What do we mean by the term Anemia?
It is described as a decrease in the total number of red blood cells, or hemoglobin in the blood, or a decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of blood.
How to know if an individual has Anemia?
- An individual with anemia may show one or more of the following signs or symptoms:
- Shortness of breath, chest pain, and headache are especially seen with exercise as the oxygen supply decreases
- Difficulty in concentration which is mostly seen in children
- Easy tiredness, fatigue, and loss of energy
- Dizziness because of low blood volume leading to hypotension
- Hair loss especially while combing, washing hair. Also, hair becomes brittle and dry due to anemiaInsomnia (lack of sleep)
- Cramps in legs especially calf muscle
- Rapid heartbeat with exercise as the demand for oxygen increases during exercise, so your heart beats faster than usual
- Craving for indigestible substances, such as pica, paper, mud, ice, dirt, etc.
- Koilonychia (spoon-shaped nails or upward curvature of the nails)
- Soreness and cracks at the corners of the mouth
- Very heavy menstrual periods or irregular bleeding because of low hemoglobin count
- Pale skin is especially seen over the palms of your hands and under your nail beds. Also, the conjunctiva looks pale
- Anemia due to Deficiency of Vitamin B12 Dementia (loss of memory)
- Tingling sensation in the hands or feet
- Loss of the sense of touch
- Difficulty in walking
- Stiffness in the arms and legs
- Delayed growth and development in children
- Swelling of the hands and feet
- Episodes of severe pain in the joints, abdomen, and limbs as the red blood cells obstruct capillaries
Anemia by Chronic Red Blood Cell Destruction/Hemolytic anemia
- Jaundice (yellowish or greenish pigmentation of skin and sclera of the eyes)
- Brown or red colored urine due to the destruction of red blood cells
- Fever due to the destruction of red blood cells
- Small bruises under the skin
- Abdominal pain because of enlargement of the spleen and liver
- Black stools due to the destruction of the red blood cells
- Anemia Caused by Chronic Lead Poisoning
- Level of lead in blood is higher than 50 μg/dLA blue-black line is seen on the gums. It is also known as a lead line
- Abdominal pain
- Complete blood count: This test will help an individual know the percentage of hemoglobin in blood as well as red blood cell count. Also, mean cell volume (MCV) is used to categorize anemia.
- Serum Ferritin Test: Ferritin levels below 15–20 micrograms/L in a person confirms iron-deficiency anemia.
- Total Iron-Binding Capacity: It measures the blood's capacity to bind iron with transferrin.
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