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Anemia - Symptoms and Treatment

Anemia in simple words is a common blood disorder disease. Anemia occurs when the level of healthy red blood cells (RBCs) in the body becomes too low because RBCs contains hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the body's tissues. Anemia happens when your blood doesn't have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the red pigment in red blood cells that transports oxygen. Hemoglobin helps red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body.Women and people with chronic diseases are at increased risk of the condition.

Anemia can cause a variety of complications, including fatigue and stress on bodily organs. Anemia is usually detected or at least confirmed by a complete blood cell (CBC) count. Anemia is a lower than normal number of red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the blood, usually measured by a decrease in the amount of hemoglobin.

Causes of Anemia

Anemias are categorised in various types these are as follows :

Iron deficiency anemia (IDA), Megaloblastic (or vitamin deficiency) anemia, Underlying diseases, Inherited blood disease, Aplastic anemia, Bone marrow diseases related anemia, Hemolytic anemias, Sickle cell anemias, other anemias.

Generally these anemias are due to following causes

  • Blood loss: excessive bleeding such as hemorrhages or abnormal menstrual bleeding
  • Nutritional deficits and medication reactions
  • Chronic illness secondary to refractory anemia
  • Cancer therapy: surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy and/or immunotherapy
  • Infiltration (replacement) of bone marrow with cancer
  • Hemolysis: Breakdown or destruction of red blood cells
  • Decreased red cell production due to low levels of erythropoietin which promotes red blood cell production
  • Heavy menstrual periods.

Symptoms of Anemia

Generally these are the common type of symptoms found in a anemia's patient

  • Easy fatigue and loss of energy
  • Chest pain - angina
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • A fast heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Numbness or coldness in your extremities
  • Cognitive problems
  • Leg cramps
  • Shortness of breath and headache,specially while exercising
  • Insomnia

Treatment of Anemia

Treatment should be directed at the cause of the anemia. So first diagnosis is made so that the type of anemia is identifyied and also its causes. Through laboratory test results and a physical examination, a physician can determine the cause of your anemia and then becomes easier for hinm to identify the best approach to treating it. In some cases, blood transfusions and the medication erythropoeitin will correct anemia.

Following are the most common practsed treatments given to a anemia patient:

  • 1. Erythropoietin
  • 2. Treatment of infections, inflammations or malignancies
  • 3. Nutritional supplements - Iron, B12 or folic acid 4. Blood transfusions. This is the quickest relief providing treatment for a anemia patient it also includes risk involving HIV AIDS, Allergic reactions and immune suppression. Keeping these risks aside blood transfusions may be life saving in bleeding and severe chronic anemias. Red cell transfusions are the old mainstay, which offers the quickest relief for anemias.


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