Anemia generally refers to reduced number of the red blood cell in the blood below the normal quantity or less quantity of hemoglobin. Anemia could also imply that the capacity of the blood to bind oxygen and hemoglobin. This leads to a situation in which there is reduced oxygen supply to the body for physiological processes. The condition in which the oxygen supply is insufficient is referred to as hypoxia. Considering the fact that all human cells depend on Oxygen for efficient functioning, varying levels of anemia have differing clinical consequences
Anemia is the most prevalent disorder of the blood and is classified depending on the morphological characteristic of the red blood cells, visible clinical spectra e.t.c. The three major categories of amnesia include excessive loss of blood which may occur in the form of acute hemorrhage or the chronic low volume blood loss, haemolysis which is the excessive destruction of the red blood cells and the production of very few red blood cells.
Diagnosis of Anemia is based on two major approaches, the ‘kinetic’ approach and the ‘morphologic approach. The ‘kinetic’ approach’ entails analysis of the production, the destruction and the loss of red blood cells. On the other hand the morphologic categories anemia with consideration to the size of the red blood cell. The morphologic approach utilizes easily accessible and cheap lab test at the initial stages of the test. The kinetic approach allows the rapid exposure of the anemia cases in the circumstances where the various causes exist concurrently.
The classification of anemia is equally based on the red blood cell size and the production-loss consideration. The sizes of the red blood cells give rise to three types of anemia; the microcytic, normocytic and the macrocytic anemia. The macrocytic anemia is due to extremely small red blood cell a size below the normal 80fl. The normocytic anemia is the anemic condition with the red blood cells having the normal size of 80-100fl and the macrocytic anemia is the case where the red blood cell are larger than normal, a size of more than 100fl. This classification scheme effectively reveals a number of the common causes of anemia. It is deducible that the microcytic anemia is normally the result of deficiency of iron.
The production-destruction scheme is the most reliable in classifying anemia. It depends on the analysis of several aspects of the blood. It leads to the categorization of the condition based on reduction in the production of the red blood cells as compared to an increase in the red blood cells destruction. The signs of loss or destruction are very important in this classification and include haemolysis and indications of bleeding
Causes of Anemia
Blood loss can cause anemia as the red blood cells are lost when an individual bleeds. This can go on for a long and slowly to the extent that they are undetected. The cause of the chronic bleeding can be:
- Gastro intestinal complications which include ulcers, gastritis, hemorrhoids and possibly cancer.
- Use of anti-inflammatory medication like aspirin and ibuprofen which may lead to ulcers and/ or gastritis.
- Excessive menstruation in ladies and the process of child birth especially in the event of multiple pregnancies, the blood loss could be intensive and may lead to an anemic condition.
Decrease in the Red blood cells production is another major cause of anemia. In this case the body produces a few red blood cells or in some cases the red blood cell produced could have abnormalities and be incapable of carrying out there functions effectively. The conditions which are greatly related to this defect include:
- Problems with the bone Marrow and stem cells
- Sickle cell anemia-This is a defect in which the red blood cell become crescent shaped. There oxygen transporting capacity is diminished due to the fact that they break down quickly. They cause excruciating pain when they get stuck in the blood vessels.
- Deficiency of vitamins in the body.
- Iron deficiency anemia condition
Iron deficiency or the lack of mineral iron also leads to anemia. The presence of Iron in the body is very essential for the bone marrows to make the hemoglobin which forms part of the red blood cells. The causes of iron deficiency anemia include:
- A diet which does not provide sufficient iron especially in the early stages of development e.g. in infants, children and teens.
- Pregnancy and breast feeding are periods during which there are a lot of metabolic functions that demand a lot of iron hence depleting the ladies body iron.
- Menstrual cycle.
- A high frequency of donating blood,
- Training in endurance and,
- Some drugs, caffeine drinks and foods.
Destruction of the red blood cells also cause anemia. In this condition, the red blood cells are weak and cannot sustain the strain associated with the circulatory system. They therefore get destroyed prematurely leading to hemolytic anemia. This defect can exist at birth but in some circumstance it develops later. It can be caused by:
- Hereditary defects such as sickle cell anemic conditions.
- Drugs and elements that cause bodily stress such as venom from spiders and snakes or certain foods.
- The toxins related to disease of the kidney or liver.
- Attack by The immune system inappropriately directed to the red blood cell can cause anemia.
- Tumors, Exposure t chemicals, severe burns, clotting defects, acute hypertension etc.
- Deficiency in vitamin B12 and folate which are very essential in the making of the red blood cells
- Complications in the bone marrow and/ or the stem cells which leads to production less red blood cells or blood cells with defects hence anemia may result
Symptoms of Anemia
Anemia is in essence reduced supply of oxygen to the body and exhibits a variety of symptoms. It may also aggravate the existing or lurking medical condition. In the mild cases however no symptoms may be exhibited. The major symptoms of anemia are:
- Decrease in energy,
- Shortness of breath,
- Irregular breathing and
- Paleness of the skin.
Acute Anemia has got several symptoms that accompany it. Some of the symptoms of acute anemia include:
- Chest pain or even a heart attack.
- Rapid rate of the heartbeat.
- Fainting spell.
Anemia Home Remedies
The remedies for anemia are many and are specific to the type of anemia in question. Remember, you should always consult with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis and before trying to incorporate these home remedies yourself!
- The best remedy to anemia is to find the underlying cause of the condition and correct it.
- Iron- Iron deficiency is normally resolved by administering iron supplements.
- Vitamin B12-Those suffering from anemia due to deficiency of vitamin B12 are normally encouraged to take vitamin B12 supplements.
- Nettles-Research shows that nettle is one of the most nutritious plants in the world. It contains large components of iron, chlorophyll, vitamin C and more. These nutrients are important for boosting the immune system.
- Manganese-Taking manganese helps in boosting body metabolism which is essential for trimming down. It is also effective in improving nerves and regulating blood sugar levels.
- Red Raspberry Leaf-Pregnant women are supposed to eat foods rich in iron. This can be achieved by drinking tea made from the red raspberry leaves. These leaves are highly concentrated with iron, which can help you tone your uterus. This tea also helps women to produce more milk and reduce nausea. However, these leaves cannot be used to treat pregnancy complications.
- Balanced Diet-It is always important to ensure that your meals are made of balanced diets to give your body all the essential nutrients. Research has shown that diets made of cereals and dairy products are effective in preventing anemia. Vegetables and fruits are also functional in boosting your immune system.
- Iron Rich Diets-Iron is vital for the formation of hemoglobin. It facilitates supply of oxygen to different cells. Eating foods rich in iron can therefore help prevent anemia.
- Yellow Dock–This is a common weed in Europe and it offers healing benefits when applied as herbal medicine. This herb comes with various medicinal properties such as iron which is essential for the production of red blood cells. But it is important to seek information from your doctor before taking this herb.
- Alfalfa-This is a type of herb mostly used in Asia as food for livestock. However, research has indicated that Alfalfa can offer nutritional as well as medicinal benefits. Traditionally, this herb was used to cure ulcers. It also helps to increase the number of red blood cells. Always check with a qualified medical professional before applying this herbal remedy.
Diet for Anemia
The most common type of anemia is the iron deficiency anemia and the doctors in most cases prescribe iron supplements which are supposed to be complemented with foods rich in iron. Iron from animal products is best absorbed and is referred to as heme iron while iron form plant based products (non-heme) is not best absorbed. Foods containing heme iron which are recommended include
- Organ meats,
- Poultry and
Those containing non heme iron are:
- Dried beans and peas.
- Fortified cereals.
- Pasta products.
- Dark green and leafy vegetables (kales, spinach mustard vegetable etc).
Vitamin B12 for those suffering from the type of Anemia resulting from deficiency of the same can be resolved by the use of foods which contain the vitamin such as:
- Dairy products,
- Eggs and
The Folate is dominant in:
- Orange juice,
- Cold cereal,
- Green leafy Vegetables dried beans,
- Yeast peas,
- Asparagus and
- Cold cereals.
Prevention of Anemia
The prevention for anemia is through the maintenance of a proper diet which supplies the body with all the essential elements and vitamins, equally one should avoid alcoholic drinks which impact negatively on individual nutritional habits. Seeking the doctor’s help and visiting the hospital for regular check is also a very powerful culture that will enable you live a life free from anemia. This should be done with or without the presence of an existing medical problem because the check ups will help the doctors discover signs that lurk in the background and which pre-empt a possible anemia attack. This will enable early treatment and the eventual prevention of anemia.
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