Anemia is a medical condition characterized by an insufficient amount of red blood cells in the body to transport enough oxygen to tissues.
Types of blood cells
There are three different types of blood cells that float inside the plasma:
- White blood cells: These cells fight infection
- Platelets: These cells help the blood to clot after injury.
- Red blood cells: These cells carry oxygen from the lungs, by blood flow, to the brain and other vital organs and tissues in the body.
Symptoms of anemia
The onset of symptoms of anemia in patients depends on the degree of anemia they suffer in addition to the frequency of development of the disease and the patient’s need for oxygen
Symptoms of anemia vary depending on the cause, which include:
- Pale skin
- Rapid and irregular heart palpitations
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest aches
Risk factors for anemia include:
- Malnutrition: Everyone, whether young or adult, is often nourished from iron-poor foods and vitamins, especially folic acid, at risk of anemia. The body needs iron, protein and vitamins to produce enough red blood cells.
- intestinal diseases and disorders: People with diseases or disorders of the intestine that affect the absorption of food compounds in the small intestine are at risk of anemia. An operation to remove part of the small intestine, or treat the affected part of the small intestine, in which food compounds are absorbed, can lead to a deficiency in certain food compounds, and then to anemia.
- Menstrual cycle (women in fertile age) are generally the most susceptible to iron deficiency anemia, compared to men because women lose blood and, as a result, lose iron during menstruation.
- Pregnancy: Pregnant women are very vulnerable to iron deficiency, because their iron stores should support a larger volume of blood than normal and should also be a source of hemoglobin that the fetus needs to grow and develop.
- Chronic diseases and conditions: People with cancer, liver failure, or any other chronic medical condition. These medical conditions may cause a decrease in red blood cells. Slow but chronic blood loss from peptic ulcers, or from ulcers elsewhere in the body, can lead to depletion of iron stores in the body, causing iron-deficiency anemia.
- Genetic factors: If a family member has a hereditary , such as sickle cell , this is a risk factor for anemia.
Treatment of anemia
Treatments for anemia vary depending on the cause, as follows:
- Treatment of iron deficiency: In most cases, iron deficiency is treated with iron supplements.
- Treatment of vitamin deficiency it is a difficult type of anemia that is treated with injections containing vitamin B-12, which in some cases may last a lifetime.
- Treatment of it associated with chronic diseases: There is no specific treatment for this type.