What is Anemia?
The condition of deficiency of red blood cells in the body is called anemia. Red blood cells carry oxygen to all tissues of the body. Low red blood cells indicate low oxygen content in count blood. Anemia can make you tired quickly. At times, you may complain of pain. This is because your organs are not getting enough oxygen. It is a very common blood disorder. According to a 2015 report by Lentent, nearly one-third of the world’s population is vulnerable to the disease.
There are many types of anemia and they all have their reasons. Anemia can be temporary and can be prolonged. It can range from mild to severe. It can also be a symptom of a serious illness. Anemia is of the following types:
- Aplastic anemia
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Sickle cell anemia
- Vitamin deficiency anemia
Who is more at risk of Anemia?
Anemia is genetic in some people. Those who pass from parent to child. The child may have this disease from birth.
Women are more at risk of anemia, as they get a lot of blood every month during periods.
Older people are at greater risk of developing it because they are prone to kidney disease or other chronic medical conditions.
What are the symptoms of Anemia?
Symptoms of anemia can be different for everyone. It is also possible that you do not see any symptoms of it. Following can be common symptoms seen:
- Irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Cold hands and feet
- Pain in your bones, chest, belly, and joints
When is the need to see a doctor?
Symptoms of anemia may not be seen in the beginning. But once the symptoms worsen, the situation can become serious. So if you feel tired all the time without any reason, then it may be the time to see a doctor. It is not that anemia is the cause of fatigue. There can be many reasons for fatigue. The reason for some people’s fatigue is low hemoglobin, which indicates anemia. If you ever go for a blood donation and you are told that your hemoglobin is low, then you should consult a doctor.
What are the causes of Anemia?
Anemia occurs when your blood does not have enough red blood cells. This happens if:
- Your body does not produce sufficient red blood cells
- Reduction of your red blood cells due to bleeding
- Your body is destroying red blood cells
Our body produces three types of blood cells. White blood cells fight infections, platelets help blood clot, and red blood cells work to deliver oxygen throughout the body.
There may be the following reasons for anemia:
Aplastic anemia: It occurs in very few people. But this is a very serious situation. In this, bone marrow is unable to create new blood cells. It can occur at any age.
Iron deficiency anemia: It is the most common anemia. It is caused by a lack of iron in the body. Bone marrow in the body requires iron to make hemoglobin. Due to iron deficiency, the body is unable to make enough hemoglobin for red blood cells.
Vitamin deficiency anemia: In addition to iron, the body needs Folate and Vitamin B-12 to make red blood cells. Due to their deficiency, the body cannot make red blood cells.
Anemia of inflammation: Many diseases like cancer, HIV / AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, etc. can interfere with the production of red blood cells.
Sickle cell anemia: This disease is genetic. It is caused by deficient hemoglobin. Blood cells take the shape of a sickle in it. At the same time, they become sticky and hard. Due to the unusual shape, the bulk cells may have difficulty moving to the blood vessels. This may cause oxygen and blood circulation in some parts of the body to slow down or stop. If there is not enough blood, there can be damage to the organs with tissue damage at times.
How to detect Anemia?
Your doctor will ask you for your medical and family history to check for anemia. After this you can recommend the test mentioned below:
CBC blood test: This test shows the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets present in the blood.
Test for size and shape of red blood cells: This test is done to check the unusual size and color of red blood cells.
After anemia is detected, doctors can prescribe some more tests to find out the cause. In many cases, bone marrow is sampled to detect anemia.
How to control Anemia?
Many types of anemia cannot be prevented from occurring. But you can avoid the occurrence of iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemia by including some vitamins and mineral-rich things in the diet.
Iron: You can eat iron-rich foods like beef, beans, lentils, iron-rich grains, dark green leafy vegetables, and dry fruit.
Folate: For folate, you can consume dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, kidney beans, peanuts, and cereal products such as bread, pasta, and rice.
Vitamin B-12: Meat, dairy products, soy products, etc.
Vitamin C: For vitamin C, eat citrus fruits, paper, broccoli, tomatoes, melons, and strawberries.
How is Anemia treated?
Iron deficiency anemia: In its treatment, doctors can prescribe iron supplements. Also, you can make some changes to your diet.
Vitamin deficiency anemia: In this, the doctor will prescribe supplements to overcome folate and vitamin C deficiency and can make some changes in the diet. If the digestive system is not able to absorb vitamin B-12, you may be given vitamin B-12 injections.
Anemia of chronic disease: There is no specific treatment for such anemia. In this, the doctor will treat the disease due to which there is a complaint of anemia.
Aplastic anemia: Treatment requires blood transfusion to boost the level of red blood cells. If your bone marrow is not producing healthy blood cells, then a bone marrow needs to be transplanted.
Sickle cell anemia: It is not completely treated. To reduce the symptoms like pain, the doctor will prescribe medicines. If the drug does not work, doctors inject strong pain killers directly into the muscles and joints.
Thalassemia: Most thalassemia are mild. There is no need to treat them. In some cases, blood transfusions, folic acid supplements, spleen need removal, or bone marrow stem cell transplant.