Generally, Anemia is described as a condition where a person does not have appropriate number of red blood cells (RBCs) in the blood. In other words a person with low blood count is considered by physicians as anemic. According to doctors there are three types of anemia arising from the RBC count. This classification is done depending upon the size of the RBCs that are microcytic, normocytic and macrocytic anemia.
- Microcytic Anemia: This condition is when the RBCs are less than normal. The main reasons of microcytic anemia are iron deficiency or inappropriate level of iron in the body. Sometimes a person suffers from Microcytic Anemia when he has Thalassemia, it is an inherited disorder of hemoglobin.
- Normocytic Anemia: In this the RBCs are normal in size but are less in number. It is mostly accompanied with chronic diseases or this type of anemia connected with the kidney disease.
- Macrocytic: Here the RBCs are bigger than normal the main cause of this is anemia is alcoholism.
Another thing that should be mentioned here is that in medical terms Anemia is a manifestation of a disease rather than a disease itself. The doctors generally determine the reason on the basis of the duration a person has been suffering from Anemia. It helps in determining the gravity or severity of the case and subsequent treatment as well.
In chronic cases, symptoms usually start gradually and moves forward slowly but in acute cases symptoms are normally sudden and even very more painful. In developed countries like the United States, 2% to 10% of total population is anemic. In developing countries like India this rate is even higher especially in young women and adolescent girls due to excessive menstrual bleeding and lack of adequate nutrition.
As anemia is a condition arising from the count of RBCs lets understand that these blood cells main function is to supply oxygen from the lungs to other organs of the body.
These RBCs are made within the bone marrow and many factors are involved in their production. For example,
- Iron is a very important component of the hemoglobin molecule
- Erythropoietin, a molecule secreted by the kidneys, promotes the formation of red blood cells in the bone marrow.
To have exact number of RBCs and prevention of anemia requires synergy between the kidneys, the bone marrow, and nutrients within the body. If they are not functioning properly and getting proper nutrition then it would be difficult to maintain adequate red blood cell count and proper functioning may be difficult to maintain.
Anemia can cause different kind of complications like:
- Blood loss
- Inadequate production of RBC’s
- Nutritional problems
- Organ Dysfunction
- Heart Failure
Finally let’s discuss the treatments for anemia. Some of the most important treatments of anemia are:
- Blood transfusions
- Blood and marrow stem cell transplants
- Oral iron transplants
- Iron replacement therapy