Anaemia, symptoms, causes, diagnosis, and treatment.

Anaemia
Anaemia

Anaemia is a condition in which blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells. This leads to the reduction of oxygen flow to body organs. Red blood cells have a compound known as haemoglobin, which is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to all body parts. There are many forms of anemia, each with different causes thus making the symptoms differ.

Types of anaemia.

  1. Aplastic anaemia– This is a life-threatening type of anaemia. The body fails to make new blood cells that are enough for the body. Causes are:
  • Infections.
  • Contact with toxic chemicals.
  • Auto-immune diseases.
  • Side effects of the use of some medicines.

2. Iron deficiency – Occurs when the amount of iron required to make haemoglobin is too little. Common in pregnant women if they fail to take iron supplements. Can also occur due to regular use of pain relievers such as aspirin.

3. Sickle cell– this is a type of haemolytic anaemia that is inherited. Haemoglobin forces red blood cells into an unusual crescent shape known as a sickle cell that has a short life span. This leads to a decrease in the number of red blood cells in the body.

4. Vitamin deficiency– the body requires vitamin B12 and folates so as to make enough healthy cells. A good example is pernicious anaemia which occurs due to a deficiency of vitamin B-12.

5. Thalassemia– this is an inherited blood disorder where the amount of haemoglobin is less than normal.

Symptoms.

The symptoms of this condition depend on ;

  1. The cause.
  2. How bad the condition is (mild or severe).
  • Body fatigue.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Irregular heartbeat.
  • Chest pains.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Cold hands and feet.
  • Pale skin.

Causes of anaemia.

However, this condition occurs when:

  1. As a result of autoimmune infections.
  2. When there is excessive bleeding where the amount of blood lost is more than formed.
  3. When the body can’t make enough haemoglobin or red blood cells.

Risk factors.

Complications of Anaemia

  1. Can lead to death if not treated.
  2. Heart problems – As it can lead to irregular heartbeats. The heart is forced to pump more blood so as to make up for the little oxygen level.
  3. Complications in pregnant women as it can lead to premature birth.
  4. Fatigue that makes one not carry out daily activities.

Prevention.

One should eat healthy and take plenty of fluids.

Avoid using medications that can lead to one having the condition e.g. chemical toxins.

Diagnosis.

Blood test where a complete blood test is done. The hematocrit shows the amount of red blood cells in blood. It also checks for the level of haemoglobin in the blood. Normal male haemoglobin is 14 -18 g/dl while for women is 12 -16g/dl.

Treatment.

Treatment depends on the cause, but in most cases, it can be treated by:

  1. Eating a balanced diet. The diet should be rich in iron, vitamins, and folate.
  2. Blood transfusion.
  3. Bone marrow transplant.
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