What is Anemia and How to Treat It
Anemia occurs when the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells (RBC) is not enough to meet your body’s needs. There are many types of anemia but the most common is Iron Deficiency Anemia.
Below, we list down some of the most common questions about anemia.
What is Anemia?
Your red blood cells are the part of your blood that is responsible for providing oxygen to other cells inside your body. Hemoglobin, the pigment which comes with the RBCs, is what binds oxygen together before the oxygen gets delivered to the cells. When there is a low number of RBCs, your hemoglobin will not be able to transport sufficient oxygen to the cells. This occurrence is what we know as anemia.
Many people still ask themselves what anemia is. The following are its symptoms. Having one or more of these symptoms may indicate that you have anemia:
- Frequent headaches
- Pale complexion
- Low body temperature
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Spoon-shaped nails (on severe cases)
- Numbness on hands and feet
What Causes Anemia
Now that you know what anemia is, it’s time to look at what causes it. Anemia can cause severe health problems if not treated. It can cause various complications, like fatigue and stress on body organs.
Iron Deficiency Anemia is the most common type of Anemia. This occurs when your body lacks iron. Your bone marrow needs iron to produce hemoglobin. Without enough iron, there won’t be enough hemoglobin produced.
Other types of anemia are classified according to their cause. Hemolytic Anemia occurs when the body destroys its RBCs. This type of anemia can be due to a defect in the RBC that was inherited, or when your immune system attacks the RBCs mistakenly. Aplastic Anemia occurs when the bone marrow fails to produce enough blood cells. This phenomenon may be due to an infection, or exposure to particular toxic chemicals.
Other causes of anemia are the following:
- Vitamin B12 and folate deficiencies
- Parasitic infections (malaria, hookworms, etc.)
- Chronic diseases (cancer, HIV/AIDS)
- Genetic disorders (sickle cell anemia)
How to Treat Anemia
To be sure that you are suffering from anemia, you need to talk with your doctor. Your doctor will be the one to diagnose you. This diagnosis is done with the help of a routine physical examination and some blood tests.
Once it’s been confirmed that you have anemia, your doctor will prescribe some medicines appropriate for the type of anemia you have. Doctors prescribe drops, liquids, or tablets for kids. Children usually take these for as long as three months to make sure their bodies rebuild iron storage. Foods rich in iron are also added to the children’s diet.
For teens who are experiencing very heavy or irregular periods, hormonal treatments are often prescribed. This will help female teens regulate their period.
For severe cases of Anemia, the following may be used depending on doctor’s advice:
- Blood transfusions
- Medicines that fight infection or stimulate the bone marrow
- Bone marrow transplantation
If you are Experiencing Some Symptoms, Visit GMP Medical Immediately!
If you think you or your kid is suffering from anemia, don’t hesitate to call GMP Medical at (305) 440-1422. Talk to Dr. Gloria Mendizabal-Piedra and learn what anemia is and how to treat it.
December 24, 2017 2:22 pm
Categories: Family Health