Things To Know About Anemia

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Anemia is a condition in which your body lacks healthy red blood cells capable to carry oxygen. There can be various causes for anemia, but the most common one is due to iron deficiency. Anemia can make you feel tired and lethargic. Apart from it, the characteristic symptom can be breathlessness upon little physical activity. It can be temporary to chronic, depending upon the underlying condition causing it. The treatment of anemia ranges from supplements to surgery. However, in most cases, iron supplements are the choice of treatment. If you suspect you have anemia, you should visit a healthcare provider. But when it becomes chronic, it can be a symptom of any underlying disease. If you have any blood disease, you should visit a hematologist in Lahore.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms of anemia vary according to the underlying condition. If it occurs due to any chronic condition, it can mask the symptoms of anemia, making it difficult to diagnose. Sometimes you may have no symptoms, and you may be anemic. If signs and symptoms of anemia occur, they may include;

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Chest pain

Causes

Anemia is a condition when your body lacks enough healthy red blood cells. It can occur due to reasons like;

Your body is not producing enough red blood cells

Your body destroys red blood cells soon

Acute bleeding due to injury or during operation due to which you lose red blood cells with the blood

Chronic bleeding due to conditions like gastritis or hemorrhoids, due to which you keep on losing blood, causing loss of red blood cells with the blood.

Types

Depending upon the cause, anemia can be divided into various types that can be described as;

  • Aplastic anemia
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Thalassemia
  • Vitamin deficiency anemia

Aplastic anemia– it is a rare type of anemia in which your body stops producing enough healthy red blood cells.

Iron deficiency anemia– iron helps your body in preparing hemoglobin- a protein present in red blood cells that carry oxygen. When the iron level is low in your body, it can cause deficiency of hemoglobin, in turn causing iron deficiency anemia.

Sickle cell anemia– is an inherited condition in which your red blood cells are sickle-shaped as compared to the normal rounded shape. The healthy red blood cells are flexible that can move into the blood vessels with ease. But the sickle-shaped red blood cells are sticky and may clump in a blood vessel, and they cannot also bind hemoglobin- a protein that carries oxygen. Therefore sickle-shaped cells fail to carry oxygen to the different parts of the body, eventually leaving the person tired and lethargic.

Thalemessemia– an inherited blood disorder in which a mutation occurs in the DNA of the cells that make hemoglobin. Due to this, your body lacks hemoglobin, which in turn leads to anemia. The mutated genes can be transferred from parents to their offsprings.

Vitamin deficiency anemia– it occurs when your body lacks certain vitamins that help in red blood cell maturation. It can occur due to a deficiency of vitamins like vitamin C, folate, and vitamin B 12.

Risk factors

  • Factors that can put you at risk of developing anemia can be;
  • Consuming a diet that lacks vitamins, iron, and minerals
  • Having any intestinal disease such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease due to which iron absorption does not occur
  • Bleeding heavily during menstruation
  • Being pregnant and having a folic acid or iron deficiency
  • Having chronic health conditions like chronic kidney disease or diabetes
  • Family history of inherited anemia such as sickle cell anemia
  • A history of certain infections, autoimmune diseases, or blood disorders
  • Consuming too much alcohol, using certain medications, and exposure to toxic chemicals
  • People over the age of 65

Treatment

The treatment of anemia depends on the underlying condition. If it occurs due to folate deficiency, your healthcare provider will prescribe you a folic acid tablet and, for iron deficiency anemia, replenishing its stores can help get rid of it.

Conclusion

Anemia is a condition in which your body lacks enough healthy red blood cells. Generally, it is a treatable condition. But if left untreated, anemia can cause complications. If you have a complaint of breathlessness or lethargy, you should visit a healthcare provider to rule out the cause. You can visit a hematologist in Karachi for follow-up visits if you have any blood disease.

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