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What All You Need to Know About Anaemia?

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What All You Need to Know About Anaemia?

Internal Medicine | Posted on 04/25/2023 by Dr. Sushil Kalra



Have you been feeling tired, dizzy, and irritable lately? Yes? Do you know that it can indicate anaemia? If you have anaemia, it means that your body doesn’t have the efficiency of carrying sufficient oxygen throughout your body. Having this condition simply means that you don’t have enough iron in your body. Our body requires iron to produce haemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that gives red colour to our blood. It is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of our body.

Anaemia has become one of the most common conditions nowadays affecting around 52% of the population only in India. If you aren’t well aware of the symptoms, causes, or treatment options for anaemic patients, don’t get apprehensive. We in this blog will cover everything for your better comprehension. However, please note that the write-up is for only informational purposes only and doesn’t rule out consulting a healthcare professional. So, let’s begin the discussion and make sure to give it a read till the end.

What is anaemia?

Anaemia is a condition that occurs when your body doesn’t have sufficient amounts of red blood cells or they aren’t functioning the way they must. Red blood cells are accountable for carrying oxygen throughout the human body. Oxygen gives required power to the cells and energy to the body. If the red blood cells aren’t healthy enough, then it becomes difficult for the body to function normally. Some of anaemic forms are short-term, others can last for a long period of time. If this condition is left untreated, then it can be life-threatening.

How many types of anaemia are there?

There are different types of anaemia which includes:

  • Vitamin B12 anaemia deficiency
  • Folic acid anaemia deficiency
  • Sickle cell anaemia
  • Thalassemia
  • Anaemia due to iron deficiency
  • Megaloblastic anaemia
  • Pernicious anaemia
  • Chronic anaemia
  • Hemolytic anaemia
  • Idiopathic aplastic anaemia

How can you identify the anaemia symptoms?

Fatigue, tiredness, and irritability are some of the most common and noticeable anaemia symptoms. There are other symptoms as well which you must not ignore such as:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Fast or irregular heartbeat
  • Pounding sound in your ear
  • Chest pain
  • Pale or yellow skin
  • Frequent headaches

What causes anaemia?

Generally, the primary anaemia cause is that people are born with certain types or have this condition due to some chronic illnesses. However, usually the most common cause of anaemia is poor diet. There are other factors which impact the production of red blood count. Here some of these factors:

  • Improper dietary nutrients intake like iron, vitamin B12, or folic acid
  • Kidney disease
  • Autoimmune disease such as lupus, or lupus
  • Infections like HIV, or tuberculosis
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Different types of medication use or treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy
  • Blood loss due to accidents or injuries
  • Heavy menstrual bleeding
  • Endometriosis
  • Gastrointestinal lesions like ulcers
  • Heavy nosebleeds
  • Frequent blood donations 

How is anaemia diagnosed?

Anaemia diagnosis begins with asking your past medical history and family history with a physical evaluation. The doctor might involve certain laboratory tests to confirm the diagnosis. The tests which are usually ordered includes:

  • Complete blood count- Helps in measuring the levels of haemoglobin and indicate the right number of red blood red cells including size. It also displays the normal number of white blood cells and platelets
  • Reticulocyte count- This blood test helps in measuring the immature red blood cells level. The doctor can determine if bone marrow is forming sufficient new red blood cells
  • Serum iron levels- This blood test benefits in assessing the total amount of iron in the blood
  • Ferritin test- This test evaluates the iron stores in human body
  • Vitamin B12- If vitamin B12 levels are low, then it causes anaemia and with this test doctor can determine the vitamin levels
  • Folic acid test- This test benefits in measuring the folate levels
  • Bone marrow tests- This test assists your doctor to see whether your bone marrow is functioning properly or not. It also helps in confirming the conditions like aplastic anaemia, multiple myeloma, or leukaemia

What are the options for anaemia treatment?

The very first thing your doctor will follow is determining whether the anaemia is caused by a serious health condition or poor diet. If required, your doctor might refer you to a haematologist,specialising in blood disorders. The options for anaemia treatment which is usually recommended to the patient involves:

  • The doctor might ask you to make certain modification in your diet and including supplements to treat iron deficiency or other types like pernicious anaemia
  • If your red blood cells are very low or you have a chronic condition, then the doctor might first initiate the treatment for the underlying condition. The doctor might also prescribe your medications that are helpful in boosting the production of red blood cell

To treat anaemia, doctors often involve using medications like immunosuppressants or options like blood transfusions. Such options are used to treat types like aplastic anaemia or hemolytic anaemia. Other than medical treatment, doctors also recommend the patient to include following ways to help manage or treat anaemia.

  • Following a healthy diet
  • Staying hydrated by drinking enough water
  • Getting regular exercise
  • Avoiding exposure to certain chemicals
  • Tracking the symptoms and informing your healthcare provider about the noticeable changes

Conclusion

Anaemia occurs when your body doesn’t have sufficient amounts of red blood cells or they aren’t working as they could. There are people born with certain forms of anaemia, but some people having this condition develop it over time. Hence, it is essential to keep a check on the bodily changes. For instance, there are days we might feel worn out, but if you are experiencing this issue often and feel extremely tired for most of the days, then get in touch with your healthcare provider.

Generally, anaemia is a short- term condition and can be treated with changing the diet or taking supplements. You must not delay the appointment if you observe the symptoms. You can book your appointment with one of the best multispeciality hospitals, Rukmani Birla Hospital in Jaipur. We have a team of highly-skilled and experienced healthcare professionals and other healthcare team members who ensure appropriate diagnosis and offer you the treatment that’s suitable for your condition.

FAQs

Which vitamin deficiency causes the disease pernicious anaemia?

Vitamin B 12 is the primary cause of pernicious anaemia

What causes sickle cell anaemia?

Sickle cell anaemia is caused by haemoglobin genes

Which deficiency causes anaemia?

Iron deficiency is the primary cause of anaemia

Which vitamin deficiency causes anaemia?

Anaemia is caused by Vitamin B12 and Vitamin B9