January 31, 2014

Anemia

         Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin.  Hemoglobin is a main part of red blood cells and binds oxygen. If you have too few or abnormal red blood cells, or your hemoglobin is abnormal or low, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen. Symptoms of anemia -- like fatigue -- occur because organs aren't getting what they need to function properly. 

What Causes Anemia?
There are more than 400 types of Anemia, which are divided into three groups:
  • Anemia caused by blood loss
  • Anemia caused by decreased or faulty red blood cell production
  • Anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells

Blood Test Monitoring 

Blood tests are taken regularly to monitor your red blood cell (hemoglobin) levels.
  • Normal hemoglobin (Hgb) levels: Women 11.7 -15.7 Men 13.3 -17.7 
  • A slight drop in your red blood cell count may not result in any symptoms
  • A large drop (severe Anemia) may result in a variety of signs and symptoms which may require special medical/nursing care


What Are the Symptoms of Anemia?

Symptoms common to many types of anemia include the following:
  • Easy fatigue and loss of energy
  • Unusually rapid heart beat, particularly with exercise
  • Shortness of breath and headache, particularly with exercise
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Leg cramps
  • Insomnia

Call Your Doctor About Anemia If

  • Persistent fatigue, breathlessness, rapid heart rate, pale skin, or any other symptoms of anemia
  • 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.

How is Anemia treated?

Treatment for anemia depends on the type, cause, and severity of the condition. Treatments may include dietary changes or supplements, medicines, procedures, or surgery to treat blood loss
Source : WebMD
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