Cause and effect of anemia: Anemia – Symptoms and causes
Anemia – Symptoms and causes
Anemia is a condition in which you lack enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to your body’s tissues. Having anemia, also referred to as low hemoglobin, can make you feel tired and weak.
There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term and can range from mild to severe. In most cases, anemia has more than one cause. See your doctor if you suspect that you have anemia. It can be a warning sign of serious illness.
Treatments for anemia, which depend on the cause, range from taking supplements to having medical procedures. You might be able to prevent some types of anemia by eating a healthy, varied diet.
Anemia signs and symptoms vary depending on the cause and severity of anemia. Depending on the causes of your anemia, you might have no symptoms.
Signs and symptoms, if they do occur, might include:
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
At first, anemia can be so mild that you don’t notice it. But symptoms worsen as anemia worsens.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your doctor if you feel fatigued and you don’t know why.
Fatigue has many causes besides anemia, so don’t assume that if you’re tired you must be anemic. Some people learn that their hemoglobin is low, which indicates anemia, when they donate blood. If you’re told that you can’t donate because of low hemoglobin, make an appointment with your doctor.
Anemia can be due to a condition present at birth (congenital) or to a condition you develop (acquired). Anemia occurs when your blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells.
This can happen if:
- Your body doesn’t make enough red blood cells
- Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced
- Your body destroys red blood cells
What red blood cells do
Your body makes three types of blood cells — white blood cells to fight infection, platelets to help your blood clot, and red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body and carbon dioxide from the body back to the lungs.
Red blood cells contain hemoglobin — an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color. Hemoglobin enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body and to carry carbon dioxide from other parts of the body to your lungs to be exhaled.
Most blood cells, including red blood cells, are produced regularly in your bone marrow — a spongy material found within the cavities of many of your large bones. To produce hemoglobin and red blood cells, your body needs iron, vitamin B-12, folate and other nutrients from the foods you eat.
Causes of anemia
Different types of anemia have different causes. They include:
Iron deficiency anemia. This most common type of anemia is caused by a shortage of iron in your body. Your bone marrow needs iron to make hemoglobin. Without adequate iron, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin for red blood cells.
Without iron supplementation, this type of anemia occurs in many pregnant women. It’s also caused by blood loss, such as from heavy menstrual bleeding; an ulcer in the stomach or small bowel; cancer of the large bowel; and regular use of some pain relievers that are available without a prescription, especially aspirin, which can cause inflammation of the stomach lining resulting in blood loss. It’s important to determine the source of iron deficiency to prevent recurrence of the anemia.
- Vitamin deficiency anemia. Besides iron, your body needs folate and vitamin B-12 to produce enough healthy red blood cells. A diet lacking in these and other key nutrients can cause decreased red blood cell production. Some people who consume enough B-12 aren’t able to absorb the vitamin. This can lead to vitamin deficiency anemia, also known as pernicious anemia.
- Anemia of inflammation. Certain diseases — such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease and other acute or chronic inflammatory diseases — can interfere with the production of red blood cells.
- Aplastic anemia. This rare, life-threatening anemia occurs when your body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. Causes of aplastic anemia include infections, certain medicines, autoimmune diseases and exposure to toxic chemicals.
- Anemias associated with bone marrow disease. A variety of diseases, such as leukemia and myelofibrosis, can cause anemia by affecting blood production in your bone marrow. The effects of these types of cancer and cancer-like disorders vary from mild to life-threatening.
- Hemolytic anemias. This group of anemias develops when red blood cells are destroyed faster than bone marrow can replace them. Certain blood diseases increase red blood cell destruction. You can inherit a hemolytic anemia, or you can develop it later in life.
- Sickle cell anemia. This inherited and sometimes serious condition is a hemolytic anemia. It’s caused by a defective form of hemoglobin that forces red blood cells to assume an abnormal crescent (sickle) shape. These irregular blood cells die prematurely, resulting in a chronic shortage of red blood cells.
These factors place you at increased risk of anemia:
- A diet lacking in certain vitamins and minerals. A diet consistently low in iron, vitamin B-12, folate and copper increases your risk of anemia.
- Intestinal disorders. Having an intestinal disorder that affects the absorption of nutrients in your small intestine — such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease — puts you at risk of anemia.
- Menstruation. In general, women who haven’t had menopause have a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia than do men and postmenopausal women. Menstruation causes the loss of red blood cells.
- Pregnancy. Being pregnant and not taking a multivitamin with folic acid and iron, increases your risk of anemia.
Chronic conditions. If you have cancer, kidney failure or another chronic condition, you could be at risk of anemia of chronic disease. These conditions can lead to a shortage of red blood cells.
Slow, chronic blood loss from an ulcer or other source within your body can deplete your body’s store of iron, leading to iron deficiency anemia.
- Family history. If your family has a history of an inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia, you also might be at increased risk of the condition.
- Other factors. A history of certain infections, blood diseases and autoimmune disorders increases your risk of anemia. Alcoholism, exposure to toxic chemicals and the use of some medications can affect red blood cell production and lead to anemia.
- Age. People over age 65 are at increased risk of anemia.
Left untreated, anemia can cause many health problems, such as:
- Extreme fatigue. Severe anemia can make you so tired that you can’t complete everyday tasks.
- Pregnancy complications. Pregnant women with folate deficiency anemia can be more likely to have complications, such as premature birth.
- Heart problems. Anemia can lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). When you’re anemic your heart pumps more blood to make up for the lack of oxygen in the blood. This can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.
- Death. Some inherited anemias, such as sickle cell anemia, can lead to life-threatening complications. Losing a lot of blood quickly results in acute, severe anemia and can be fatal. Among older people, anemia is associated with an increased risk of death.
Many types of anemia can’t be prevented. But you can avoid iron deficiency anemia and vitamin deficiency anemias by eating a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and minerals, including:
- Iron. Iron-rich foods include beef and other meats, beans, lentils, iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables and dried fruit.
- Folate. This nutrient, and its synthetic form folic acid, can be found in fruits and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, kidney beans, peanuts, and enriched grain products, such as bread, cereal, pasta and rice.
- Vitamin B-12. Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include meat, dairy products, and fortified cereal and soy products.
- Vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, melons and strawberries. These also help increase iron absorption.
If you’re concerned about getting enough vitamins and minerals from food, ask your doctor whether a multivitamin might help.
Sept. 08, 2021
Iron deficiency anemia – Symptoms and causes
Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia — a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues.
As the name implies, iron deficiency anemia is due to insufficient iron. Without enough iron, your body can’t produce enough of a substance in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen (hemoglobin). As a result, iron deficiency anemia may leave you tired and short of breath.
You can usually correct iron deficiency anemia with iron supplementation. Sometimes additional tests or treatments for iron deficiency anemia are necessary, especially if your doctor suspects that you’re bleeding internally.
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Initially, iron deficiency anemia can be so mild that it goes unnoticed. But as the body becomes more deficient in iron and anemia worsens, the signs and symptoms intensify.
Iron deficiency anemia signs and symptoms may include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Pale skin
- Chest pain, fast heartbeat or shortness of breath
- Headache, dizziness or lightheadedness
- Cold hands and feet
- Inflammation or soreness of your tongue
- Brittle nails
- Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
- Poor appetite, especially in infants and children with iron deficiency anemia
When to see a doctor
If you or your child develops signs and symptoms that suggest iron deficiency anemia, see your doctor. Iron deficiency anemia isn’t something to self-diagnose or treat. So see your doctor for a diagnosis rather than taking iron supplements on your own. Overloading the body with iron can be dangerous because excess iron accumulation can damage your liver and cause other complications.
Iron deficiency anemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough iron to produce hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of red blood cells that gives blood its red color and enables the red blood cells to carry oxygenated blood throughout your body.
If you aren’t consuming enough iron, or if you’re losing too much iron, your body can’t produce enough hemoglobin, and iron deficiency anemia will eventually develop.
Causes of iron deficiency anemia include:
- Blood loss. Blood contains iron within red blood cells. So if you lose blood, you lose some iron. Women with heavy periods are at risk of iron deficiency anemia because they lose blood during menstruation. Slow, chronic blood loss within the body — such as from a peptic ulcer, a hiatal hernia, a colon polyp or colorectal cancer — can cause iron deficiency anemia. Gastrointestinal bleeding can result from regular use of some over-the-counter pain relievers, especially aspirin.
- A lack of iron in your diet. Your body regularly gets iron from the foods you eat. If you consume too little iron, over time your body can become iron deficient. Examples of iron-rich foods include meat, eggs, leafy green vegetables and iron-fortified foods. For proper growth and development, infants and children need iron from their diets, too.
- An inability to absorb iron. Iron from food is absorbed into your bloodstream in your small intestine. An intestinal disorder, such as celiac disease, which affects your intestine’s ability to absorb nutrients from digested food, can lead to iron deficiency anemia. If part of your small intestine has been bypassed or removed surgically, that may affect your ability to absorb iron and other nutrients.
- Pregnancy. Without iron supplementation, iron deficiency anemia occurs in many pregnant women because their iron stores need to serve their own increased blood volume as well as be a source of hemoglobin for the growing fetus.
These groups of people may have an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia:
- Women. Because women lose blood during menstruation, women in general are at greater risk of iron deficiency anemia.
- Infants and children. Infants, especially those who were low birth weight or born prematurely, who don’t get enough iron from breast milk or formula may be at risk of iron deficiency. Children need extra iron during growth spurts. If your child isn’t eating a healthy, varied diet, he or she may be at risk of anemia.
- Vegetarians. People who don’t eat meat may have a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia if they don’t eat other iron-rich foods.
- Frequent blood donors. People who routinely donate blood may have an increased risk of iron deficiency anemia since blood donation can deplete iron stores. Low hemoglobin related to blood donation may be a temporary problem remedied by eating more iron-rich foods. If you’re told that you can’t donate blood because of low hemoglobin, ask your doctor whether you should be concerned.
Mild iron deficiency anemia usually doesn’t cause complications. However, left untreated, iron deficiency anemia can become severe and lead to health problems, including the following:
- Heart problems. Iron deficiency anemia may lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat. Your heart must pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen carried in your blood when you’re anemic. This can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.
- Problems during pregnancy. In pregnant women, severe iron deficiency anemia has been linked to premature births and low birth weight babies. But the condition is preventable in pregnant women who receive iron supplements as part of their prenatal care.
- Growth problems. In infants and children, severe iron deficiency can lead to anemia as well as delayed growth and development. Additionally, iron deficiency anemia is associated with an increased susceptibility to infections.
You can reduce your risk of iron deficiency anemia by choosing iron-rich foods.
Choose iron-rich foods
Foods rich in iron include:
- Red meat, pork and poultry
- Dark green leafy vegetables, such as spinach
- Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots
- Iron-fortified cereals, breads and pastas
Your body absorbs more iron from meat than it does from other sources. If you choose to not eat meat, you may need to increase your intake of iron-rich, plant-based foods to absorb the same amount of iron as does someone who eats meat.
Choose foods containing vitamin C to enhance iron absorption
You can enhance your body’s absorption of iron by drinking citrus juice or eating other foods rich in vitamin C at the same time that you eat high-iron foods. Vitamin C in citrus juices, like orange juice, helps your body to better absorb dietary iron.
Vitamin C is also found in:
- Leafy greens
Preventing iron deficiency anemia in infants
To prevent iron deficiency anemia in infants, feed your baby breast milk or iron-fortified formula for the first year. Cow’s milk isn’t a good source of iron for babies and isn’t recommended for infants under 1 year. After age 6 months, start feeding your baby iron-fortified cereals or pureed meats at least twice a day to boost iron intake. After one year, be sure children don’t drink more than 20 ounces (591 milliliters) of milk a day. Too much milk often takes the place of other foods, including those that are rich in iron.
Oct. 18, 2019
Vitamin deficiency anemia – Symptoms and causes
Vitamin deficiency anemia is a lack of healthy red blood cells caused when you have lower than normal amounts of certain vitamins. Vitamins linked to vitamin deficiency anemia include folate, vitamin B-12 and vitamin C.
Vitamin deficiency anemia can occur if you don’t eat enough foods containing folate, vitamin B-12 or vitamin C, or it can occur if your body has trouble absorbing or processing these vitamins.
It’s important to have your doctor diagnose and treat your anemia. Vitamin deficiency anemia can usually be corrected with vitamin supplements and changes to your diet.
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Signs and symptoms of vitamin deficiency anemia include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Irregular heartbeats
- Weight loss
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
- Muscle weakness
- Personality changes
- Unsteady movements
- Mental confusion or forgetfulness
Vitamin deficiency usually develops slowly over several months to years. Vitamin deficiency signs and symptoms may be subtle at first, but they increase as the deficiency worsens.
Vitamin deficiency anemia develops when your body has a shortage of the vitamins needed to produce enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs throughout your body.
If your diet is lacking in certain vitamins, vitamin deficiency anemia can develop. Or vitamin deficiency anemia may develop because your body can’t properly absorb the nutrients from the foods you eat.
Causes of vitamin deficiency anemias include:
Folate deficiency anemia
Folate, also known as vitamin B-9, is a nutrient found mainly in fruits and leafy green vegetables. A diet consistently lacking in these foods can lead to a deficiency.
Deficiency can also result if your body is unable to absorb folate from food. Most nutrients from food are absorbed in your small intestine. You might have difficulty absorbing folate or folic acid, the synthetic form of folate that’s added to foods and supplements, if:
- You have a disease of the small intestine, such as celiac disease
- You’ve had a large part of the small intestine surgically removed or bypassed
- You drink excessive amounts of alcohol
- You take certain prescription drugs, such as some anti-seizure medications
Pregnant women and women who are breast-feeding have an increased demand for folate, as do people undergoing dialysis for kidney disease. Failure to meet this increased demand can result in a deficiency.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia
Vitamin B-12 deficiency can result from a diet lacking in vitamin B-12, which is found mainly in meat, eggs and milk.
However, the most common cause of vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia is a lack of a substance called intrinsic factor, which can be caused when your immune system mistakenly attacks the stomach cells that produce this substance. This type of anemia is called pernicious anemia.
Intrinsic factor is a protein secreted by the stomach that joins vitamin B-12 in the stomach and moves it through the small intestine to be absorbed by your bloodstream. Without intrinsic factor, vitamin B-12 can’t be absorbed and leaves your body as waste.
People with endocrine-related autoimmune disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid disease, may have an increased risk of developing pernicious anemia.
Vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia can also occur if your small intestine can’t absorb vitamin B-12 for reasons other than a lack of intrinsic factor. This may happen if:
- You’ve had surgery to your stomach or small intestine, such as gastric bypass surgery
- You have abnormal bacterial growth in your small intestine
- You have an intestinal disease, such as Crohn’s disease or celiac disease, that interferes with absorption of the vitamin
- You’ve ingested a tapeworm from eating contaminated fish. The tapeworm saps nutrients from your body.
Vitamin C deficiency anemia
Vitamin C deficiency can develop if you don’t get enough vitamin C from the foods you eat. Vitamin C deficiency is also possible if something impairs your ability to absorb vitamin C from food. For instance, smoking impairs your body’s ability to absorb vitamin C.
Certain chronic illnesses, such as cancer or chronic kidney disease, also increase your risk of vitamin C deficiency anemia by affecting the absorption of vitamin C.
A number of factors can affect your body’s vitamin stores. In general, your risk of vitamin deficiency is increased if:
Your diet contains little to no natural vitamin food sources, such as meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables. Vegetarians who don’t eat dairy products and vegans, who don’t eat any foods from animals, may fall into this category.
Consistently overcooking your food also can cause vitamin deficiency.
- You’re pregnant, and you aren’t taking a multivitamin. Folic acid supplements are especially important during pregnancy.
- You have intestinal problems or other medical conditions that interfere with absorption of vitamins. Abnormal bacterial growth in your stomach or surgery to your intestines or stomach can interfere with the absorption of vitamin B-12.
- You abuse alcohol. Alcohol interferes with the absorption of folate and vitamin C, as well as other vitamins.
- You take certain prescription medications that can block absorption of vitamins. Anti-seizure drugs can block the absorption of folate. Antacids and some drugs used to treat type 2 diabetes may interfere with B-12 absorption.
Being deficient in vitamins increases your risk of many health problems, including:
Pregnant women with folate deficiency may be more likely to experience complications, such as premature birth. A developing fetus that doesn’t get enough folate from its mother can develop birth defects of the brain and spinal cord.
If you’re thinking of becoming pregnant, ask your doctor whether you should consider taking folic acid supplements so that your body’s stores of folate will be enough to support your baby.
Nervous system disorders
While vitamin B-12 is important for the production of red blood cells, it’s also important for a healthy nervous system.
Untreated, vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to neurological problems, such as persistent tingling in your hands and feet or problems with balance. It can lead to mental confusion and forgetfulness because vitamin B-12 is necessary for healthy brain function.
Without treatment for vitamin B-12 deficiency, neurological complications can become permanent. Vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause these and other health problems before it leads to anemia.
Vitamin C deficiency can lead to scurvy. Signs and symptoms of this rare disease include bleeding under the skin and around the gums.
Choose a healthy diet
You can prevent some forms of vitamin deficiency anemias by choosing a healthy diet that includes a variety of foods.
Foods rich in folate include:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Enriched grain products, such as bread, cereal, pasta and rice
- Fruits and fruit juices
Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include:
- Fortified foods, such as breakfast cereals
- Milk, cheese and yogurt
- Meat and shellfish
Foods rich in vitamin C include:
- Citrus fruits and juices
- Green peppers
Most adults need these daily dietary amounts of the following vitamins:
- Vitamin B-12 — 2. 4 micrograms (mcg)
- Folate or folic acid — 400 mcg
- Vitamin C — 75 to 90 milligrams
Pregnant and breast-feeding women may require more of each vitamin.
Consider a multivitamin
If you’re concerned about getting enough vitamins from the food you eat, ask your doctor whether a multivitamin may be right for you. Most people get enough vitamins from the foods they eat. But if your diet is restricted, you may wish to take a multivitamin.
Smoking interferes with the absorption of nutrients, such as vitamin C, so it can raise your risk of a vitamin deficiency.
If you smoke, quit. If you don’t smoke, don’t start. If you’ve tried to quit on your own and haven’t been successful, talk with your doctor about strategies to help you quit.
Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all
Alcohol can contribute to vitamin deficiency anemia. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, moderate drinking is generally considered to be:
- Two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger
- One drink a day for men older than age 65
- One drink a day for women of any age
A drink is 12 ounces (355 milliliters) of beer, 5 ounces (148 milliliters) of wine or 1.5 ounces (44 milliliters) of 80-proof distilled spirits.
Dec. 10, 2019
Thalassemia – Symptoms and causes
Thalassemia (thal-uh-SEE-me-uh) is an inherited blood disorder that causes your body to have less hemoglobin than normal. Hemoglobin enables red blood cells to carry oxygen. Thalassemia can cause anemia, leaving you fatigued.
If you have mild thalassemia, you might not need treatment. But more severe forms might require regular blood transfusions. You can take steps to cope with fatigue, such as choosing a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
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There are several types of thalassemia. The signs and symptoms you have depend on the type and severity of your condition.
Thalassemia signs and symptoms can include:
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Facial bone deformities
- Slow growth
- Abdominal swelling
- Dark urine
Some babies show signs and symptoms of thalassemia at birth; others develop them during the first two years of life. Some people who have only one affected hemoglobin gene don’t have thalassemia symptoms.
When to see a doctor
Make an appointment with your child’s doctor for an evaluation if he or she has any of the signs or symptoms of thalassemia.
Thalassemia is caused by mutations in the DNA of cells that make hemoglobin — the substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body. The mutations associated with thalassemia are passed from parents to children.
Hemoglobin molecules are made of chains called alpha and beta chains that can be affected by mutations. In thalassemia, the production of either the alpha or beta chains are reduced, resulting in either alpha-thalassemia or beta-thalassemia.
In alpha-thalassemia, the severity of thalassemia you have depends on the number of gene mutations you inherit from your parents. The more mutated genes, the more severe your thalassemia.
In beta-thalassemia, the severity of thalassemia you have depends on which part of the hemoglobin molecule is affected.
Four genes are involved in making the alpha hemoglobin chain. You get two from each of your parents. If you inherit:
- One mutated gene, you’ll have no signs or symptoms of thalassemia. But you are a carrier of the disease and can pass it on to your children.
- Two mutated genes, your thalassemia signs and symptoms will be mild. This condition might be called alpha-thalassemia trait.
- Three mutated genes, your signs and symptoms will be moderate to severe.
Inheriting four mutated genes is rare and usually results in stillbirth. Babies born with this condition often die shortly after birth or require lifelong transfusion therapy. In rare cases, a child born with this condition can be treated with transfusions and a stem cell transplant.
Two genes are involved in making the beta hemoglobin chain. You get one from each of your parents. If you inherit:
- One mutated gene, you’ll have mild signs and symptoms. This condition is called thalassemia minor or beta-thalassemia.
Two mutated genes, your signs and symptoms will be moderate to severe. This condition is called thalassemia major, or Cooley anemia.
Babies born with two defective beta hemoglobin genes usually are healthy at birth but develop signs and symptoms within the first two years of life. A milder form, called thalassemia intermedia, also can result from two mutated genes.
Factors that increase your risk of thalassemia include:
- Family history of thalassemia. Thalassemia is passed from parents to children through mutated hemoglobin genes.
- Certain ancestry. Thalassemia occurs most often in African Americans and in people of Mediterranean and Southeast Asian descent.
Possible complications of moderate to severe thalassemia include:
- Iron overload. People with thalassemia can get too much iron in their bodies, either from the disease or from frequent blood transfusions. Too much iron can result in damage to your heart, liver and endocrine system, which includes hormone-producing glands that regulate processes throughout your body.
- Infection. People with thalassemia have an increased risk of infection. This is especially true if you’ve had your spleen removed.
In cases of severe thalassemia, the following complications can occur:
- Bone deformities. Thalassemia can make your bone marrow expand, which causes your bones to widen. This can result in abnormal bone structure, especially in your face and skull. Bone marrow expansion also makes bones thin and brittle, increasing the chance of broken bones.
Enlarged spleen. The spleen helps your body fight infection and filter unwanted material, such as old or damaged blood cells. Thalassemia is often accompanied by the destruction of a large number of red blood cells. This causes your spleen to enlarge and work harder than normal.
An enlarged spleen can make anemia worse, and it can reduce the life of transfused red blood cells. If your spleen grows too big, your doctor might suggest surgery to remove it.
- Slowed growth rates. Anemia can both slow a child’s growth and delay puberty.
- Heart problems. Congestive heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms can be associated with severe thalassemia.
In most cases, you can’t prevent thalassemia. If you have thalassemia, or if you carry a thalassemia gene, consider talking with a genetic counselor for guidance if you want to have children.
There is a form of assisted reproductive technology diagnosis, which screens an embryo in its early stages for genetic mutations combined with in vitro fertilization. This might help parents who have thalassemia or who are carriers of a defective hemoglobin gene have healthy babies.
The procedure involves retrieving mature eggs and fertilizing them with sperm in a dish in a laboratory. The embryos are tested for the defective genes, and only those without genetic defects are implanted into the uterus.
Nov. 22, 2019
Sickle Cell Anemia: Symptoms, Causes, Treatments
What is sickle cell anemia?
Sickle cell anemia is a blood disease that affects red blood cells. Normal red blood cells are round. In people with sickle cell anemia, hemoglobin – a substance in red blood cells – becomes defective and causes the red blood cells to change shape. The faulty hemoglobin is called hemoglobin S (HgbS), and it replaces normal hemoglobin which is called hemoglobin A (HgbA). Over time, the red blood cells become rigid and shaped like crescent moons or sickles.
The sickle-shaped red blood cells:
- Clog blood vessels, causing episodes of pain and cutting off oxygen to tissues and organs.
- Get trapped in the spleen (an organ that gets rid of old cells) where they are destroyed. The body cannot replace the lost cells fast enough. As a result, the body has too few red blood cells, a condition known as anemia.
Sickle cell anemia is a serious disease that can require frequent hospital stays. Children and young adults can die from the disease.
Who gets sickle cell anemia?
In the United States, the disease occurs most often among African Americans (in about 1 of every 400 African American births) and among Hispanics of Caribbean ancestry (1 in every 1,000 to 1,400 Hispanic American children). Throughout the world, the disease is also found among people of Arabian, Greek, Italian, Sardinian, Turkish, Maltese, and southern Asian ancestry.
Is there a difference between sickle cell anemia and sickle cell trait?
Yes. A person can have a mixture of normal and faulty hemoglobin in their red blood cells without having sickle cell disease. This condition is called “sickle cell trait.” People with sickle cell trait have enough normal hemoglobin in their red blood cells to prevent the cells from sickling. One in 12 African Americans in the United States has sickle cell trait.
It’s important to remember that people with sickle cell trait do not have sickle cell disease. They also usually do not develop sickle cell disease, except in unusual circumstances. However, people with sickle cell trait can genetically pass the trait to their children. If two people with sickle cell trait have children together, there is a 1 in 4 chance that their children will have sickle cell anemia.
What are the chances that my child will be born with sickle cell anemia or sickle cell trait?
If you and your partner both have sickle cell trait, your child has a 25% chance of being born with sickle cell anemia. If only one of you has sickle cell trait, your child cannot be born with sickle cell anemia, but there is a 50% chance that your child will be born with sickle cell trait.
If one parent has sickle cell disease and one parent has sickle cell trait, there is a 50% chance that their children will be born with sickle cell disease.
Symptoms and Causes
How does a person get sickle cell anemia?
People with sickle cell anemia inherit the disease, which means that the disease is passed on to them by their parents as part of their genetic makeup. Parents cannot give sickle cell anemia to their children unless they both have the faulty hemoglobin in their red blood cells.
What are the symptoms and complications of sickle cell anemia?
- Periods of pain that can last a few hours to a few days.
- Blood clots.
- Swelling in hands and feet.
- Joint pain that resembles arthritis.
- Chronic neuropathic pain (nerve pain).
- Life-threatening infections.
- Anemia (decrease in red blood cells).
Diagnosis and Tests
How can I know if I have sickle cell trait?
Your healthcare provider can perform a special blood test to tell if you have sickle cell anemia or sickle cell trait. You may decide to have this test before you plan to have children.
In many states, the law requires newborn babies to be tested for sickle cell disease, regardless of their ethnic background. The testing is done right away so that children born with sickle cell disease can receive treatment to protect them against life-threatening infections. These children need to be followed very closely by a healthcare provider.
Management and Treatment
Can sickle cell anemia be cured?
No. As of today, there’s no cure for sickle cell anemia. However, there are treatments that have reduced the death rate among children and the levels of pain caused by the disease.
If your baby has sickle cell anemia, your healthcare provider will explain what you can do to help your child live a normal life. Your baby may need to take medicine by the mouth for up to 10 years to prevent life-threatening infections. Later in life, care focuses more on managing pain.
How can I manage my pain if I have sickle cell anemia?
Acute pain can occur during a vaso-occlusive crisis (VOC). This happens when the sickle-shaped blood cells block the flow of blood in small vessels. The VOC can lead to tissue damage and pain. This type of pain should be treated as a medical emergency.
Some patients develop chronic pain, which is pain that lasts for more than 3 to 6 months. The exact mechanism that causes chronic pain in some patients and not others is not known. The treatment of the chronic pain should be tailored to the specific type of pain that is being experienced. Wokring with a pain management doctor can help you manage your pain by applying different methods. The goal is to use the least of amount of medication and gain the greatest amount of function.
Signs of A Low Red Blood Cell Count
What Are the Symptoms of Anemia?
The symptoms of anemia vary according to the type of anemia, the underlying cause, the severity and any underlying health problems, such as hemorrhaging, ulcers, menstrual problems, or cancer. Specific symptoms of those problems may be noticed first.
The body also has a remarkable ability to compensate for early anemia. If your anemia is mild or has developed over a long period of time, you may not notice any symptoms.
Symptoms common to many types of anemia include the following:
Other symptoms are associated with specific forms of anemia.
Anemia Caused by Iron Deficiency
People with an iron deficiency may experience these symptoms:
- A hunger for strange substances such as paper, ice, or dirt (a condition called pica)
- Upward curvature of the nails, referred to as koilonychias
- Soreness of the mouth with cracks at the corners
Anemia Caused by Vitamin B12 Deficiency
People whose anemia is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin B12 may have these symptoms:
- A tingling, “pins and needles” sensation in the hands or feet
- Lost sense of touch
- A wobbly gait and difficulty walking
- Clumsiness and stiffness of the arms and legs
Anemia Caused by Chronic Lead Poisoning
Chronic lead poisoning may lead to these symptoms:
Anemia Caused by Chronic Red Blood Cell Destruction
Anemia caused by chronic red blood cell destruction may include these symptoms:
Sickle Cell Anemia
Symptoms of sickle cell anemia may include:
- Susceptibility to infection
- Delayed growth and development in children
- Episodes of severe pain, especially in the joints, abdomen, and limbs
Anemia Caused by Sudden Red Blood Cell Destruction
Symptoms of anemia caused by sudden red blood cell destruction may include:
- Abdominal pain
- Brown or red urine
- Jaundice (yellow skin)
- Small bruises under the skin
- Symptoms of kidney failure
Call Your Doctor About Anemia If:
Talk to your doctor if you have risk factors for anemia or notice any signs or symptoms of anemia including:
- Persistent fatigue, breathlessness, rapid heart rate, pale skin, or any other symptoms of anemia; seek emergency care for any trouble breathing or change in your heart beat.
- Poor diet or inadequate dietary intake of vitamins and minerals
- Very heavy menstrual periods
- Symptoms of an ulcer, gastritis, hemorrhoids, bloody or tarry stools, or colorectal cancer
- Concern about environmental exposure to lead
- A hereditary anemia runs in your family and you would like genetic counseling before having a child
For women considering pregnancy, your doctor will likely recommend that you begin taking supplements, especially folate, even before conception. These supplements benefit both mother and baby.
Aplastic Anemia: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment
When you have the rare but treatable disorder known as aplastic anemia, your marrow — the spongy stuff inside your bones — stops making new blood cells. Sometimes it stops making just one type, but more often you become low on all three: red and white cells, and platelets.
It can develop slowly or come on suddenly. If your blood count gets low enough, it can be life threatening.
Who Gets It?
Anyone can get aplastic anemia, but it’s more likely to happen to people in their late teens and early 20s, and the elderly. Males and females have about an equal chance of getting it. It is more common in developing countries.
There are two different types:
- Acquired aplastic anemia
- Inherited aplastic anemia
Doctors will check to determine which you have.
Inherited aplastic anemia is caused by gene defects, and is most common in children and young adults. If you have this type, there is a higher chance of developing leukemia and other cancers, so see a specialist regularly.
Acquired aplastic anemia is more common in adults. Researchers believe something triggers problems in the immune system. The possibilities include:
What Are the Symptoms?
Each type of blood cell has a different role:
- Red cells carry oxygen around the body.
- White cells fight infections.
- Platelets prevent bleeding.
Your symptoms depend on what type of blood cells you’re low on, but you may be low on all three. These are common symptoms for each:
Low red blood cell count:
Low white blood cell count:
Low platelet count:
If you have any of these symptoms, your doctor may do a test called a complete blood count. They may also take a biopsy of your bone marrow to check you for this disorder.
How Is It Treated?
If your doctor can identify the cause of your aplastic anemia and get rid of that trigger, the condition may go away. But doctors can rarely pinpoint the exact cause.
If your case isn’t severe, you may not need treatment unless or until your blood count drops below a certain level. If it does, your doctor may prescribe hormones or drugs to help your bone marrow make more blood cells. They may also suggest antibiotics and anti-fungal medications to fight infection.
Most people with aplastic anemia will need a blood transfusion at some point.
If your blood count is very low, your doctor may suggest a bone marrow or stem cell transplant to boost your body’s ability to make blood cells. You would need a donor whose blood is a close match. This procedure can sometimes cure aplastic anemia, but it is most successful in younger people, with the donor marrow from a close relative.
If a transplant is not an option for you, your doctor may prescribe medication to try to stop your body from attacking your bone marrow.
Both of these treatments have serious risks, so talk with your doctor.
Living With Aplastic Anemia
If you have this disorder:
- Stay away from contact sports to avoid injuries and bleeding.
- Wash your hands often.
- Get your annual flu shot.
- Avoid crowds as much as you can.
- Check with your doctor before taking a flight or going to a high elevation where there is less oxygen. You may need a blood transfusion first.
90,000 Anemia: Causes of Anemia, Symptoms of Anemia, Prevention of Anemia | doc.ua
Anemia can be asymptomatic and occurs for various reasons, against the background of various diseases and pathologies. With this disease, the level of hemoglobin decreases, which is necessary for the transfer of oxygen to cells and for other important processes in the body. Women are more prone to anemia, as they lose iron not only daily, but also during menstruation and carrying a baby. The disease can be mild, moderate or severe.The consequences of anemia can be serious, as it leads to hypoxia, which negatively affects the state of all body systems.
The classification includes more than 400 types of anemia, differing in signs and origin of the disease.
Iron deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia, accounting for 90% of all types of the disease. It occurs when there is a lack of iron in the body, due to which the normal amount of hemoglobin is not produced. It is often observed in pregnant women, since in this period, iron is needed twice as much as in the normal state.The extra iron is used in the formation of blood cells in the fetus. It can also occur in children due to poor nutrition.
Hemolytic anemia – with this type of disease, the life span of red blood cells decreases. In most cases, this is a congenital pathology.
Aplastic anemia is a type of anemia that occurs when the bone marrow stops producing blood cells in normal quantities. This is a rare type of disease that occurs at any age in women and men.
Hypochromic anemia – with this type of disease, the process of hemoglobin formation is disrupted due to a decrease in the level of red blood cells. The cause may be a lack of iron, hereditary disorders in the formation of hemoglobin, and chronic lead poisoning.
Post-hemorrhagic anemia – the disease can begin after severe blood loss or chronic non-excessive bleeding, after frequent operations or trauma.
Pernicious anemia – a form of anemia that occurs due to a violation in the formation of blood cells, progresses against the background of vitamin B12 deficiency.
If anemia occurs during pregnancy, it can have serious consequences. The fetus does not receive enough oxygen, which is necessary for the normal development of the body, especially for the brain. Women during pregnancy with severe forms of anemia are less likely to tolerate the period of gestation, and the likelihood of premature birth increases. The risk of developing infections after childbirth increases.
Causes of anemia
The causes of anemia can be congenital or acquired:
- Poor and inadequate food.Eating foods with a deficiency of iron and animal protein, lack of vitamins and minerals necessary for hematopoiesis. Anemia is common in vegetarians because they eliminate animal protein from their diet.
- Permanent blood loss. Blood loss can occur during diseases (polymenorrhea, hemorrhoids, bleeding gums), as well as during severe trauma and surgery.
- Frequent donation. In this case, the anemia does not last long and is quickly treated with a balanced diet and temporary refusal of donation.
- Helminthic phenomena. With the appearance of parasites in the gastrointestinal tract, the process of absorption of nutrients in the intestine is significantly reduced. Including iron, which is necessary for sufficient hemoglobin formation. For this reason, anemia may occur in the child.
- Anemia is a common occurrence during pregnancy, since not only the mother, but also the unborn child needs iron. The need for iron doubles.
- Decrease in the life span of erythrocytes in the body.Normally, red cells circulate in the blood for about 120 days and then disintegrate. In autoimmune diseases, hereditary disorders and infectious diseases, erythrocytes live a shorter period and decay ahead of time.
- Connective tissue diseases. These diseases include polyarteritis nodosa, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, Horton’s disease and others.
- Chronic infectious diseases such as: lung abscess, tuberculosis, bacterial endocarditis, brucellosis, bronchial diseases, pyelonephritis, osteomyelitis and others.
Symptoms of anemia
Anemia can proceed without severe manifestations, however, the following symptoms can be an alarming signal:
- high fatigue and weakness, dizziness, possible fainting;
- memory impairment and distracted attention, low mental activity;
- shortness of breath and rapid pulse occurs;
- periodic whistling in the ears;
- pale color of the skin and lips, may be bluish, blue circles under the eyes;
- the elderly may experience an attack of angina pectoris, aching pain in the heart;
90,025 loss of appetite, poor sleep and insomnia;
90,025 mood swings and depression.
Some types of anemia may have specific symptoms. With iron deficiency anemia, there may be a need to eat chalk or earth, nails become concave, lips and tongue crack, the corners of the mouth become inflamed and cannot be treated. In some cases, gastritis, disorders of the urinary system may occur.
Pernicious anemia is manifested by such characteristic symptoms as: feeling of numbness or tingling in the hands or feet, deterioration of thought processes and academic performance, memory impairment, gait may become unsteady.
With hemolytic anemia, congenital or acquired, jaundice begins, since the spleen kills large numbers of defective red blood cells. Splenomegaly may occur, in which the spleen enlarges due to a special reaction. The spleen destroys red blood cells in large numbers, therefore it increases significantly in size. With this form of anemia, urine changes color and becomes similar to dark beer, since when erythrocytes are destroyed, a large amount of bilirubin enters the bloodstream, which is excreted from the body along with urine.
Treatment of anemia
Treatment of anemia depends on the form of the disease and the reasons for its development. It includes iron and vitamin supplements, good nutrition and, in some cases, blood transfusions. It is forbidden to treat anemia on your own, the drugs should be prescribed by a doctor according to a blood test. With iron deficiency anemia, drugs with a high iron content are prescribed, which must be taken for four months. The patient must strictly follow a diet that includes meat, vegetables and fresh juices.Most iron is found in beef tongue and pork meat; iron from vegetables is practically not absorbed by the body.
In severe forms of anemia, iron preparations are administered intravenously. When pernicious anemia is diagnosed, cyanocobalamin, vitamin B12, is prescribed. In the treatment of hemolytic anemia, glucocorticosteroids are taken, and in severe cases, the spleen is removed. If bleeding is profuse, it must be stopped. With chronic blood loss, treatment is prescribed to eliminate the causes of the disease.
In some cases, the treatment of anemia is carried out with the help of blood transfusion, in severe conditions of the patient: profuse blood loss, the formation of tumors and hereditary diseases. Aplastic anemia involves surgery and bone marrow transplantation.
Prevention of anemia
The measures for the prevention of anemia include maintaining good nutrition, taking vitamin B12, strengthening the general condition of the body. It is necessary to include in food foods rich in iron and folic acid.Iron is found in large amounts in animal protein, so you need to eat a sufficient amount of meat. Do not get carried away with diets and weight loss, as this can lead to anemia. It is necessary to maintain the normal state of the gastrointestinal tract so that food is well absorbed by the body.
Prevention of anemia includes taking vitamin B12 and folic acid, since these substances play an important role in the formation of red blood cells. Among folk remedies, tinctures from dandelion plants, young nettles, and yarrow herbs are distinguished.You can also make fresh salads from them with the addition of vegetable oil. In order for iron to be well absorbed by the body, it is necessary to include foods containing folic acid and vitamin C in the diet.
A high level of vitamin C is found in rose hips, leaves and fruits of black currant, mountain ash, hawthorn inflorescences. You can prepare teas and tinctures from them, use them fresh. Fresh parsley, spinach, lettuce and other greens are no less rich in iron and folic acid.Fresh juices made from beets, apples, pomegranates, carrots and pumpkin are very useful for anemia. Dried fruits contain a large amount of iron: dried apricots, prunes and raisins.
The prevention of anemia includes regular walks in the fresh air, an active lifestyle and doing a gentle sport. Avoid strenuous physical activity, overwork, and stress. Pregnant women are advised to take additional vitamins and folic acid, since the need for iron doubles during this period.
Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells and / or hemoglobin in the blood becomes below normal.
Erythrocytes and the hemoglobin contained in them are involved in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Without oxygen, many tissues and organs can experience hypoxia (oxygen starvation), which has an extremely negative effect on their work. Anemia can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the degree of decrease in red blood cells and / or hemoglobin levels.
The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency.
Although different types of anemias have different causes, their symptoms are very similar:
- cold sensation,
- limb numbness,
- shortness of breath,
- feeling of lack of air,
- increased heart rate,
- chest pain.
Who is at risk?
Anemia is very common and occurs in both women and men of different ages. However, there are groups of people who are more susceptible to developing this disease than others:
- those who eat little iron and vitamins,
- patients with chronic kidney disease, diabetes mellitus, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease,
- patients with chronic infections such as tuberculosis or HIV,
90,025 people whose relatives have had a form of anemia that can be inherited, 90,026
90,025 patients who have lost a lot of blood after injury or surgery.
General information about the disease
There are two main mechanisms for the development of anemia:
- Reduction or impairment of the formation of red blood cells, as in iron deficiency or aplastic anemia,
- reduction in the life of erythrocytes in the vascular bed, excessive destruction of erythrocytes, as in hemolytic anemia.
Mechanisms of development of the most common types of anemia
Type of anemia
A decrease in the amount of iron in the body leads to a decrease in hemoglobin and, as a consequence, to a decrease in the number of red blood cells.
Blood loss, diet low in iron, impaired absorption of iron.
Complete blood count (without leukocyte count and ESR), serum iron, serum iron-binding capacity, transferrin, reticulocytes.
V 12 – deficient
Lack of vitamin B 12 prevents the growth and development of red blood cells, and this in turn causes a decrease in the number of red blood cells.
Lack of intrinsic factor, diet low in vitamin B 12 , impaired absorption of vitamin B 12 .
Complete blood count (without leukocyte count and ESR), vitamin B 12 .
Decrease in the formation of all types of cells in the bone marrow, including erythrocytes.
Antineoplastic therapy, exposure to toxins, autoimmune diseases, viral infections.
Complete blood count (without leukocyte count and ESR), reticulocytes, erythropoietin, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).
The life span of erythrocytes, which is normally about 120 days, decreases due to their destruction in the bloodstream.
Congenital disorders of the development of erythrocytes, reactions to blood transfusion, autoimmune diseases, taking certain medications.
Complete blood count (without leukocyte count and ESR), reticulocytes, bilirubin.
Anemia in chronic diseases
Various long-term diseases lead to a decrease in the formation of red blood cells.
Kidney diseases, diabetes mellitus, tuberculosis, HIV.
Complete blood count (without leukocyte count and ESR), erythropoietin, erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR).
All anemias can be divided into 2 groups: acute and chronic. Chronic develops slowly, without obvious symptoms, over a long period of time, for example, with chronic kidney disease or cancer.In this case, the symptoms of anemia can be smoothed out by the manifestations of the underlying disease. Therefore, this species may remain unrecognized for a long time.
Acute anemia occurs as a result of severe, profuse blood loss, for example after damage to blood vessels due to trauma or gastrointestinal bleeding. Her symptoms appear immediately: severe dizziness, weakness, pallor, tinnitus.
The main method for detecting anemia is a complete blood count, which shows the number and ratio of various cells in the bloodstream.It enables the doctor to assess the size, shape and maturity of blood cells. Other studies may be prescribed, such as a test for ferritin, serum iron, etc. In case of already diagnosed anemia, a biochemical blood test is used to determine its type.
A therapist is most often involved in the treatment of the most common forms of mild anemias. Based on the results of a complete blood count, he may refer the patient to another specialist, such as a hematologist.
To prevent anemia, a balanced diet is necessary, and most importantly, it should be varied, because a lack of various substances can lead to this disease: iron, proteins, B vitamins, folic, ascorbic acid, copper, cobalt, etc. however, for example, in order to satisfy a person’s need for iron, it follows that, in addition to iron itself, there should also be substances in the diet that promote its absorption, primarily vitamin C.
- Complete blood count
- Vitamin B 12 (cyanocobalamin)
- Iron in serum
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR)
Peculiarities of anemic syndrome in elderly patients
Anemia is a clinical and hematological syndrome characterized by a decrease in hemoglobin
per unit volume of blood, more often with a simultaneous decrease in the number of erythrocytes
, which leads to the development of oxygen starvation of
The criterion of anemia is considered to be a decrease in the hemoglobin level below 130 g / l
and the number of erythrocytes below 4 × 1012 / l in men and, accordingly, below 120 g / l and 3.5
× 10 12 / l in women.
Anemias are observed in 2-20% of the world’s population, however, it should be emphasized that
the incidence of this syndrome in patients at different periods of life is different. It is necessary
to take into account a significant increase in the incidence of anemic syndrome in patients of
older age groups. In persons over 65, the prevalence of anemia is
90.3 per 1000 inhabitants for men and 69.1 per 1000 for women.Over the age of 85, anemia
is detected in 27-40% of men and in 16-21% of women.
The prevalence of anemia is highly dependent on the region, socially –
economic conditions and the level of development of health care.
Sex differences in the incidence of anemia are known. In elderly patients and
elderly patients, the difference in the incidence of anemia decreases, and this syndrome occurs
approximately equally in elderly men and women.
In most cases of anemia – not an independent disease, but a symptom,
manifestations of another disease.
In patients of older age groups, the incidence of diseases is significantly increased,
which can lead to the development of anemia. However, in elderly patients, as in
young patients, the development of anemia is most often associated with blood loss. In this case, the source of blood loss
is most often localized in the gastrointestinal tract. The increase in the prevalence of anemias
is largely associated with a decrease in the absorption bridgehead of substances involved in hematopoiesis
, for example, iron, vitamin B 12. Absorption is impaired in chronic gastritis
(primarily atrophic), enteritis of various origins, after resection of parts of the small intestine
or resection of the stomach by the Billroth II type with
shutdown of the duodenum and other diseases.Fundamentally,
it is important to understand the sharp increase in the number of oncological diseases leading to the development of anemia in elderly and senile patients of
In geriatric practice, 3 variants of anemia are most often encountered:
– iron deficiency
– B12 – deficiency
– anemia of chronic diseases.
At the same time, all types of anemias can occur in elderly patients, however,
hereditary forms are extremely rare.
Often anemias are of a complex origin, for example, a combination of iron deficiency
and B12-deficiency anemia is often observed.Patients of the older age groups
most often have several reasons for the development of anemia at the same time, for example,
impaired iron absorption, blood loss, chronic inflammation,
a decrease in the production of erythropoietin in patients with chronic pyelonephritis and
with advanced renal failure, as well as chronic heart failure
( CHF), as a consequence, ischemic heart disease (IHD), etc.
It is important to note the effect of anemia on the course of a number of diseases of internal organs
, occurring mainly in elderly patients.The most studied
is anemic syndrome in diseases of the cardiovascular system.
It was revealed that in patients with CHF with low hemoglobin levels, the risk of death increases.
At the same time, a decrease in hemoglobin levels contributes to the development of CHF. So, hypoxia,
observed in anemia, contributes to the violation of the diastolic function of the myocardium.
The main causes of anemia in patients with CHF are increased blood plasma
, bone marrow dysfunction, iron deficiency, decreased production of
erythropoietin, activation of cytokines, in particular tumor necrosis factor.
In patients with myocardial infarction with concomitant anemia, a high mortality rate
and access to CHF were revealed.
According to most researchers, a decrease in hemoglobin levels in patients of
older age groups most often develops precisely as a result of
pathological processes. Therefore, when making a diagnosis of anemia, the patient needs an oncological search.
It is also necessary to pay close attention to concomitant pathology,
which can be exacerbated.
Head.consulting department, hematologist Rachkova Tatyana Arkadyevna
90,000 Iron attraction: anemia will be defeated with magnetic nanoparticles | Articles
Siberian scientists have developed nano-iron particles capable of delivering drugs to organs and tissues of the human body and treating anemia. About 40% of people in the world suffer from it. Modern drugs to increase hemoglobin are often poorly absorbed and cause side effects, such as allergies, experts explain. The new drug will be more bioavailable due to its natural origin: the studied particles are products of the vital activity of bacteria. Scientists are currently investigating whether the drug can be used in the treatment of iron deficiency in farm animals.
Scientists from the Siberian Federal University and the Federal Research Center of the KSC SB RAS studied the properties of magnetic nanoparticles of ferrohydrite (iron oxyhydroxide mineral) and their effect on human blood cells. In the future, they can serve for the targeted delivery of drugs to the affected organs and tissues of the human body, as well as for the treatment of anemia (or anemia, a decrease in the number of red blood cells and hemoglobin in the blood).
Particles of “nano-iron” were obtained in laboratory conditions thanks to a special bacterial culture, Oksana Kolenchukova, co-author of the study, professor of the Department of Biophysics and the Department of Medical and Biological Foundations of Physical Culture and Health Technologies of the Siberian Federal University, told Izvestia.
– Ferrohydrite nanoparticles are attractive due to their biogenic (natural) origin. These are the waste products of bacteria Klebsiella oxytoca, – explained the specialist. “They have magnetic properties, so we wondered if they would be able to solve problems related to medicine, for example, deliver medicines to a diseased organ if a magnet directs them there.
Photo: RIA Novosti / Konstantin Mikhalchevsky
Ferrohydrite nanoparticles in various concentrations were placed in living cells isolated from the blood of 29 apparently healthy donors. Then we studied the functional activity of these cells: phagocytes, neutrophils, monocytes and eosinophils, both in the normal state and in the “loaded” with nanoparticles.
– Imagine various vessels, in one of which you added, say, a pinch of salt, in the other – a teaspoon, in the third – a tablespoon, and so on.We studied the state of blood cells “without everything”, and then – with “saturation” in the form of ferrohydrite particles in different concentrations. Moreover, the state of the cells was recorded both instantly, immediately after the addition of nanoparticles, and delayed, – said Oksana Kolenchkova.
For animals and people
As a result of the experiment, scientists found out that in certain concentrations ferrohydrite nanoparticles suppress the normal functioning of blood cells, and in some, on the contrary, stimulate it.Experts believe that the ability to stimulate normal hematopoiesis can be used to treat iron deficiency anemia. However, before creating such a drug, it is necessary to test it on animals. As the developers emphasize, it is likely that in the process of research it will be possible to create a separate veterinary drug for the treatment of anemia in animals.
– Such experiments are already being carried out, because not only people suffer from anemias of various origins. This problem also affects poultry and cattle.And its solution can improve the productivity of livestock complexes and farms, – said Oksana Kolenchukova.
Photo: TASS / URA.RU / Vadim Akhmetov
Another possible application of the studied nanoparticles is to make them “couriers” delivering potent drugs to the targeted organ (for example, from a tumor or injury), bypassing healthy human organs and tissues and without irritating the gastrointestinal tract. It is assumed that the preparation with “nano-iron” will be injected into the patient.Then the medicine will be directed to the desired location using a magnet.
Anemia is a mild disease, but about 40% of people on Earth suffer from it to some extent. At the same time, it can be the cause of other pathologies, for example, coronary heart disease , Vladimir Potemkin, head of the Research Laboratory for Computer Modeling of Medicines at SUSU, told Izvestia.
– Since it is always important to eliminate the cause, not the effect, the treatment of anemia is still relevant.The existing methods of treating anemia have been used for a long time, but they do not demonstrate high efficiency. Therefore, it is necessary to look for new ways to treat this disease. The use of nanoparticles is one of the options, says the specialist.
The possibility of treating iron deficiency anemia using nanotechnology by direct delivery of the initial components to the site of hemoglobin formation looks promising, Konstantin Brazovsky, professor at the Research School of Chemical and Biomedical Technologies of Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU), said in a conversation with Izvestia.The fact is that in many cases, anemia arises not only as a result of insufficient iron content in food, but due to a violation of the processes of formation of the internal depot of ferric iron.
Photo: Izvestia / Kristina Kormilitsyna
– These biochemical processes are extremely complex and multi-stage. Correction of such conditions requires a long time and careful selection of the treatment regimen, the professor explained. – The presented development, subject to proof of the safety and efficacy of the created biogenic nanoparticles of ferrohydrite, can open a new page in the treatment of a wide range of iron deficiency conditions caused by disorders of iron metabolism in the body.
In addition, with intez nanoparticles with the help of bacteria, acting as a kind of “biological mini-factories”, is one of the bright modern trends that fits into the concept of “green technologies” “(A university – a participant in the project to improve the competitiveness of education” 5-100 “) Yulia Spivak.
– The problem of anemia remains relevant, and the development of bioavailable forms of iron with a high percentage of assimilation by the body is an extremely popular topic, – said Yulia Spivak.“However, , the question of“ utilization ”and ways of removing such nanoparticles from the body remains open.
To understand this, as well as to study how the particles are biocompatible and non-toxic, SibFU scientists have yet to understand during preclinical and clinical trials of the drug.
7. Additional information (including factors affecting the outcome of the disease or condition)
The criteria for the effectiveness of IDA treatment with oral iron preparations are:
– reticulocytic reaction: on the 7-10th day from the start of treatment with iron preparations, reticulocytes are increased (usually by 2 – 3% or 20 – 30) compared to their number before the start of treatment;
– increase in Hb concentration by the end of the 4th week of treatment with iron preparations by 10 g / l and Hct by 3% in relation to the initial values before treatment ;
– disappearance of clinical manifestations of the disease after 1 – 1.5 months.from the start of treatment with iron preparations;
– Overcoming tissue sideropenia and replenishing iron in the depot after 3 – 6 months. from the start of treatment (depending on the severity of anemia), which is controlled by the normalization of the concentration of SF (more than 30 μg / l).
Refractoriness of IDA to treatment with iron preparations is most often due to inadequacy of the prescribed therapy or anemia not associated with iron deficiency. The absence of a positive response to adequate ferrotherapy may indicate the presence of the so-called iron-refractory iron deficiency anemia (IRIDA) in the patient [33–35].IRIDA is an autosomal recessive inherited disorder with familial cases. It is known that the treatment of this type of IDA with oral iron preparations is ineffective; a partial effect can be obtained with the use of parenteral iron preparations. The cause of IRIDA is a congenital genetic defect – a mutation of the gene encoding transmembrane serine protease 6 (TMPRSS6). The consequence of this genetic defect is the overproduction of hepcidin, which inhibits the absorption of iron in the intestine, recirculation and release of iron from tissue stores [34, 35].
IDA with timely diagnosis, identification of the causes of occurrence, proper treatment can be cured in 100% of cases. The so-called “relapses” of IDA most often indicate an undetected (unresolved) cause of the development of the disease or incorrect diagnosis and treatment.
In order for the therapy with parenteral iron preparations to be effective and safe for the patient, strict adherence to the following principles of treatment is necessary:
– the use of modern parenteral iron preparations with less toxicity and without anaphylactoid reactions that threaten the patient’s life;
– discontinuation of therapy after replenishing the iron deficiency in order to avoid the development of iron overload.For the same reasons, it is desirable to carry out therapy with parenteral iron preparations under the control of NTJ;
– compliance with the technique of intravenous infusion of iron preparations;
– mandatory compliance with the instructions for the use of a parenteral iron preparation, if a trial dose is provided before starting treatment;
– treatment is recommended in the range of safe doses, since the undesirable effects of parenteral iron preparations are dose-dependent.
Prophylactic vaccinations for children with IDA are not contraindicated, does not require normalization of Hb concentration and should be carried out in patients with mild anemia at the usual time, since the number of immunocompetent cells in patients is sufficient. In our country, an official document “Vaccine prophylaxis. Medical contraindications to preventive vaccinations with drugs from the national vaccination calendar. Methodical instructions” has been published . According to this document, anemia, including IDA, should not be a contraindication to vaccination.Section 13.4. This document says: “Anemia is not severe, alimentary genesis should not be a reason for withdrawal from vaccination, after which the child is prescribed appropriate treatment. Severe anemia requires clarification of the cause, followed by a decision on the timing of vaccination.”
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Loss of smell is not always COVID-19. There is an “iron” reason
The main topic of this fall is still the coronavirus.A symptom that everyone is afraid to find in themselves is anosmia, that is, complete or partial immunity to odors. However, this symptom can appear not only with COVID-19. On the air of the TV channel “Russia 1” they said that one of the diseases in which it is useless to smell roses is anemia.
Anemia is characterized by a decreased level of hemoglobin in the blood, which will be shown by a general clinical blood test. What is the danger of this ailment and how to cope with it, in the studio of the program “On the Most Important”, hematologist of the highest category, Candidate of Medical Sciences Alexei Fedorov tells.
Using the example of a TV viewer who applied to the program with a strange set of complaints, he pointed out that the so-called “seizures” – cracks in the corners of the mouth – are a typical symptom of the most common type of anemia – iron deficiency. In women, it can occur even as a result of normal physiological blood loss, if it is not compensated for with adequate nutrition, that is, with prolonged restriction of the diet or lack of animal products in it. In some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, iron in the body is simply not absorbed.
Other symptoms of anemia are: increased fatigue, pallor of the skin, a change in taste and smell (suddenly you start to like unpleasant odors before, and sometimes you even want to eat something inedible like chalk or clay), decreased concentration of attention and immunity, as well as in severe cases – blue discoloration of the nail plates. It can be seen that the symptoms of anemia are nonspecific, and it is easy to confuse it with other diseases. But it is necessary to recognize it in time!
In severe anemia, the blood carries less and less oxygen, which disrupts the functioning of internal organs, the cardiovascular and central nervous systems.Moreover, this manifests itself not at rest, but with mental and physical activity. Hence – weakness and shortness of breath, which can also be mistaken for a symptom of covid.
How to make up for iron deficiency in the body? Its primary sources are muscle meat. There is less useful myoglobin in the liver, but there is also. If changing the diet does not solve the problem, you can start drinking iron supplements in tablets, and if they do not help, then you will have to resort to intravenous administration.
90,000 MRI for anemia | Center for MRI “Ami”
Anemia is a decrease in the level of hemoglobin and / or red blood cells in the blood.The main way to diagnose this disease is a general blood test, according to the results of which the doctor prescribes the appropriate treatment.
Types of anemia
- Post-hemorrhagic anemia occurs with blood loss – acute (during operations or trauma) or chronic (heavy menstruation, peptic ulcer disease).
- Hemolytic anemia is associated with active destruction of red blood cells. It is also called hematopoietic, and in some cases it may be a contraindication to MRI with contrast.This question is clarified by the attending physician, who has a complete picture of the disease.
- Deficiency anemia is a consequence of a lack of trace elements necessary for hematopoiesis – most often it is iron deficiency anemia. It can also develop due to a lack of folic acid or vitamin B12.
- Hypoplastic (or aplastic) anemia is the most difficult and rare type of anemia associated with impaired hematopoiesis in the bone marrow, which leads to disorders in the structure of the bone marrow.MRI for anemia is far from the main type of diagnosis, however, with this form of the disease, it is it that allows us to identify the possible causes of such disorders.
All of the listed types of anemias have characteristic signs, however, there are a number of symptoms that are characteristic of all types of anemia. If they appear, the patient is strongly advised to undergo all the necessary examinations and consult with the attending physician.