Anemia Symptoms and Treatment
Anemia is a deficiency of red blood pigment (hemoglobin) in the blood.Often, the number of red blood cells (erythrocytes) is reduced. These both factors mean that the blood can carry less oxygen to the organs.
There are various forms of anemia, which have different causes, for example ; The loss of iron leads to anemia. Also a lack of substances which participate in the formation of blood may be responsible for anemia.
In Europe, iron deficiency with anemia is 80 out of 100 cases.The most common form of anemia.
The iron deficiency anemia causes typical symptoms that occur when the organs do not get enough oxygen.
People with anemia are often :
- Tired quickly
- Feel weak
- Feel shortness of breath.
- Brittle nails
- Torn mouth
- Anemia can also lead to hair loss
Anemia can be ascertained by laboratory tests. Treatment depends on the cause of anemia.Therefore,it should not be started without a medical evaluation.If there is iron deficiency anemia,it is recommended change in diet and iron upplements can help to compensate for the lack of iron. If an ongoing blood loss is the cause of the iron deficiency, the source of bleeding (such as a stomach ulcer) must be found and eliminated.
What is Anemia?
Red blood pigment (hemoglobin) is to few in blood. When there is present anemia.
The body of an adult has about 3.5 to 5 liters of blood – the equivalent of about 70 milliliters per kilogram of body weight. The blood consists of half a kind of liquid, is called’’ blood plasma’’, and the other half is made up from cells. The majority of these cells make the erythrocytes: They carry oxygen via the blood from the lungs to organs and tissues. Such as iron deficiency anemia, red cells or hemoglabin are lack in the blood. The result is that the body is not adequately supplied with oxygen.
The bone marrow produces constantly new erythrocytes and releases it into the blood – an average of 160 million per minute. To form new erythrocytes, bone marrow requires a number of nutrients and growth factors. Three elements are particularly crucial: Iron, vitamin B12 and folate.
Likewise, the growth hormone plays erythropoietin in the synthesis of red blood cells a crucial role. The service life of erythrocytes are 120 days. Thereafter, they are broken down especially in the spleen. It filters to the whole blood and retains old or malformed red blood cells.
If the production or degradation of erythrocytes is disturbed, anemia can occur. Causes of anemia may include:
- An impaired formation of red blood cells
- An increased loss of red blood cells
- A disturbed distribution of erythrocytes
Anemia is a very common symptom of various diseases.Most common form anemia is iron deficiency anemia.It is estimated that 25 of every 100 people have iron deficiency anemia worldwide, totaly it is about 1.75 billion people.
What are the causes of Anemia?
There are various causes of anemia (anemia): The lack of red blood pigment (hemoglobin) and red blood cells (RBCs) can arise when the formation is disrupted. A loss or a disturbed distribution of erythrocytes are possible as causes. The consequence of this is : The body can transport less oxygen in the blood.
The service life of an erythrocyte is only about 120 days. Therefore, the bone marrow produces blood cells continuously new – all 160 million per minute. The bone marrow requires a number of nutrients and growth factors to form new erythrocytes. If they are missing, for example due to lack of dietary intake or by various diseases, it can lead to anemia. These forms of anemia include:
- Iron deficiency anemia (anemia Sideropenic)
- Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia
- Folic acid deficiency anemia,
- Protein deficiency anemia,
- Vitamin B6 deficiency anemia
- Vitamin C deficiency anemia
- Renal anemia is due to chronic kidney disease
- Aplastic anemia: In this rare disease, the bone marrow makes no more blood cells.
- Radiotherapy or drugs in chemotherapy may also cause anemia.
- The myelodysplastic syndrome: In the stem cell disease, bone marrow is disrupted and makes fewer or no new erythrocytes.
- Malignant (malignant), inflammatory and infectious diseases in which the bone marrow is infested are other possible causes of anemia.
Iron deficiency is associated with 80 out of 100 cases and the most common cause of anemia.People who are affected often do not take enough iron in the diet. Especially, there can be some conditions which it require more iron such as ; Pregnancy or in the growth of children, should pay attention to adequate intake. Even people with eating disorders and vegetarians are at risk to get an iron deficiency anemia because especially animal foods contain iron.
İt is not just supply of iron , also iron absorption may be impaired: In humans, where parts of the digestive tract is removed or who suffer from a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease), then body can not absorb the iron sufficient. Medications, such as stomach acid blockers or certain antibiotics that can inhibit iron absorption and result in iron deficiency anemia.
Another cause of iron deficiency can be a chronic blood loss. In particular, women of childbearing age are at risk:Women lose blood and iron regularly with their menstrual period.
However, other sources of bleeding may be the cause: diseases such as bleeding gums, gastric ulcer and hemorrhoids, as well as colorectal cancer can also cause iron loss and should be treated.
The loss or premature breakdown of red blood cells can lead to anemia (anemia). Possible causes include an increased breakdown of red blood cells (hemolysis) and acute or chronic blood loss.
Sickle cell anemia, thalassemia (is also called’’ Mediterranean anemia’’): By deficiencies in the structural design of these erythrocytes are rather degraded or burst.
Autoimmune diseases: Due to the body’s own antibodies which are directed against the red blood cells, they will be destroyed.
A prosthetic heart valve: Some erythrocytes are shredded by metal of the implant.
Poisoning by heavy metals (as lead or copper): heavy metals inhibit important enzymes of hematopoiesis or destroy the red blood cells directly.
Infections (for example, malaria): The causative agent of malaria multiply in red blood cells, destroys them eventually.
Disturbed erythrocyte distribution
Anemia can also have their reasons that the red blood cells are not uniformly distributed in the body. Chronic inflammation or tumors may be a reason for this.
Hyperspleniesyndrom can lead to anemia: The spleen is enlarged – for example, due to infection (such as glandular fever, cytomegalovirus) – and there is an overactive spleen. Their functions will include the removal of outdated erythrocytes. For this purpose, it filters all the blood and retains old or malformed red blood cells. If the spleen is too large, more red cells will accumulate in it and many will be degraded.
What are the symptoms of Anemia ?
Any anemia – as well as the iron deficiency anemia causes certain symptoms, because the organs receive less oxygen.
A typical symptom of anemia is pallor – particularly the color of the mucous membranes visible (for example, on the inside of the eyelid).
- Concentration decreases
- You fatigued faster
- Headache or dizziness
- Respiratory distress
- You feel palpitations
- In the worst case a swoon
Symptoms of iron deficiency
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia and shows typical signs of anemia but there can be other symptoms which are typical of iron deficiency:
- Brittle nails
- Diffuse hair loss
- Dry, itchy skin
- Painful inflammation in the oral cavity (is also called ‘’Aphten’’)
- Burning tongue (glossodynia) and pain when swallowing (as known’’Plummer-Vinson syndrome’’)
- Torn mouth
- Loss of appetite or desire for abnormal eating
- Other symptoms may happen depending on the underlying disease.
An anemia can be ascertained by laboratory tests. A blood sample and analyzing the blood count can be an important parameter for proper diagnosis.
The following laboratory values are investigated :
- Amount of hemoglobin (hemoglobin) in the blood
- Number of red blood cells (erythrocytes)
- Percentage of solid blood constituents (hematocrit) in total blood
If there is anemia, these values decrease below the normal.
The doctor speaks of a anemia when following condition are present:
- Amount of hemoglobin below 12 grams per deciliter in women and less than 13 grams per deciliter of blood in men .
- Number of erythrocytes with 4.3 million women and 4.8 million with men per microliter in blood.
- Proportion of solid blood components under 38% in women and 42% in men.
The number of red blood cells is not enough to diagnose anemia. At the beginning of iron deficiency anemia, the production of the blood pigment is disturbed earlier than the formation of red blood cells. Therefore, in early stages of iron deficiency anemia, the hemoglobin amount is already reduced when the number of red blood cells are still normal.
A physical examination provides physicians with important additional information: A view of the mucous membranes of the eyes and mouth reveal pallor.
In cardiac examination, the doctor can detect a fast heartbeat and hear only the normal heart sounds often an additional Noise: This is caused by the rapid blood flow at elevated pulse. Kidney, spleen and bone marrow are examined in further steps, if it is necessary.
In addition, doctor usually asks various questions to patients about their condition and their medical history :
- Are you taking any medicines? (Certain drugs, inter alia, aspirin, anticoagulants, antibiotics or stomach acid blockers,
- Are you vegetarian ?
- Are you pregnant or do you feed your baby ? (Pregnant women and nursing mothers have a greater need for iron and more likely to suffer from anemia.)
- How strong is your monthly Menstruation?
- Are there any known kidney damage? (The lack of erythropoietin – a growth factor for the formation of blood can cause anemia.)
- Have you recently travelled on a long-haul? (Infections or parasites can lead to anemia.)
Diagnosis of iron deficiency
- Storage Iron Deficiency :The iron content in the bone marrow and certain forms of storage of iron are lowered. The proportion of blood pigment (hemoglobin) is not yet changed.
- Latent iron deficiency: The iron stores are depleted and transport iron in the blood is lowered. In this phase ,the first symptoms of anemia already appear.
- Manifest iron deficiency: At this stage, the amount of hemoglobin is decreased. The formation of red blood cells are impaired during prolonged iron deficiency.
- A common cause of iron deficiency is bleeding.
Therefore, physicians make some tests to identify the exact problem and put the exact diagnosis. Using a Eisenresorptionstests can be detected impaired iron absorption in the stomach and intestines and other tests detect parasites that may have settled in the intestine.
For successful treatment , It is crucial for selecting the right therapy. Treatment depens on particular causes of anemia.In most cases,iron deficieny is behind the anemia.
- If an anemia is due to dietary iron deficiency , you should change the eating: meat, fish and cereals, as well as green vegetables and mushrooms contain much iron. Vitamin C helps iron absorption.
- Iron supplementation may be useful: In mild cases, the intake of iron supplements is sufficient. The treatment usually takes three to six months – after this time the body iron stores are replenished.
Important Note : As long as the cause of anemia is not clear , do not take iron supplements. If there is no iron deficiency, body can be overloaded with iron supplementation.It can cause damage in organs and skin discoloration.That is why, you need to keep away your iron supplements from children , because accidental ingestion of iron tablets can poison to children.
The course of anemia depends on the underlying cause. The most common form of anemia is iron deficiency anemia and can be treated well in general.
If iron deficiency is not treated, it can come over the years to a number of complications:
- Feeling tired and listless.
- Children with iron deficiency develop mentally and physically retarded.
- Mortal and miscarriage may be the result of an iron deficiency.
How to prevent Anemia ?
Anemia can be prevented by healthy and balanced diet. Importantly,it should be consumed foods that contain enough iron, folic acid and vitamin B12.
Under certain circumstances, the iron requirements can be additionally increased :
- During pregnancy
- In preterm infants
- In newborns who are weighing less than 2,500 grams
- In women with heavy menstrual bleeding.
it is particularly important in such cases to get enough iron.You need to consume ferruginous foods are mainly meat, fish and cereals, as well as green vegetables and mushrooms contain much iron.
If you have an increased risk of anemia – such as vegetarians or pregnant – you need to consult doctor and learn how to prevent anemia.
However, not every anemia can be prevented by good diet: Certain underlying diseases are associated with anemia and must be treated as soon as possible.