the blog fully to understand what is Anaemia and how to prevent Anaemia.

Types of Anaemia  

Aplastic Anaemia  

When your body stops making sufficient new blood cells, you get aplastic Anaemia. Aplastic Anaemia is a rare and life-threatening disease that can develop at any age.

As a result of aplastic Anaemia, you’ll feel exhausted, and you’ll be more susceptible to infections and uncontrollable bleeding.  

Iron deficiency Anaemia  

Iron deficiency Anaemia is a form of Anaemia in which the blood lacks the necessary healthy red blood cells. Iron deficiency Anaemia mostly occurs due to insufficient iron in the body.

Sickle cell Anaemia  

This variant of Anaemia is named sickle cell Anaemia because of its odd-shaped cells. Sickle cell Anaemia is one of the categories of hereditary illnesses.

Thalassemia  

Thalassemia is an inherited blood condition in which your body produces a poor level of haemoglobin than it should. Thalassemia can cause Anaemia, which can cause fatigue. Minor thalassemia does not need therapy at all.

Vitamin deficiency Anaemia  

When the body has significantly fewer healthy red blood cells, then it is called vitamin deficiency Anaemia. Red blood cells are responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body to organs and tissues.

Your body does not obtain enough oxygen when you don’t have enough red blood cells.

Daily nutritional requirements for Anaemia  

Iron  

In adults, an average of 100 to 200 mg of elemental iron is vital per day for the treatment of iron deficiency Anaemia. It is recommended to intake iron in two or more doses.

Folate  

Vitamin B9 is referred to as folate. The average adult needs 400 micrograms (mcg) of folate (vitamin B9) per day. The amount you should take will be determined by your doctor or healthcare professional.

Symptoms of Anaemia

Anaemia symptoms

Fatigue  

Fatigue is the most common symptom of Anaemia. Fatigue due to Anaemia causes you to feel tired after shorter durations of exertion as your body’s cells become oxygen-depleted.

Weakness  

However, if you have iron deficiency Anaemia, you may frequently experience weakness as your body lacks the necessary iron to build healthy new red blood cells.

Pale or yellowish skin  

Pale or yellowish skin occurs as a symptom of iron deficiency Anaemia is caused by a reduction in oxygen transport to the entire body.

Irregular heartbeats  

Heart palpitations, an irregular heartbeat or an elevated heart rate signals that your body is trying to compensate for its energy deficit.

Your body is trying to spread the little amounts of accessible haemoglobin around by circulating blood quicker in order to give more oxygen.

Shortness of breath  

Anaemia is a condition in which your body does not receive enough oxygen-rich blood. You may feel fatigued or weak due to a shortage of oxygen.

Shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches and an irregular heartbeat are all possible symptoms of Anaemia.

Dizziness

Dizziness is one of the frequent symptoms of Anaemia. When your heart muscle does not get enough oxygen, you may experience pain and tightness in your chest.

Chest pain

In general, Iron-deficiency Anaemia can produce common Anaemia symptoms like weariness, shortness of breath and chest pain.

Cold hands and feet

Iron deficiency Anaemia can cause cold hands and feet. Because they don’t have enough red blood cells to deliver oxygen to their tissues.

Headaches 

Headache is caused if your brain receives less oxygen than the usual level of oxygen.

Causes of Anaemia

Blood Loss  

Excessive bleeding causes Anaemia, which occurs when the loss of red blood cells exceeds the synthesis of new red blood cells. When patients lose blood quickly, their blood pressure drops, and they become dizzy.

Lack of red blood cell production  

Poor red blood cell production causes multiple problems to the body, including uncontrollable bleeding and severe illness.

High rates of red blood cell destruction  

Normal red blood cells are produced by your body; however, they are eventually destroyed. This can be due to a result of either viral or bacterial illnesses.

Anaemia is associated with other chronic conditions  

Chronic illnesses are one of the notable reasons for the cause of Anaemia. Always take proper medication without any delay to avoid complications of Anaemia. Anaemia is caused by the destruction of Red Blood Cells.

Hemolytic Anaemia occurs when the breakdown of red blood cells outpaces the synthesis of these cells by your bone marrow. Extrinsic hemolytic Anaemia and intrinsic hemolytic Anaemia are more likely to occur if the red blood cells get destroyed gradually.

Treatments of Anaemia

Iron supplements are taken by mouth

The amount of iron taken by mouth lowers the chances of Iron deficiency. Following are the foods that are high in Iron content:

  • Red meat, hog, and chicken are all good choices
  • Seafood
  • Beans
  • Spinach and other dark green leafy veggies
  • Cereals, bread, and pasta with added iron
  • Peas

Transfusions of red blood cells

A red blood cell transfusion may be given to a patient who has an iron deficiency problem or Anaemia, which is a disease in which the body lacks adequate red blood cells.

This sort of transfusion boosts a patient’s haemoglobin and iron levels while also boosting oxygen levels.

Diagnosis of Anaemia  

Complete Blood Count  

A Complete Blood Count (CBC) is a blood test that is used to assess your overall health performance as well as to diagnose a variety of illnesses, such as Anaemia, infection and leukaemia.

Reticulocyte count  

A reticulocyte count is a blood test that determines how many red blood cells are present in the blood. If there is any presence of Anaemias, then the body produces more red blood cells and sends them into the bloodstream before they are fully mature.

Serum iron levels

Serum iron levels can be low in chronic illness Anaemia or high due to a natural diurnal variation; therefore, it can’t be used to identify iron deficiency on its own.

Other illnesses that might cause a rise in serum ferritin include acute inflammation, liver disease and idiopathic pulmonary hemosiderosis.

Ferritin test  

Ferritin is an iron-containing blood protein. Your doctor can use a ferritin test to determine how much iron is stored in your body. If a ferritin test reveals a lower ferritin level in your blood, it means your body’s iron stores are low, and you have iron deficiency.  

Vitamin B12 test  

Vitamin B12 test is usually taken with a normal blood test during a medical examination. Your doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical examination on you.

Folic acid test  

The amount of folic acid in your system is measured using a folic acid test. A folic acid test might help you figure out whether you need to take a folic acid supplement.

Coombs test  

The Coombs test will tell your doctor whether your blood has an immune system destroying antibodies that attack and destroy your own red blood cells.  

Faecal occult blood test

Colorectal cancer screening has been the primary focus of research into Faecal Occult Blood (FOB) testing. When faecal occult blood test results are positive, the presence of iron deficiency Anaemia is confirmed.  

Bone marrow tests  

If your doctor suspects you’re having trouble in forming blood cells, then a bone marrow biopsy test is performed. In a laboratory, a technician examines blood and bone marrow samples.

These tests are taken to detect the cause of these anomalies, which can include Anaemia or a low red blood cell count.

Preventions of Anaemia  

Eat and drink vitamin C-rich foods  

The following foods are high and dense in vitamin C rich foods:

  • Citrus fruit
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Red Cabbage
  • Kiwi
  • Bell Peppers

Eat plenty of iron-rich foods

Eat the following foods to avoid Iron deficiency problems:

  • Breakfast cereals with added vitamins and minerals
  • Oysters that have been cooked
  • Beans in white
  • chocolate (dark)
  • Meats from the organs
  • Soybeans
  • Lentils
  • Spinach

Avoid drinking tea or coffee with your meals  

Before and after meals, tea and coffee should be avoided for at least one hour. This is due to the presence of a molecule called Tannin in tea and coffee, which inhibits iron absorption.

Risk Factors of Anaemia

The following are the main risk factors for Anaemia:

Intestinal disorders  

Pernicious Anaemia that causes intestinal problems is a type of vitamin B12 deficient Anaemia that happens when the stomach cells that produce intrinsic factors are destroyed by the body.  

Menstruation

Anaemia might develop if you experience significant bleeding during your menstrual period on a regular basis. Because of the blood loss during your period, your iron levels may drop, leaving you feeling exhausted and tired.

Pregnancy  

Generally, the volume of blood increases during pregnancy. To create more red blood cells, more iron and vitamins are required. Anaemia can develop if you don’t get enough iron.

Chronic conditions

When you have an autoimmune disease or another sickness that lasts more than three months and produces inflammation, you develop chronic Anaemia.

Chronic conditions can impair your body’s capacity to utilise iron, which is required for the production of enough red blood cells.

Family history

If your family has a history of hereditary Anaemias like sickle cell Anaemia, you may be at a higher risk of developing the disease. Other considerations. Anaemia is more likely if you have a history of certain illnesses, blood diseases or autoimmune disorders.

Age  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), toddlers and children have the highest prevalence of Anaemia, accounting for 47.4 per cent of their population.

When to see a doctor?  

Make an appointment with your doctor to discuss Anaemia. If any of the following symptoms appear in your body:

  • Consistent fatigue
  • Dyspnea
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Pale skin
  • Other Anaemia signs
  • Breathing difficulties  

Conclusion

Anaemia is a condition in which the body has inadequate red blood cells (RBCs). There are more than 400 different forms of Anaemia.

Iron deficiency Anaemia is the most prevalent among the types of Anaemia. It can develop as a result of a nutrient-deficient diet, Crohn’s illness or the use of certain drugs.

Treating the symptoms of Anaemia at the earliest and taking proper medications as recommended by your doctor cures Anaemia.

FAQs

1.What are the different ways to supplement iron?  

Ferrous and ferric iron salts, such as ferrous sulphate, ferrous gluconate, ferric citrate, Iron pills and ferric sulphate, are commonly used forms of iron in supplements.

2.What are the complications of Anaemia?  

Tissue hypoxia is the most devastating consequence of severe Anaemia. Shock, hypotension, and coronary and pulmonary failure are all possible complications too.

3.Is Anaemia dangerous?

Chronic iron deficiency Anaemia is dangerous and rarely causes death. Other than that, Anaemia is not a perilous disease and can be easily treated if diagnosed earlier.

4.What are the preventive measures to adopt to avoid Anaemia?  

1 · Maintaining a healthy diet
2 · Keeping hydrated by drinking enough water
3 · Exercising on a daily basis and avoiding substances that cause Anaemia
4 · To avoid illness, wash your hands frequently
5 · Taking proper dental care and seeing the dentist on a regular basis

5. What tests are suggested for diagnosing Anaemia?  

1 · Complete blood count test
2 · Reticulocyte count test
3 · Serum iron levels test
4 · Ferritin test  
5 · Vitamin B12 test  
6 · Folic acid test  
7 · Coombs test  
8 · Faecal occult blood test
9 · Bone marrow tests  

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