Anemia is a condition when the number of red blood cells is lower than the normal amount. In addition, anemia occurs when the hemoglobin in the red blood cells is not enough, such as iron-rich proteins that give a blood red color. These proteins help red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs throughout the body.
Therefore, the body that does not get enough oxygen-rich blood will undergo anemia. As a result, one might feel tired or weak. In addition, other symptoms may appear to be shortness of breath, dizziness, or headaches.
Here are some of the types of anemia that can occur:
- B12 deficiency Anemia.
- Folate deficiency Anemia.
- Iron deficiency Anemia.
- Anemia due to chronic diseases.
- Hemolytic Anemia.
- Aplastic Anemia
- Megaloblastic Anemia.
- Pernsious Anemia.
- Sickle cell Anemia.
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Risk Factors for Anemia
Here are the factors that increase the risk of a person experiencing anemia:
- Deficiency of vitamins and nutrients such as low in iron, vitamin B-12, and folate.
- Intestinal disorders, so that the ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins decreases.
- Have chronic diseases.
- There is a history of the same disease in the family
- Other factors such as exposure to toxic substances, immune condition, and so forth.
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Causes of Anemia
Bone marrow is a soft tissue in the middle of the bone that helps form all blood cells. Healthy red blood cells will last between 90 to 120 days. Afterwards, the old blood cells in the body will be replaced with a new one. This process takes place continuously. In the body there is a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO) which is made in the kidneys. Its job is to give signals to the bone marrow to "create" more red blood cells for the body.
Hemoglobin is the oxygen-carrying protein in red blood cells and it is this protein that gives red blood cells. For the people with anemia, they do not have enough hemoglobin.
Possible causes of anemia include:
- Consumption of certain medications.
- The elimination occurs earlier than usual in red blood cells, caused by immune problems.
- Have a history of chronic diseases, such as cancer, kidney, rheumatoid arthritis, or ulcerative colitis.
- Have some form of anemia, such as thalassaemia or sickle cell anemia, which can be lowered.
- Are pregnant.
- It has health problems with bone marrow such as lymphoma, leukemia, aplastic or myelodysplasia anemia, and multiple myeloma.
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Symptoms of Anemia
- Always feel irritable.
- The body more often feels weak or tired or while exercising.
- Experiencing difficult problems concentrating or thinking.
There will be conditions like the following, when the disease is getting worse:
- Color blue to white on the eyes.
- Nails become fragile.
- It appears a desire to eat ice cubes, soil, or other things that are not food (this condition is also called "Pica").
- Dizziness when standing.
- Pale skin tone.
- Shortness of breath.
- The tongue hurt.
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Diagnosis of Anemia
The doctor may perform a blood check and other tests to find a condition of anemia. Diagnosis is conducted by means of a blood test to determine the common type of anemia consisting of:
- Levels of iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, and other vitamins and minerals.
- Red blood cell count and hemoglobin level.
- The number of reticulocytes.
- In addition, there are also other tests that may be performed to find medical problems that may cause anemia.
Complications of Anemia
Anemia in a long time can cause damage to the brain, heart, and other organs in the body. In certain conditions, anemia can even lead to death.
Treatment of Anemia
Treatment should be directed at the cause of anemia. Among them are:
- Blood transfusions.
- Administration of medications that can suppress the immune system.
- Administration of drugs with the aim to multiply blood cells in the body.
- Taking iron supplements, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamins, as well as other minerals.
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Prevention of Anemia
Prevention of anemia can be done by consuming foods that contain iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. Avoid consuming caffeinated drinks and drinking vitamin C so that the body can absorb more iron from the food.
When to go to a doctor?
If you have any signs and symptoms of anemia, immediately discuss with the doctor to find out the cause and get the appropriate treatment.
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