Anaemia - causes, classification and treatment

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There are three considerable factors taken into account to diagnose anaemia: enough lacks of healthy red blood cells (RBCs), enough lacks of or hemoglobin which binds the oxygen, lower hematocrit. Anaemia is a blood disorder.

There are possible signs of this disease such as:

  • tiredness or weakness,
  • pale or yellowish skin,
  • faintness or dizziness,
  • increased thirst,
  • sweating,
  • rapid breathing, shortness of breath,
  • lower leg cramps,
  • heart-related symptoms (abnormal heart rhythms).

Anaemia is evaluated when those measurements are twice lower than standard and they are not adjustable to age and sex. Because of the course of this disease, there are four types of anaemia:

  • mild,
  • moderate,
  • severe,
  • life-threatening.

They depend on the level of hemoglobin1

More popular classification of anaemia is based on a causes of this disease. Themost common form of anaemia is iron deficiency anaemia which is usually due to chronic blood loss caused by excessive menstruation, traumatic hemorrhage and gastrointestinal bleeding2. Iron deficiency anaemia may develop when demands for iron are increasing, i.e. in foetal growth in pregnancy and children undergoing rapid growth spurts in infancy and adolescence3. Treatment for iron deficiency anaemia will depend on the cause and severity of the condition and may include dietary changes and supplements, medicines, and blood transfusion4.

Pernicious anaemia is a form of megaloblastic anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency dependent on impaired absorption of vitamin B12. This type may develop also in people who have conditions that prevent them from absorbing vitamin B12 (because of their certain autoimmune disorders that involve the endocrine glands) and in strict vegetarian. Treatment for this type of anaemia includes vitamin B12 supplements and dietary changes (eating foods rich in vitamin B12, such meat, fish, eggs, dairy products; breads, cereals, and other foods fortified with vitamin B12)5.

Aplastic anaemia (inherited as Fanconi anaemia FA; or acquired) is a blood disorder in which the body’s bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells. This may result in a number of health problems including arrhythmias, an enlarged heart, infections, bleeding and even leukemia6. Aplastic anaemia can be caused by exposed to the toxins, such as pesticides as well as radiation and chemotherapy or by medicines such as chloramphenicol7.

Haemolytic anaemia is a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed and removed from the bloodstream before their normal lifespan is up. This type may be inherited (as Thalassaemias or Sickle cell anaemia) or acquired. If is aquired may be caused by autoimmune disorders but also by heavy metals, sulfonamides or even malarial infections8.

Treatments for anemia depend on cause and severity. Supplements given orally or intramuscularly will replace specific deficiencies as well as blood transfusions or marrow stem cell transplants and lifestyle changes.

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