A decrease in normal number of red blood cells (RBCs) or less than the normal quantity of hemoglobin in the blood is called as anemia. Oxygen is carried in the blood with the help of hemoglobin. Deficiency of life giving oxygen to vital organs is caused due to lack of hemoglobin
It most commonly occurs due to nutritional problems which includes lack of iron in the diet. Iron deficiency is the commonest form of it. Vitamins like B12, folic acid or folate are also essential in the production of RBCs in blood. Lack of these in diet can lead to it.
Some other causes are:
â¢ Excessive blood loss:
Bleeding due to an injury or surgery when in excess may lead to it. In women heavy menstrual periods may be a cause for blood loss.
Excessive blood loss and in many cases bleeding from the stomach ulcer may leads to iron deficiency.
â¢ Decreased production of RBCs:
In this case the bone marrow is incapable of making enough RBCs. This could be due exposure to certain toxic chemicals, or a viral infection, radiation, or medications (such as antiseizure drugs, antibiotics, or cancer treatments). This may occur in aplastic anemia. It may be caused by some childhood cancers like leukemia as well as some chronic diseases that affect the ability of the bone marrow to make blood cells.
â¢ Excessive destruction of RBCs:
This group of conditions is called haemolytic anemias. It occurs when RBCs are destroyed prematurely.
Common symptoms of iron deficiency:
The most common symptoms are:
â¢ tiredness or dizziness, weakness
â¢ Shortness of breath
â¢ Lack of energy
â¢ Palpitations and rapid heart rate
â¢ Tinnitus - perception of a noise in one or both ears that may be like ringing
â¢ Soreness of the tongue and taste sense alterations
â¢ Pica â desire to eat non-food materials like chalk, mud, paper, ice or clay
â¢ Hair loss
â¢ Dry nails and skin
â¢ Difficulty in swallowing
â¢ Loss of appetite
â¢ Susceptibility to infections
Common symptoms due to Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency:
The most common symptoms are:
â¢ Sore, red and smooth tongue called glossitis
â¢ Ulcers in the mouth
â¢ Reduced or altered sense of touch
â¢ Reduced ability to feel pain
â¢ Disturbed vision
â¢ Muscle weakness
â¢ It entails treating the condition of low haemoglobin and red blood cells in blood as well as detecting and treating the disease process.
â¢ It may depend on what type of anemia the patient has.
â¢ For iron deficiency it involves taking iron supplements to replace the lack of intake of iron in diet or excess loss of iron. The most commonly prescribed supplement is ferrous sulphate and is taken as pills two or three times a day.
â¢ In case of vitamin B12 it can be treated by injections of vitamin B12 and for folate deficiency, daily folic acid tablets are prescribed.
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