Red blood cells (RBCs) are one of the three types of human blood. They are critical for your body because they help in carrying oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. This occurs because of hemoglobin, contains iron molecules, contained in RBCs.
If their number decreases, this will lead to decreased iron in the blood, ultimately leading to an iron deficiency called anemia or anaemia. This condition leads to weakness, fatigue and poor exercising ability. It is the most common blood disorder. More commonly women suffer more than men. For men and women, hemoglobin levels are <13.5 g/100 ml and <12.0 g/100 ml, respectively, for anemic patients. Currently, there are more than 400 different types of anemia that exist today, but all of them are majorly categorized into the following three groups
- Due to blood loss
- Due to RBCs destruction
- Due to decreased RBCs production or abnormal RBCs
Signs and symptoms of anemia are similar to other health problems. Yet symptoms of anemia include the following, while fatigue and lack of energy are the two most common symptoms
- Pale skin
- Chest pain
- Irregular, fast heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Cold feet and hands
Symptoms of anemia unique to their type include
- Sickle cell anemia: jaundice, swelling and pain in hands and feet, fatigue
- Folic acid deficiency anemia: diarrhea, smooth tongue, irritability
- Aplastic anemia: rashes on skin, fever, frequent infections
- Hemolytic anemia: fever, jaundice, abdominal pain, dark-colored urine
Initially, anemia symptoms are too mild to be noticed, but with time the condition worsens. There are certain causes behind this condition, which are as follows
- Gastrointestinal bleeding
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Iron deficiency
- Bone marrow neoplasms
- Frequent infections
- Sickle cell anemia
- Autoimmune diseases
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Chronic inflammation
- Body destroys RBCs
- Insufficient RBCs production
Apart from the anemia symptoms and causes, there are certain risk factors associated, such as
- Intestinal disorder/s
- Family history
- Vitamin-deficient diet
- Chronic conditions like cancers, kidney failure, etc.
- Other factors, such as
- autoimmune diseases
- exposure to toxic chemicals
- blood diseases
- excessive alcohol use
- history of frequent infections
To diagnose and treat anemia, blood sample is only required and no special preparation is required. Majorly, complete blood count (CBC) is performed for measuring various blood components. This test will not help in determining anemia only, but also the person’s overall health and other conditions, such as kidney disease or leukemia. Physical examination and past medical history are also considered by the doctor. For giving your sample and getting your test done, you have to give a missed call from your home on 0124-222-3197. Free home sample collection and free doctor consultation are the premiere services provided by NextDoorLab. Also visit www.nextdoorlab.com for understanding and booking your test.
Treatment for anemia is possible. The target job is to increase the number of RBC count for increased oxygen carrying capability. Medications and dietary changes play the major roles.
- Dietary changes
For alleviating symptoms of anemia, switch to iron-rich diet. Fresh vegetables, fruits, supplements for iron and vitamin, meats and other recommend food are best. This change will help in boosting vitamin B12, folic acid and iron levels. Nuts and seeds, eggs, tofu, brown rice, iron-fortified cereals and breads, red and white meats, leafy greens and dried fruits are all high in iron.
In case of serious anemia, following the prescribed medicines strictly is a must. This will help in increasing the RBCs production. Antibiotics, erythropoietin, blood transfusion and bone marrow transplant are few treatments for anemia depending upon the diseased condition.