Anaemia is a common ailment that can have several different causes and symptoms. Some common causes include mechanical factors such as an injury, infection, or autoimmune disease. Special blood tests can help identify the underlying cause and determine the correct treatment. In some cases, treatment includes referral to a specialist, antibiotics, or immune-suppressing drugs.
Symptoms of anaemia
Anaemia is a serious condition where there is a lack of red blood cells. Red blood cells, also called erythrocytes, are disc-shaped and without a hole in the middle. They are produced by the spongy marrow located inside large bones and have a normal lifespan of 120 days. These cells carry oxygen throughout the body and remove carbon dioxide from cells. White blood cells, on the other hand, fight infection and remove waste products. When there is a low amount of all three types of blood cells, a person has anaemia.
People who have anaemia are at an increased risk for getting sick and requiring blood transfusions. They also have a higher risk of developing heart conditions and kidney problems. Some types of anaemia can also cause severe dehydration, which can be life-threatening. People who are at risk for this condition should seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Patients with anaemia often report feelings of weakness and tiredness. They may also experience shortness of breath and general malaise. Severe anaemia can also lead to palpitations and sweating.
Treatment options for anaemia symptoms often begin with diagnosing the underlying cause of anaemia. Causes of anaemia can range from diets lacking in vitamin B12 to a genetic disorder that prevents red blood cell production. Treatments can range from blood transfusions to chemotherapy. Some cases require bone marrow transplantation.
In some cases, anemia can be treated by administering recombinant human erythropoietin (HGE), a hormone that stimulates the body to produce more red blood cells. However, this treatment has risks. Patients may need blood transfusions if their anemia is severe. In some cases, blood stem cell transplants are also recommended.
Other causes of anemia include inherited and acquired diseases, medications, and infections. Certain diseases, including Crohn’s disease, can interfere with B12 absorption and lead to anemia. Cancer treatments can also cause anaemia. While chemotherapy may be effective for treating cancer, its side effects can damage bone marrow and the kidneys.
Signs of iron deficiency anaemia
Iron deficiency anaemia is a common condition with various symptoms that range from a pale skin colour to chest pain, fast heartbeat and shortness of breath. People who do not consume enough iron may also experience cold hands and feet. If the symptoms are severe, they can be life-threatening. Iron supplements can help people with anaemia overcome these symptoms.
Other symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include pale gums, pale hands and feet, cracks in the side of the mouth, a sore or swollen tongue, and a decreased appetite. Babies with anaemia may also experience developmental delays and delayed growth. Young children can also develop cardiac problems due to low iron levels. As a result, they may experience chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or even heart failure.
The most common cause of iron deficiency anaemia is an inadequate intake of iron in the diet. People who do not consume a lot of meat or fish, vegetarians, and people with certain dietary restrictions are at greater risk of developing the condition. Also, low-fat and low-meat diets can prevent proper iron absorption.
Signs of sickle cell anaemia
One of the most common symptoms of sickle cell anaemia is pain in the arms or legs. This occurs when sickle cells block blood flow. The pain may last from hours to weeks. It may be severe enough to require hospitalization. Those with the disease can also develop swollen hands and feet, which can make them susceptible to infections.
A family history of SCD increases a child’s risk of having the disease. SCD is a genetic condition that mainly affects Africans and Hispanics from the Caribbean, although the disease can also affect people of Indian descent and some Mediterranean populations. Even American Indians have been found to have the SCD gene. The most common symptom of SCD is anemia. This can cause a child to look pale and feel tired.
The red blood cells in sickle cell anaemia are fragile and can break apart easily. As a result, they fail to produce an adequate supply of red blood cells. This results in anemia, which causes a person to feel tired and breathless. Another major symptom of sickle cell anaemia is episodes of extreme pain. This happens because the sickle-shaped red blood cells block blood flow.