What is Anemia ?
A condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity is insufficient to meet physiologic needs, which vary by age, sex, altitude, smoking, and pregnancy status.
Iron deficiency is thought to be the most common cause of anemia globally, although other conditions, such as folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin A deficiencies, chronic inflammation, parasitic infections, and inherited disorders can all cause anemia.
In it is severe form, it is associated with fatigue, weakness, dizziness and drowsiness. Pregnant women and children are particularly vulnerable.
Important factors to remember are:
What causes Anemia?
Anemia has three main causes: blood loss, lack of red blood cell production, and high rates of red blood cell destruction.
Conditions that may lead to anemia include:
Types of Anemia
Anemia Caused by Blood Loss
If you suddenly lose a large volume of blood, you may be treated with fluids, a blood transfusion, oxygen, and possibly iron to help your body build new red blood cells. Chronic blood loss is treated by identifying the source of bleeding, stopping the bleeding, and if necessary, providing treatment for iron-deficiency anemia.
Anemia Caused by Decreased Red Blood Cell Production
The type of treatment you receive depends on the cause of decreased red blood cell production.
Anemia Caused by Iron Deficiency
Without adequate iron in our body, it is unable to produce normal red blood cells. For instance, in young women, iron deficiency anemia can result from heavy menstrual bleeding.
Anemia can make you feel tired, cold, dizzy, and irritable. You may be short of breath or have a headache.
Other common symptoms may include:
Some forms of anemia can have specific symptoms:
Your doctor will diagnose anemia with a physical exam and blood tests. Treatment depends on the kind of anemia you have. But the most common is a blood test known as a complete blood count (CBC).
If the red blood cell, hemoglobin and hematocrit levels are all below norma, then anemia is likely. However, it does not provide a definitive diagnosis. It is possible to be outside the normal range but still healthy
Your doctor may not treat your anemia until the underlying cause has been established. The treatment for one type of anemia may be both inappropriate and dangerous for another type of anemia.
Health Tips and prevention
Anemia can become serious if left untreated for a long time. The good news is that anemia often can be prevented and easily corrected by getting enough iron.
Common types of anemia can be prevented and treated by eating iron-rich foods. The best sources are red meat (especially beef and liver), poultry, fish, and shellfish.
Other foods high in iron include peas, lentils, beans, tofu, dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, dried fruits such as prunes and raisins, and iron-fortified cereals and breads.
If you do not get enough iron from your food, ask your doctor about taking iron dietary supplements. The body absorbs iron from meat and fish better than that from vegetables. If you are a vegetarian, consult a health care provider to make sure you are getting enough iron.
Making your healthy lifestyle choices. A nutritious and iron-rich diet, can help prevent common types of anemia so you can have more energy and feel your best!
Important factor risks of Anemia to remember are: