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Last Updated: Sep 04, 2019
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Everything You Need to Know About Anemia - Symptoms, Causes & Treatment

Define Anemia? What are Symptoms of Severe Anemia? What are the Three Main Causes of Anemia? What is Precaution in Anemia? What are the Ways for Iron Deficiency Anemia Diagnosis? What are the Ways for Iron Deficiency Anemia Treatment? What are the Natural Remedies for Anemia?

Define Anemia?

Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cells count or the haemoglobin level drops down below than the normal level. It usually happens by either decreased red blood cells or destructed red blood cells. In this case, healthy red blood cells are not available to carry oxygen to the body parts. Anemia makes a person weak and tired.

The person suffering from anemia feels shortness of breath, headaches, fatigue and may have pale skin.The Anemic condition may be temporary or permanent and if it is left untreated might lead to serious illness. Generally it is caused due to the iron deficiency which reduces the count of the haemoglobin. But there are other factors like vitamin deficiency, other diseases which can cause anemia.

The mild form of anemia can be treated but the severe form if left untreated may lead to complications and even death. Certain points to remember about anemia are older adults are prone to the risk of developing anemia by their medical condition and poor diet.

Certain anemic forms are hereditary and there is a chance for infants being affected from their birth. Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type and mild anemia usually develops during pregnancy and it subdues during postpartum.

What are Symptoms of Severe Anemia?

Symptoms of severe anemia are as follows:

  • Lack of red blood cells develops many symptoms but some individuals do not experience any symptoms.

  • Paleness in the face, nails or lower inner eyelid is a sign of moderate to severe anemia.

  • Shortness of breath may occur due to the improper supply of oxygen to the muscles and tissues.

  • Since enough oxygen does not reach the brain, the brain vessels start swelling and create pressure, thus develop dizziness and headache.

  • Hair loss happens again due to the lack of oxygen supply to the hair and follicle and scalp. It makes the hair dry and damaged.

  • Restless leg syndrome is experienced with people who have a lack of iron.

  • A swollen, sore and smooth tongue can be seen in anemic deficient persons and even they have cracks on the corners of the mouth.

  • Lack of oxygen induces anxiety level more and the same can be subsided by taking iron supplements

  • Iron is vital for the immune system and the lack of iron leads to various infections in the body.

What are the Three Main Causes of Anemia?

The three main causes of anemia are insufficient or faulty production of red blood cells, destruction of a high rate of red blood cells and abnormal bleeding. Megaloblastic anemia is one of the faulty red cell productions and this condition may be mild and easily treatable or stern and require immediate medical intervention.

  • Gastrointestinal tract ulcers, surgeries, injuries tend to a severe loss of blood that leads to anemia. In some cases, blood transfusion is advised to balance the lost blood.

  • Any prolonged medical condition say cancer may lead to anemia which is called anemia of chronic disease.

  • Erythropoietin is a hormone released by the kidneys which help the bone marrow for making red blood cells. People with end-stage renal disease or chronic renal disease will have a diminished hormone. This, in turn, mitigates the RBC production causing anemia which is termed as anemia of chronic kidney disease.

  • Problems in the stomach or intestines lead to poor Vitamin B12 absorption. This vitamin B12 deficiency is called as pernicious anemia.

What is Precaution in Anemia?

We should follow some preventive measures in order to say bye to anemia.

  • Eat iron-rich diet to combat anemia

  • Lessen the intake of caffeinated items as they make your body harder to absorb iron

  • Intake vitamin C to easily absorb iron into your body

  • Take vitamin and iron supplements

  • Deterring abnormal bleeding by doing surgeries

  • Surgery could be performed to remove the spleen

  • Take precautionary methods if you are working with paint, batteries and petroleum

  • Athletes especially runners are prone to high risk of anemia. This may be caused due to loss of iron through sweat, decreased iron absorption, and the use of anti-inflammatory drugs. Long-distance runners will face “foot strike hemolysis” in which RBCs are completely destroyed by the running impact. Especially, such individuals should take more iron-rich diet.

What are the Ways for Iron Deficiency Anemia Diagnosis?

Ways for iron deficiency anemia diagnosis:

  • A complete blood count will provide overall RBC, WBC and platelet count. If the results confirm anemia, then there are some specific tests to determine the type of anemia.

  • To assess haemoglobin level in the blood, haemoglobin electrophoresis is done

  • Your bone marrow red cells production is determined by a reticulocyte count

  • Serum iron and serum ferritin tests help in checking the amount of iron in the blood and body

  • A peripheral blood smear test helps to determine whether anemia caused the changes in your red blood cells shape.

  • Red blood cells fragility is checked with the osmotic fragility test.

What are the Ways for Iron Deficiency Anemia Treatment?

There are a certain set of instructions to be followed while taking iron supplements

  • These tablets should not be taken in the empty stomach as it may upset the stomach

  • Do not take antacids and iron together. Give at least 2-4 hours gap.

  • Take iron tablets along with vitamin C that helps in improving iron absorption

What are the Natural Remedies for Anemia?

The natural remedies for anemia :

  • The Spleen is responsible for red blood cell production. While nourishing the spleen with healthy food such as pumpkin, butternut and spaghetti squash and bright orange colored foods. Take at least two servings of squash in your daily diet.

  • Increased stress level will deplete the RBCs in the spleen. So, by avoiding anger, anxiety, tension and stress you can overcome anemia.

  • Taking Iron supplements, Vitamin B complex with folate helps in treating anemia.

  • Spinach, sesame seeds, pomegranates, fermented and foods rich in Beta-carotene, citrus fruits, Yogurt, drumstick leaves, Figs, Banana, Raisin, dates are fantastic easily available items to improve you from anemic disorder.

Popular Questions & Answers

I am 78 yrs. Old. Get dis balanced when standing up or trying to move. Doctors has advised optineuron injection but because of corona pandemic, I am unable to find a qualified person to inject it with out the corona risk. Any tablets as substitute and its doses?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), MRCS- Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, DLO RCS England, FRCS
ENT Specialist, Bangalore
Dear Mr. lybrate-user, ideally, your doctor who prescribed the medication is the one who you should discuss this issue with. Mostly optineuron is used in cases of nutritional deficiency and other times in specific cases with neurological issues. H...

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