Table of contents:

Anemia: symptoms, types and treatment
Anemia: symptoms, types and treatment

According to the WHO, every fourth person in the world suffers from anemia.

What is anemia, what it is and how to get rid of it
What is anemia, what it is and how to get rid of it

What is anemia

Anemia Anemia - Symptoms and causes, or anemia, is a condition in which the body lacks red blood cells (erythrocytes) or hemoglobin.

Erythrocytes transport oxygen to the organs and tissues, which enters the lungs. It participates in metabolism, that is, it helps cells to obtain energy from food. If there is little oxygen, the internal organs cannot work effectively: they simply do not have enough strength.

In the general analysis of blood, Anemia is noticeable by a reduced level of hemoglobin - a key protein that is part of erythrocytes. It is he who combines with oxygen molecules and transports them throughout the body.

Global anemia prevalence and number of individuals affected by children, women (especially pregnant women) and the elderly are most affected by this disorder. But even young men are not immune from anemia and the serious problems associated with it.

What are the symptoms of anemia

Violation can not always be noticed. When the lack of oxygen is small, it has almost no effect on well-being. But if the lack of red blood cells increases, the symptoms of Anemia anemia appear quite clearly. Here they are:

  • Fast fatiguability.
  • Weakness, unwillingness to do anything.
  • Pale or yellowish skin.
  • Mild shortness of breath.
  • Frequent dizziness, headache attacks.
  • Cold, freezing hands and feet.
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
  • Discomfort, tightness in the chest.

What are the types of anemia

There are over 400 types of Anemia anemia, and they are all classified into three groups.

1. Anemia caused by blood loss

This is when the number of red blood cells decreases due to bleeding - obvious external or non-obvious internal. It can arise for the following reasons:

  • Profuse menstruation in women.
  • Gastrointestinal diseases: ulcers, gastritis, hemorrhoids, cancer.
  • Trauma or surgery that was accompanied by blood loss.
  • Uncontrolled use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen. They can cause gastrointestinal bleeding, ulceration, or gastritis.

2. Anemias caused by a decrease or defect in the production of red blood cells

Such cases of anemia are associated with the fact that the body, for some reason, does not produce a sufficient amount of hemoglobin or this protein cannot effectively "cling" oxygen and transport it to organs and tissues.

This group includes the following types.

Iron-deficiency anemia

This is the most common Anemia - Symptoms and causes a type of anemia. The condition is caused by the fact that the body does not receive a sufficient amount of iron - a trace element that is necessary for the production of hemoglobin.

Vitamin deficiency anemia

In addition to iron, red blood cell production is impossible without vitamins B9 (folic acid) and B12. If your diet is low in foods that contain these substances, anemia can occur. Also, some medications, alcohol abuse and certain intestinal diseases lead to vitamin deficiency.

However, sometimes the same B12 is enough in the diet, but the body simply cannot assimilate it. This leads to malignant pernicious (Latin perniciosa - "fatal") anemia.

Anemia Associated with Bone Marrow Disorders

Various ailments, such as leukemia or myelofibrosis, disrupt the production of blood in the bone marrow, which is why there is a critical shortage of red blood cells in it. In addition, the bone marrow can be damaged by radiation, chemotherapy, certain medications, or lead poisoning.

Sickle cell anemia

It is a hereditary disorder in which red blood cells, normally round, take on an abnormal sickle shape. In this state, they quickly die, which leads to a permanent lack of oxygen carried with the blood.

Anemia Associated with Chronic Disease

This type of anemia occurs when the body doesn't have enough hormones to make red blood cells. Hormone deficiency can be caused by aging, progressive kidney disease, hypothyroidism, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and various cancers.

3. Anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells

In such cases, we are talking about the fact that the formed healthy erythrocytes, once in the blood, for some reason begin to actively break down. This condition is called hemolytic anemia.

The destruction of red blood cells can be caused by hereditary genetic factors, autoimmune diseases (the same lupus), snake or spider venom that has entered the body, certain medications, and so on.

Why is anemia dangerous?

There are Anemia - Symptoms and causes several reasons why anemia should not be ignored.

Growing weakness

Due to "laziness", a constant feeling of fatigue, you can stop coping with your usual activities - work duties, everyday life, caring for children. There will be no strength left for walks or sports, and this can further worsen your health.

Complications of pregnancy

In pregnant women, anemia can be one of the factors provoking premature birth.

Heart problems

When the body lacks oxygen, the heart starts pumping more blood so that organs and tissues still receive enough O2 for normal metabolism. Increased stress can cause cardiac hypertrophy or heart failure.

Various complications up to death

Anemia can have a dozen causes, including serious chronic diseases. If you do not pay attention to anemia, then you risk missing the disease that caused this condition - sometimes deadly.

How to treat anemia

It depends on its reasons. Only a qualified doctor will help you understand them, so start by visiting a therapist.

Remember, not all types of anemia can be cured. In some cases, protracted and expensive treatment will be required, associated with chemotherapy, blood transfusions, bone marrow transplants, and taking drugs that suppress the immune system.

But the most common types of anemia - iron deficiency or vitamin deficiency - are easy to deal with. It is enough to make small changes to the diet.

The therapist will assess your condition and, possibly, prescribe the necessary vitamins and supplements in the form of tablets. Or simply recommend eating a healthy, varied diet, including:

  • Foods high in iron. These are beef, beans, lentils, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits.
  • Lots of folic acid. Vitamin B9 is found in abundance in fruits and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, beans, and peanuts.
  • Dishes rich in vitamin B12. For example, meat and dairy products.
  • Foods high in vitamin C. This vitamin improves the absorption of iron and is found, for example, in citrus fruits, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, melon.