What is anemia?
Anemia (anaemia) is a group of various pathological conditions, which are based on a decrease in the blood content of red blood cells and hemoglobin, which carries out the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide. The main symptoms are: fatigue, shortness of breath during exercise, pale skin, and low resistance to infectious diseases.
Anemia - one of the most common and dangerous diseases in the world. Some types of anemia are hereditary diseases. But more often anemia is secondary, ie it is one of the symptoms of some common diseases, such as leukemia.
Symptoms of anemia
Causes of anemia
Accelerated destruction of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia).
Anemia can be caused by a decrease in the production of red blood cells, such as leukemia or in the case of pernicious anemia.
Occurrence of iron deficiency anemia due to iron deficiency in the body, which is necessary to make hemoglobin.
Significant loss of erythrocytes in strong and prolonged bleeding (hemorrhagic anemia) due to injuries and the like, and is associated with chronic bleeding, such as stomach ulcers or hemorrhoids.
Treatment of anemia
Treatment is carried out in view of the causes and types of anemia. Proper treatment may complete recovery of the patient. Sometimes anemia is incurable, in severe cases, repeated blood transfusions required.
If the cause of the disease is poor nutrition (eg iron deficiency anemia), then the diet will have a positive influence on its course.
If you experience the above symptoms, you should see a doctor.
The doctor carefully examines the patient, perform a blood test, the cause of anemia and prescribes appropriate treatment. Sometimes hospitalization is required.
Course of the disease
Course of the disease for various types of anemia is very different. Some of them are easy to breach, pass spontaneously or after the course of medication, others pose a serious threat to the life of the patient.
Red blood cells of the human, which is suffering from hemolytic anemia, are characterized by the premature self-destruction. Red blood cells are destroyed in about 100-120 days. Reducing the number of red blood cells in the human body causes the disease. For the same reason, bone marrow activated. In most cases, hemolytic anemia is inherited.
Congenital hemolytic anemia
This is the most common form of hemolytic anemia. It is caused by a defect of the cell membrane of red blood cells. When the disease erythrocytes acquire a spherical shape, they are smaller than normal red blood cells, they are destroyed faster. Hemolytic anemia is characterized by periods of calm, during which the symptoms are not observed. Sometimes there is jaundice, in which the patient experiences fatigue, dizziness, tinnitus, palpitations, shortness of breath, pain under the breastbone. Congenital hemolytic anemia is often accompanied by an increase in the spleen. Often the destruction of red blood cells contributes to the formation of gallstones. The disease can occur in infants. If hemolytic anemia is seen in children, it leads to disruption of bone growth. Dysplasia occurs in children, a large skull, Negroid or Mongoloid facial types are formed. Mental development of children slows. Cure congenital hemolytic anemia can be through the removal of the spleen. In this case, the number of red blood cel
ls in the body is normal. During the crisis, a blood transfusion may save the patient.
Causes of hemolytic anemia
Congenital enzyme deficiency is caused by a gene, which is localized on the X chromosome. Men suffer more than women. The basis of hemolytic anemia - deficiency of the enzyme glucose-phosphate dehydrogenase, as a result, harmless medicines, foods, infections cause a life-threatening destruction of red blood cells. This form of anemia is most common in people of Mediterranean and African countries as well as countries in the Middle East.
Acute condition occurs by eating fava beans, and after taking some medicines. Crisis can be caused by infections, disease of kidney and liver, diabetes and other metabolic disorders. The first symptoms of exacerbation - dark urine, jaundice, abdominal pain, back and limbs, fatigue, fever, fainting and diarrhea. Patients need to know what substances are present dangers to them, and avoid them.
Hemoglobinopathies - hemolytic anemia, in which the structure of hemoglobin or synthesis are violated. There are different forms of the disease.
In thalassemia due to a congenital defect, the formation of the protein chains of hemoglobin is broken. The gene that causes the disease increases the body's resistance to malaria. Thalassemia minor is asymptomatic, so it can be detected only by blood tests. Thalassemia major is more severe. Many patients live only a few years. The fact that it is not cured.
Sickle cell anemia
The red blood cells become sickle-shaped, rapidly destroyed. The patient experiences pain in the joints, back and abdomen. Cause of pain - blockage of the small blood vessels of the modified erythrocytes. The first symptom of the disease - swelling and soreness of feet and hands. Changes occur in the bones, disorders of the heart, liver, developing gallstones, kidney failure, complications of meningitis and septicemia. The typical complication of the disease - a heart attack, insult.
Oval cell anemia
One form of hemolytic anemia - oval cell anemia, in which red blood cells are oval. Sometimes the disease is accompanied by mild ailments. The cause is not known. In severe cases, the symptoms of the disease are similar to the symptoms of congenital hemolytic anemia.
Acquired hemolytic anemia
Antibodies are formed in the human body, they begin to destroy its own red blood cells.
Lead, arsenic, sodium arsenate, distilled water and various organic compounds have toxic effects on red blood cells. In addition, the red blood cells can also be affected by some medicines: aspirin, sulfonamides, fenatsitin, rezohin and antihistamines.
Anemia due to violation of the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin
This form of anemia may occur, for example, due to atrophy of the bone marrow, infections, cancer, folic acid deficiency, but more often it is caused by iron deficiency anemia. If the body does not have enough iron, the function of the respiratory enzymes tissue deteriorates, and then the formation of hemoglobin is broken. Red blood cells are smaller, so they can not perform their functions. The causes of iron deficiency anemia - a chronic blood loss, parasites, hemorrhoids. Resorption of iron from the digestive tract is broken and with diarrhea. Iron deficiency anemia can develop pregnant. In children, it’s the most common form of anemia. In adults, as a result of malnutrition iron deficiency anemia may develop, which is often common in vegetarians. For example, in India and Africa, about half of the population suffers from iron deficiency.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia
In addition to the general symptoms of anemia, symptoms of iron deficiency anemia - physical weakness, breathlessness, dry skin, hair and nails becomes brittle. Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the mouth and tongue starts, with iron-deficiency anemia mucous membrane of the esophagus, stomach and small intestine may be affected.
Women suffer from iron deficiency anemia more often than men. This is because during pregnancy, childbirth and breast a lot of iron consumed.
Treatment of iron deficiency anemia
The first step is to remove the cause of blood loss. Iron supplements are prescribed. Duration of treatment is about 60 days, after which the iron stores of the newly restored. This form of anemia can not be cured with large doses of iron - always only a small amount of iron absorbed, and the rest is removed from the feces.
Anemia, which is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency
Vitamin B12 comes into the body with food. It is found in many foods, especially a lot of it in the kidneys and liver.
Vitamin B12 is absorbed from the intestine only in conjunction with the formation in the stomach factor Castle, which is in the stomach of the elderly is not produced or produced in insufficient quantities. Therefore, the body can not absorb vitamin B12 from food. Most often such a violation occurs in people over forty years. Anemia develops gradually, symptoms include loss of appetite, paresthesia (sensation of crawling on hands and feet), dry skin with a yellowish tint, hair and nails become brittle, break down quickly. The patient is difficult to concentrate, dizziness and fainting are possible. All symptoms rapidly diminish or completely disappear in the treatment of vitamin B12. Regular intramuscular vitamin is necessary due to the inability of its absorption from the gut.
Anemia, which is caused by flat tapeworm
Inadequate absorption of vitamin B12 is also observed in human infection by parasites (eg, flat tapeworm), which occurs from eating raw fish. For many people, despite the presence of parasites, there are no symptoms. And other people have anemia, in which the symptoms of pernicious anemia appear. To expel parasites doctors prescribe worming means, to compensate for a deficiency of vitamin - vitamin B12 preparations.
Causes of anemia in scurvy
When scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), anemia may develop, as in this case the assimilation of iron is violated, predisposition to bleeding increases. Today scurvy - a very rare disease. More common - protein deficiency and related anemia. This type of anemia can occur due to dietary habits, which is related to religion, as well as in countries with tropical climates. Anemia occurs when consuming a vegetarian diet low in protein.
Acute hemorrhagic anemia
Severe anemia occurs suddenly with a large blood loss (eg, trauma or blood clotting). The symptoms of anemia - increased sweating, dizziness, tinnitus, frequent fainting, anxiety, rapid heart rate, decrease blood pressure and thirst.
Large blood loss can cause a lethal shock. Acute blood loss offset intravenous fluids or blood. Sometimes styptics are used. After providing first aid iron supplements are prescribed.
A few years later anemia can be caused by diseases of the stomach, which is caused by iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency or folic acid deficiency. First of all, lack of folic acid appears. Iron stores in the body lasts for about 3 years, vitamin B12 - two.