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red blood cells

All About Anemia and its different types.

All About Anemia and its different types

Anemia is a disease in which your body lacks enough healthy red blood cells that carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body’s cells. Anemia can make you feel exhausted and unable to perform your daily activities. There are many types of anemia. Each type has its own causes, symptoms, pharmacological and non-pharmacological management.

What are the types of anemia?

  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Thalassemia
  • Vitamin deficiency anemia

What are the Symptoms and Signs of anemia?

symptoms of anemia
symptoms of anemia

To start with, symptoms and signs may vary from one person to another depending on your condition and which type of anemia do you have. Therefore, symptoms can be weak and non-noticeable; however it may worsen as your anemia worsens.

It may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Irregular heartbeats
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Chest pain
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Headaches

Etiology

Anemia can occur when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to produce and carry oxygen to all your body’s tissues.

This can happen if:

  • Your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells
  • Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced
  • Your body is damaging red blood cells

Different types of anemia have different causes. They include:

  • Iron deficiency anemia.This is the most common type of anemia; it is due to lack of iron in your body. Your bone marrow needs iron to make hemoglobin. Without adequate iron, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells.

Without iron supplementation, this type of anemia occurs in many pregnant women. It is also caused by blood loss, such as from heavy menstrual bleeding, an ulcer, cancer and regular use of some over-the-counter pain relievers, especially aspirin, which can cause inflammation of the stomach lining resulting in blood loss.

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  • Vitamin deficiency anemia.Besides iron, your body needs folate and vitamin B-12 to produce enough healthy red blood cells. A diet lacking in these and other key nutrients can cause decreased red blood cell production.

Also, some people who consume enough B-12 aren’t able to absorb the vitamin. This can lead to vitamin deficiency anemia, also known as pernicious anemia.

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  • Aplastic anemia. This rare, life-threatening anemia occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. Actually, causes of aplastic anemia includes infections, certain medicines, autoimmune diseases and exposure to toxic chemicals.
  • Anemias associated with bone marrow disease. A variety of diseases, such as leukemia and myelofibrosis, can cause anemia by affecting blood production in your bone marrow. The effects of these types of cancer and cancer-like disorders vary from mild to life-threatening.
  • Hemolytic anemias. This group of anemias develop when red blood cells are destroyed faster than bone marrow can replace them. Certain blood diseases increase red blood cell destruction. You can inherit a hemolytic anemia, or you can develop it later in life.
  • Sickle cell anemia. This is inherited and sometimes serious condition is a hemolytic anemia. It’s caused by a defective form of hemoglobin that forces red blood cells to assume an abnormal crescent (sickle) shape. These irregular blood cells die prematurely, resulting in a chronic shortage of red blood cells.

What is the Importance of red blood cells to your body?

In the first place, your body makes three types of blood cells, white blood cells to fight infection, platelets to help your blood clot and red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body.

Red blood cells contain hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color. Hemoglobin enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body and to carry carbon dioxide from other parts of the body to your lungs to be exhaled.

Therefore, most blood cells, including red blood cells, are produced regularly in your bone marrow, a spongy material found within the cavities of many of your large bones. To produce hemoglobin and red blood cells, your body needs iron, vitamin B-12, folate and other nutrients from the foods you eat.

Risk factors

  • A diet lacking in certain vitamins and minerals. A diet consistently low in iron, vitamin B-12 and folate increases your risk of anemia.
  • Intestinal disorders.  To start with, when you have an intestinal disorder that affects the absorption of nutrients in your small intestine, such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease puts you at risk of anemia.
  • Moreover, women who haven’t had menopause have a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia than do men and postmenopausal women. Furthermore, Menstruation causes the loss of red blood cells.
  • To tell the truth, if you’re pregnant and aren’t taking a multivitamin with folic acid and iron, you’re at an increased risk of anemia.
  • Chronic conditions. If you have cancer, kidney failure, diabetes or another chronic condition, you could be at risk of anemia of chronic disease. These conditions can lead to a shortage of red blood cells.
  • Family history. If your family has a history of an inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia, you also might be at increased risk of the condition.
  • Other factors. A history of certain infections, blood diseases and autoimmune disorders increases your risk of anemia. Alcoholism, exposure to toxic chemicals, and the use of some medications can affect red blood cell production and lead to anemia.
  • People who are over age 65 are at increased risk of anemia.

 

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/anemia/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351366 

 

 

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