Talk to a board certified doctor
in just a few minutes!

The Many Facets of Anemia

Written by Courteney

Posted on March 3, 2017 at 11:50 pm

https://app.docchat.io/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/blood-1968458_640.png

Anemia is a medical condition that occurs when your red blood cell (RBC) count drops too low, causing an insufficient amount of hemoglobin to be delivered to your tissues. Anemia has a variety of causes and can cause various symptoms and complications. Let’s take a closer look at some of the facts:

  • According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), anemia is the most common blood disorder, afflicting over 3 million Americans.
  • Symptoms of anemia include: weakness, dizziness, persistent headache, irregular heartbeat (such as tachycardia), chest pain, jaundice, shortness of breath, mood changes, discolored skin, cold extremities and extreme fatigue. It should be noted that many other conditions can cause similar symptoms as well.
  • There are different types of anemia such as sickle-cell anemia, malarial anemia and hemolytic, to name a few.
  • Anemia may develop if your body doesn’t make enough red blood cells (aplastic anemia), or because you bleed too much or too easily (haemophiliac), or perhaps your body is attacking its own red blood cells due to an underlying autoimmune condition such as Crohn’s.
  • An iron deficiency is a common cause of anemia as your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin (which is responsible for oxygen). Pregnancy, cancer, long-term aspirin use and heavy menstruation are all potential causes of iron-deficient anemia.
  • Vitamin deficiencies can also lead to anemia, most commonly, vitamin B12. If someone isn’t able to naturally metabolize B12 it can lead to a specific type of anemia labeled pernicious anemia. These people would likely require regular vitamin B12 shots.
  • Risk factors include: deficient diet (if your diet lacks certain important vitamins and minerals), autoimmune intestinal disorders or other types of chronic disorders, haemophilia or a similar blood disease, heavy menstruation, or family history.
  • Some kinds of anemia (primarily inherited types) can be fatal if the person loses too much blood and their red blood cell count drops dangerously low.
  • If a person’s blood test results show a hemoglobin level of less than 13.5gm/dl for a male or less than 12gm/dl for a woman a diagnosis of anemia will likely be made and steps will be taken to understand any underlying problems and help correct them.
  • Some types of anemia can be prevented through a healthy diet rich in meat and dairy (B12), citrus and veggies (sources of folate) and iron-rich foods like nuts. Several types of anemia (such as those inherited) cannot be prevented, but can be effectively treated.
  • In some cases, vitamin or iron supplements will be recommended. However, it is important to practice caution when it comes to dietary supplements. it is not advisable to just start taking a new supplement without first cross checking your medical conditions or medications with a doctor and asking his or her advice on your particular situation.
  • Treatment for anemia is dependent on the type you have. It often involves a combination of blood transfusions and case-specific medications.

We hope this article has helped you learn a little more about this common blood condition, thanks for visiting DocChat!

Talk to a board certified doctor
just in few minutes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Try DocChat!

(2 Minute Registration)

https://app.docchat.io/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/apple.png

App Store

https://app.docchat.io/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/play.png

Google Play

https://app.docchat.io/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/amaz.png

Amazon

* Disclaimer: DocChat is intended as a complementary service to your primary care physician. It is intended for use by those seeking acute health care in non-emergency situations. DocChat does not prescribe DEA-controlled substances, narcotics, or drugs that may potentially be abused. DocChat is not a replacement for your primary care doctor and will only provide short-term prescriptions if medically necessary. If you have an emergency, call 911. If you have a chronic illness, please see your primary care physician. DocChat does not guarantee that our doctors will prescribe medication. DocChat reserves the right to refuse service to any patients it deems to be abusing the intended service or seeking prescriptions beyond a reasonable amount.