Anemia: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment
Pallor of the skin, fatigue and fatigue – the symptoms of anaemia are widely known. But the causes of the blood scarcity could hardly be more manifold. Find out here which tasks the red blood cells take over and how this can lead to the dangerous deficiency.
Blood poverty – a simple-sounding disease that can have very diverse causes. From the medical point of view, a deficiency of haemoglobin usually leads to anaemia. Hemoglobin is the dye that colours the blood red and transports the oxygen from the lungs into the tissue. It is the main component of red blood cells (erythrocytes). A haemoglobin molecule can “charge” four oxygen molecules and distribute them over the bloodstream. In the tissue, the protein then absorbs the metabolic end product CO2 in exchange for the oxygen and brings the gas back to the lung – it is exhaled.
The erythrocytes, however, are only one of the solid components of human blood. With the white blood cells (leukocytes) and the cells of the blood coagulation (thrombocytes), these solids make up about 45 percent of the blood. The rest consists of plasma.
Anemia: 1. Disorder of blood formation
There are numerous reasons why there may be a lack of erythrocytes or haemoglobin. A disorder in the process of blood formation is a possible cause
The blood components are formed in the bone marrow. After a maturation phase of several days, the blood corpuscles enter the circulation and carry out their work. A genetic defect, a tumour in the bone marrow or leukaemia (blood cancer) can lead to a disruption of the blood formation. Thus, anaemia is not an independent disease but a symptom of a different basic disease.
A lack of vitamins and trace elements can lead to a blood loss. If the body does not have enough iron to form haemoglobin, there may be a lack of blood cells. We then speak of the so-called iron – deficiency anemia , the most common form of blood-deficiency. Also, severe bleeding due to birth, surgery, accident or during menstruation can cause iron deficiency anaemia. The iron supplies are then not enough to compensate for the loss of blood. Constantly bleeding gastrointestinal or intestinal ulcers can also cause the disease.
Even a lack of folic acid or vitamin B12 can cause the anaemia. Folic acid is an important metabolic component and contributes to blood formation. A deficiency is usually due to an unbalanced or unbalanced diet. Also, an increased consumption of alcohol can lead to a folic acid deficiency. Vitamin B12 metabolizes the absorbed folic acid and is absorbed from the food through the gastric and intestinal mucosa. A disturbance in the gastrointestinal flora can lead to a deficiency of the vitamin. Inflammation in the digestive tract can also cause a blood loss.
The Pernicious anemia is a special form of vitamin B12 deficiency. In this case, the immune cells attack the gastric mucosa and destroy cells there. By this destruction, a certain substance, the so-called instrumental factor, is not formed sufficiently. It is essential for the intake of vitamin B12 in the organism but elementary. Thus there is a deficiency, although enough of the vitamin was absorbed by the food.
A Renal Anemia occurs when the glands make too little erythropoietin. This is a hormone that stimulates blood formation in the bone marrow. Through damage to the kidneys and chronic diseases, a deficiency of the hormone can lead to anaemia.
Inflammations are the cause of a blood mutilation, especially in elderly people. Due to viral diseases, bacterial infections or chemotherapy, the immune system and the blood formation are too much stressed and a blood mutilation can occur.
Thalassemia is the term for a genetic defect, which leads to the fact that certain molecules of the haemoglobin cannot be formed properly. The erythrocytes thus have not only a different shape but also a shorter lifetime. Instead of several weeks they are sorted out and destroyed by the spleen.
Sickle cell anemia: This is also a genetic defect that leads to a change in the red blood cells. They have a sickle-like shape and are therefore filtered out of the circuit more quickly and cannot take over their tasks.
2. Blood loss as the cause of a blood loss
The use of certain medications can lead to a change in the blood structure. The antibiotic penicillin, for example, hangs on the surface of the erythrocytes and thus changes its shape – the blood corpuscles are recognized by the body as defective and sorted out. Even body defence cells can cause this effect.
Internal bleeding, injury, or increased menstruation can lead to a lack of blood in the system. The lost blood is replaced by the body by liquid and the blood is thus diluted very much. This is, however, a temporary anemia, for when the bleeding is stopped the missing blood can be imitated. Transfusion may be necessary.
3. Other causes of anemia
Various underlying diseases can cause anaemia. To list all possibilities is beyond the scope of the article.
Symptoms of anaemia
If there is a blood mutilation, it usually results in a pallor of the skin, weakness and fatigue. Also, dizziness, headaches and a lower performance are often noticed. Underloading may result in an increased heartbeat with heart palpitations and ear noises. A red and very smooth tongue, as well as torn corners of the mouth, maybe the first indication of anaemia in the dental examination. In an iron deficiency anaemia, the fingernails and hair become brittle and limbs can tingle and fall asleep.
In the case of anaemia due to a vitamin B12 deficiency, it can also lead to digestive disorders such as constipation or diarrhoea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite. If there is internal bleeding, blood in the stool or urine may be a sign. Low blood pressure and circulatory problems may also indicate internal blood loss.
If these symptoms occur, a doctor should be contacted immediately. For a first clarification, the dentist is the right contact person. He can ask the questionnaire diagnosis anaemia by the questioning and a first blood test.
Treatment of a blood loss
Since there are many different causes of anaemia, there are just as many treatment routes. Depending on the cause, a special therapy is necessary. The cause of the blood deficiency can be found in the analysis of the large blood picture, stool and urine samples, ultrasound images of the spleen and the kidneys as well as gynaecological examinations.
If bleeding is the reason for the anaemia, it must be breastfed and treated. If another disease is the cause of the deficiency of blood cells, this must be treated.
In the case of frequent iron deficiency anemia, a change of the diet is necessary in order to treat the blood poverty. Especially fish, meat and legumes contain a lot of iron and should be increasingly on the menu. Also, folic acid and vitamin B12 can be absorbed with the right diet over the food. If the necessary amount cannot be absorbed through the food, preparations can provide relief. These dietary supplements should never be taken without consultation with the treating physician, as drug interactions may occur.
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