Anaemia is a condition characterised by a decrease in the number of red blood cells or a deficiency in the amount of haemoglobin in the blood. Haemoglobin is the protein responsible for carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues. When a person has anaemia, their body doesn’t receive enough oxygen, leading to a range of symptoms and health complications. An iron profile test in Delhi or any town/city can help you know the root cause of anaemia. Here, get a comprehensive idea about anaemia.
Symptoms of Anaemia
Fatigue and Weakness: Feeling tired and weak is a common symptom of anaemia. The body’s organs and tissues aren’t receiving enough oxygen, which can result in decreased energy levels.
- Pale Skin – A person with anaemia may have a pale or “washed out” appearance. This occurs because the red blood cells responsible for giving colour to the skin are reduced.
- Shortness of Breath – When there is a lack of oxygen reaching the body’s tissues, individuals may experience shortness of breath, even with minimal exertion.
- Rapid or Irregular Heartbeat – The heart compensates for the reduced oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood by beating faster or irregularly.
- Dizziness and Fainting – In severe cases of anaemia, dizziness, lightheadedness, and fainting may occur due to insufficient oxygen supply to the brain.
- Headaches and Cold Hands and Feet – Poor circulation and reduced oxygen delivery to extremities can cause cold hands and feet, as well as frequent headaches.
Causes of Anaemia
Here are some common causes of anaemia:
- Iron Deficiency – The most common cause of anaemia worldwide is iron deficiency. Insufficient intake of iron-rich foods, blood loss (from heavy menstrual periods, gastrointestinal bleeding, or injury), and poor iron absorption can lead to this type of anaemia.
- Vitamin Deficiency – Lack of essential vitamins, such as vitamin B12 and folate, can impair red blood cell production and result in anaemia.
- Chronic Diseases – Certain chronic diseases, such as kidney disease, cancer, HIV/AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease, can interfere with the body’s production of red blood cells or cause increased destruction of red blood cells.
- Genetic Disorders – Inherited conditions like sickle cell anaemia and thalassemia affect the structure and production of red blood cells, leading to anaemia.
- Bone Marrow Disorders – Diseases affecting the bone marrow, such as leukaemia, myelodysplastic syndromes, and myelofibrosis, can disrupt the production of red blood cells.
Treatment of Anaemia
The treatment for anaemia depends on its underlying cause and severity. Here are some common approaches:
- Iron Supplements – If anaemia is due to iron deficiency, iron supplements may be prescribed to replenish iron stores in the body. Dietary changes to include iron-rich foods like leafy greens, red meat, and beans are also recommended.
- Vitamin Supplements – In cases of vitamin deficiency anaemia, supplements containing vitamin B12 or folate are administered to correct the deficiency.
- Blood Transfusions – In severe cases, particularly when there is acute blood loss or extremely low haemoglobin levels, a blood transfusion may be necessary to quickly restore red blood cell levels and improve oxygenation.
- Treating Underlying Conditions – Anaemia resulting from chronic diseases or bone marrow disorders requires managing the underlying condition. This may involve medications, chemotherapy, immunosuppressive therapy, or bone marrow transplantation.
- Hormonal Treatments – Women with heavy menstrual bleeding may benefit from hormonal treatments, such as birth control pills or hormone-releasing intrauterine devices, to reduce blood loss.
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Prevention of Anaemia
Some measures can help prevent anaemia:
- Consuming a balanced diet rich in iron, vitamins, and minerals
- Ensuring adequate intake of foods containing vitamin C, which enhances iron absorption
- Managing chronic conditions effectively through regular medical check-ups and adherence to treatment plans
- Taking supplements as recommended by healthcare professionals in case of dietary deficiencies
- Addressing excessive menstrual bleeding or other causes of blood loss promptly
Anaemia is a condition characterised by a decrease in red blood cells or a deficiency in haemoglobin. Its symptoms include fatigue, pale skin, shortness of breath, and rapid heartbeat. Iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency, chronic diseases, genetic disorders, and bone marrow disorders are common causes. Treatment options range from dietary changes and supplements to blood transfusions and management of underlying conditions. By understanding the symptoms, causes, and available treatments, individuals can seek appropriate medical care and make lifestyle adjustments to manage or prevent anaemia effectively.