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Know about Anaemia

October 24, 2011  by: YOH YOH  Points: 12   Category: Health    Views: 417

Anemia is characterized by decrease in number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. The normal level of hemoglobin is generally different in males and females. Normally hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues; anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs because all human cells require oxygen to survive. Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood.


Anemia is characterized by decrease in number of red blood cells or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood. The normal level of hemoglobin is generally different in males and females. Normally hemoglobin carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues; anemia leads to hypoxia (lack of oxygen) in organs because all human cells require oxygen to survive. Anemia is the most common disorder of the blood. Anemia can be classified in a variety of ways, based on the morphology of RBCs.
Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type it can be treated with diet changes and iron supplements. Anemia during pregnancy it can be consider normal. People who are suffering with chronic disorders are in high risk of anemia. Three main classes are there in anemia which includes excess blood loss, excessive blood cell destruction or deficient red blood cell production.


Many medical conditions causes anemia. Common causes for anemia are

Active bleeding:

Blood loss from heavy menstrual bleeding or wounds, gastrointestinal ulcers or cancers such as cancer of the colon may cause slowly ooze blood these conditions can also cause anemia.

Iron deficiency:

Poor dietary intake of iron can leads to anemia. Bone marrow requires sufficient iron to form red blood cells. Iron deficiency anemia can also occur in these conditions stomach ulcers or in case of chronic bleeding (colon cancer, uterine cancer, intestinal polyps, and hemorrhoids).

Chronic diseases:

Long term medical conditions can cause anemia but exact cause is unknown. But long standing diseases like chronic infection and cancer can cause this type of anemia.

During pregnancy:

Blood supply demands are usually high during pregnancy. Lack of dietary supplement and water weight gain during pregnancy dilutes the blood these conditions leads to anemia.

Poor nutrition:

Vitamin B12 and folate are required for the production of hemoglobin. Vitamins and minerals are required to make red blood cells. Deficiency in any of these can cause anemia because of inadequate production of red blood cells. Poor dietary intake is an important cause of low folate and low vitamin B12 levels. Who do not take sufficient vitamins is at risk to develop vitamin B12 deficiency.

Kidney disease:

People who are suffering with chronic kidney diseases are at the risk of getting anemia. Because kidneys produce hormones called as erythropoietin that helps to the bone marrow to form red blood cells. Kidney cannot produce this hormone during disease so, that automatically the production of red blood cells also diminished.


Some of the medications can cause anemia as side effect. Medications that most frequently cause anemia are chemotherapy drugs, seizure medications, transplant medications, HIV medications, malaria medications, antibiotics (penicillin, chloramphenicol), antifungal medications, and antihistamines.


Alcohol produce some toxic affect on bone marrow it will slowdown the production of red blood cells. This condition can leads to anemia.

Bone marrow:

Some blood cancers such as leukemia or lymphomas can alter the production of red blood cells and result in anemia. These diseases involves in bone marrow.

Other less common causes of anemia are:

Thyroid problems, cancers, liver disease, autoimmune diseases, paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria, AIDS, malaria, viral hepatitis, mononucleosis, parasitic infections, bleeding disorders, and insecticide exposure can cause anemia.


The signs and symptoms can be related to the underlying cause. Generally people with anemia report non-specific symptoms like

General malaise
Poor concentration
Dyspnea (shortness of breath)
Looking pale

In severe case
Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
Cardiac enlargement
Heart failure

Less common symptoms may include
Swelling of the legs or arm,
Chronic heartburn
Vague bruises
Increased sweating
Blood in stool


Diagnosis is made on complete medical, physical examination and some of the tests and procedures also required.

Medical history:

Doctor will gather the information about signs and symptoms and information about chronic disease which lead to anemia. Also collect information on medicines you take and dietary intake.

Physical examination:

Physical exam to find out how severe your anemia is and to check for possible causes. Which include listen to your heartbeat (rapid or irregular), listen to your lung (rapid or uneven breathing) and abdominal examination to know the size of liver and spleen?

Test and procedures:

You may need to undergo various types of blood teat and procedures to know the specific cause, type of anemia and its severity.

Complete blood count is the first test to diagnose the anemia. Information about other blood cells (white cells and platelets) is also included in the CBC report.

Stool examination which is helpful in detecting bleeding from stomach and intestines.
Peripheral blood smear examination of red blood cells under a microscope to determine the size, shape, number, and color as well as evaluate other cells in the blood.

Liver function test to determine how the liver is working and to know underlying disease causing anemia.

Bone marrow biopsy to evaluates production of red blood cells it may be done when a bone marrow problem is suspected


Treatments for anemia depend on severity and cause.

Mild iron deficiency anemia is treated by oral iron supplementation with ferrous sulfate, ferrous fumarate, or ferrous gluconate. Vitamin C is required to absorb iron, so taking oral iron supplements with orange juice is of benefit. Orally Vitamin supplements given (folic acid) or subcutaneously (vitamin B-12) will replace specific deficiencies.
In case anemia associated with chemotherapy, chronic disease, or associated with renal disease, need to treat with erythropoietin, epoetin alfa, to stimulate red cell production.

If anemia is related to sudden blood loss from an injury or bleeding from stomach ulcer, then hospitalization and transfusion of red blood cells may be required to relieve the symptoms and to replace the lost blood.


Dietary changes or supplements can prevent iron or vitamins deficiency anemia. Routine blood examination, even if there are no symptoms, can detect anemia and help the doctor look for the underlying causes




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