Health Disease

Anemia : Symptoms, causes, types, treatment & more

Anemia

Anemia is a medical term for decrease blood cell concentration in body. Blood is a body fluid that runs in vessels pumped by heart. It is a connective tissue in nature. Anemia happens when the insufficient blood is present in body and its function is reduced. The functions of blood are to transport minerals from part of body to another, nourishes organs by supplying nutrients, supply oxygen for cellular respiration, forms clot at the place of bleeding to prevent excessive loss, regulate body temperature, contain WBCs and antibodies to serve its function in immune system in the body and carry waste products for excreting through kidneys. Hence when the conc. Of blood decreases the function of blood is greatly reduced or simply loss.

Symptoms

The symptom of anemia includes,
Cold body (due to loss of blood’s thermodynamic function), lethargy, breathlessness, fatigue, light headiness, chest pain, irregular heartbeat, dizziness, exhaustion, headache, clubbing of nails, pale skin, abdominal and body pain, weakness, and ischemia in excessive loss or may lead to death. The symptoms are generalized in most cases and patient may not be aware of the cause of his sick condition. Such patients have low blood pressure most of the time when measured.

Anemia

Causes

The major causes of anemia are,

  • Haemolysis

Breakdown of blood in vessel (intravascular haemolysis) or outside of the vessel (extravascular haemolysis)

  • Genetic predisposition

Genes play important role in aneimas, many types of anemias such as hereditary spherocytosis, sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, pernicious anemia, all are due to genetic defects in chromosomes.

  • Chronic kidney disease,

Kidney has major function of filtering blood and if kidney is diseased, it will not be able to excrete waste products accurately and may result in haematuria (blood in urine) moreover kidney produce erythropoietin that is essential element for erythropoiesis,

  • liver diseases,

chronic liver disease patient fails to produce Hb and thus lead to anemia.

  • Impaired RBC production

Many pathologies may result in ability of bone marrow to produce RBCs in required amount. Such pathologies result in anemia.

  • High rate of RBCs destruction

some genetic defects result in breakdown of RBCs more than their normal rate of production. Such as hereditary spherocytosis.

  • mineral deficiency (iron, vitamin B12, folic acid),

mineral deficiencies lead to inability to carry out erythropoiesis (RBCs production).

  • certain drugs,

patients who use drugs like cephalosporin, NSAIDs, penicillin, etc., for long term also develop anemia.

  • trauma or injury,

traumas or injuries resulting in excessive bleeding may lead to blood loss anemia.

Types

Numerous types of anemias are identified now a days which are classified in different ways, some classify the types of anemias based on cell shapes and sizes (normocytic, microcytic and macrocytic anemia), whereas some classify anemias on the basis of causes of anemia (haemolytic, iron deficiency, sickle cell, pernicious anemia, folate deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency anemia). The most commonly used method of classification is based on blood cell size, which is as follow,

  • Microcytic anemia (hyperchromic)

The RBCs size is reduced and hence the RBCs function that result in anemia. Number of cells may remain normal or increased but size of RBCs is greatly reduced. Such cells appear more red (hyperchromic) then normal sized cell. For example, hereditary spherocytosis, in which the cells bleb off from RBC’s surface and the size of original RBC gets smaller every time a cell shed off from its surface. This due to genetic defect in sceptrin B protein present on RBCs surface.

  • Normocytic anemia (normochromic)

The type of anemia in which the cell size is normal, and colour of RBCs is preserved i.e., normochromic. Such anemias are due to excessive bleeding or blood loss. Most common cause of normocytic anemia is excess menstrual bleed.

  • Macrocytic anemia (hypochromic)

The type of anemia in which the size of RBCs is large but the less red in colour i.e., hypochromic. Such types of anemia are due to bone marrow abnormality that result in abnormally enlarged and hypochromic red blood cells.

Anemia

How to know if a person has anemia?

Though many test are used now a days in medical practice to diagnose anemia but the best blood test present to identify anemia in a person is simple CBC (complete blood count), in which blood cells are count and if the RBCs are in less number then normal range (roughly 4 to 6 million cells/mcL), he/ she is diagnosed with anemia. Anemia can also be diagnosed during physical examination by examining lower lash water line, which appear pale if a person has anemia. Other confirmatory tests include reticulocyte count, iron profile (in case of iron deficiency anemia), thyroid functioning test, liver function test (LFTs), etc.

Treatment method

Treatment method includes,
Taking oral iron supplement that will help the process of erythropoiesis, taking healthy diet, taking vitamin B and folic acid supplement, analgesics, oxygen therapy, epoetin aloha therapy, blood Transfusions, bone marrow transplant to treat anemia.

Anemia

Research

Studies have shown that the most people effected with anemia belong to certain gender and age groups. Researchers elaborated that children and pregnant women are most effected among the general population. Children in their age of growth when deprived of proper nutrition develops anemia, similarly when women is in her pregnancy she needs proper nutrition that can help her produce enough blood for both child and mother. During such time when she is deprived of food, develops anemia.

Epidemiology

The overall prevalence of anemia is calculated to be around 40% globally. Approximately 1.62 billion people suffer with anemia around the global today. Epidemiologist have successfully come to a conclusion that people from underdeveloped poor countries are more likely be suffering with anemia due malnutrition. Countries with religious majorities avoid certain diet (meat) that result in severe anemia in people. Moreover, such underdeveloped countries face the problem inappropriate provision of medical facilities that all together lead to increased incidence of anemia on those countries.

Conclusion

To conclude the above discussion, anemia is deficiency of blood in human. This deficiency may or may not be fatal depending on the extent of deficiency. This deficiency led to functional/ structural impairment of blood to perform its function normally. Anemias are more common in children and pregnant or menstruating females. To improve or cure the condition of anemia, a person should perform regular exercise, take proper balanced diet and require supplement. Blood transfusion should be conducted cautiously. Patient should seek professional medical care help if he/ she feel the symptoms as anemia has the tendency to become fatal. Excessive bleeding at first should be prevented during any trauma. Anemia is curable condition.

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