|Red blood corpuscles (RBCs)|
Aetiology (causes): Anemias have many causes like:
-Iron or B12 deficiencies: This the most common cause for Anemia. Deficiency of either Iron or vitamin B12 can lead to anemia. In iron deficiency the RBCs will be small in size (microcytes) with little amount of hamoglobin inside(hypochromic).The opposite occurs in case of vitamin B12 deficiency where the RBCs are larger than normal (macrocytes).Iron deficiency anemia may also occur in intestinal infection with hookworm(a condition common in children and young adults).
-Haemolytic anemias: A group of hereditary and acquired diseases characterized by excessive RBCs destruction (haemolysis) with inability of the bone marrow to compensate these amounts so anemia ensue. The peripheral blood will show normocytic normochromic RBCs, But their number will be much reduced than normal values. It's either:
*Hereditary(congenital): Hereditary spherocytosis, sickle cell anemia ,thalassemia...etc
*Acquired: Erythroblastosis foetalis, acquired hemolytic anemia, infections and poisoning.
-Acute post-haemorrhagic anemia: occurs after sudden loss of large blood volume e.g. accidents, ruptured esophageal varices,haemorrhage from peptic ulcer, haemophilia...etc
-Aplastic anemia: In which the bone marrow(the part of your body responsible for blood synthesis) can't synthesis blood sufficiently "bone marrow hypofunction". So their is deficiency in all blood cells i.e.red blood corpuscles(RBCs),white blood cells(WBCs) and platelets. This is called "pancytopenia''.
Signs and symptoms: patients with anemia may show:
|A comparison between normal hand (the right one)|
and that of anemic patient (the left one).In which
pallor could be easily noticed.
|Weakness & fatigue|
-Fatigue and weakness.
-Rapid and shallow breathing(dyspnea).
-Rapid pulse (tachycardia).
Treatment: The treatment of
anemia is essentially directed
against the cause of the anemia. In iron deficiency anemia iron supplements are
given to patients. Supplementary vitamins are also given to those with B12
deficiency. Blood transfusion may be given in cases of post-haemorrhagic anemia. Patients with aplastic anemia may require bone marrow transplantation. Anthelmintic drugs may be needed in case of hookworm infection.
Prevention: You can protect yourself against anemia through:
-Eating healthy foods rich in iron and vitamin B12.
-Don't drink tea just after meals,As it reduces iron absorption from the intestine. A time interval of an hour at least is recommended between the tea and the iron-rich meals.
-Foods rich in vitamin C (e.g lemon) increase iron absorption.
-Regular physical activity stimulates the bone marrow synthesizing blood cells.
-Breast-feeding is highly recommended for nursing babies as it supplies the baby with the needed amounts of iron and other nutrients.
-Don't walk bare-footed to protect yourself against hookworms.