Anemia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Monday, March 8, 2010

Anemia, though sounds a simple disease to have, could actually get fatal. It is therefore extremely important to identify anemic cases so that proper treatment can be done on time.
Anemia is a case where the blood of the patient lacks the normal level of RBC cells in it. It could also be caused due to a deficiency in iron which lowers the hemoglobin level of the RBC cells.

Since these cells are the carriers of oxygen in the body, lack of RBCs or weak RBCs can actually lead to starvation of the whole body from oxygen.

Anemia can be traced to a number of causes and several different types. However, the most important and persistent cause of the disease remains the intake of an unbalanced diet that lacks in iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin C that helps the body to absorb iron.

Normocytic anemia is caused when the hemoglobin level of the body falls, without any change in the RBC level. Such cases can offer when the body loses a large amount of blood or there is a failure in the red bone marrow or when the body is suffering from a major and chronic disease. Failure in synthesis of hemoglobin or insufficiency of iron in the body can cause Microcytic anemia. The RBCs in this case are a lot paler in color and shrink to an abnormal size.

Megalosblastic anemia occurs due to a failure of DNA synthesis with the synthesis of RNA in the patient’s body restricting the division of the progenitor cells. Megaloblastic anemia and non-megaloblastic macrocytic anemia together form a group, called macrocytic anemia. Often Heinz bodies which may include some prescribed drugs could lead to RBCs in the body taking an abnormal shape and thus causing Heinz body anemia.
Symptoms of anemia, though vague can subtly be observed as the following:

-Excessive restlessness and easy tiring out of the body

-Fatigue due to insufficient oxygen supply throughout the body

-Increased pulse rate
-Difficulties in breathing
-Lack in concentration
Treatment of anemia is a lot tougher than it may seem, especially when the cause is the lack of iron in the body. The treatment should be done keeping in mind the cause of the disease. In acute cases, blood transfusion may be necessary to save an anemic patient. In some cases however, EPO can be injected in to the patient’s bloodstream. In fact, EPO treatments are found to reduce the need for blood transfusion to almost 50%.

Recently, some Ayurvedic herbal treatments of anemia are also being talked about. The proponents claim that patients might get considerable relief following some simple things like:

-Having bath with cold water twice a day
-Professional massages to flush out body toxins
-Practicing deep breathing exercises for ten minutes a day
-Practicing yoga and involving oneself in vibrant exercises

However, as we all know, prevention is better than cure, you should indulge yourself to a healthy diet. Even on noticing the slightest of symptoms, consult a doctor and investigate the cause so that a proper treatment regimen can be taken on time.

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