Anemia

21:53 - 4 May , 2021

Disease

What is Anemia?

It is a condition in which there is an insufficient production of red blood cells to carry the necessary oxygen to the body's tissues in order for it to work properly. Anemia can appear temporarily and disappear or remain for a long time. Likewise, it can be mild to severe, and sometimes, it is a warning sign of an underlying disease. There are different types of anemia, some caused by a poor diet (mainly lacking iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12), inflammatory diseases, immune system disorders, chronic infections, hemorrhages, the action of some medication, among others. The causes of its appearance are variable: 
  • Due to vitamin B12 deficiency: the lack of this vitamin due to a poor diet decreases red blood cells generation, although there are also cases in which, despite ingesting the nutrient, certain organisms cannot assimilate it, giving rise to the so-called pernicious anemia. 
  • Due to inflammation: certain pathologies such as AIDS, arthritis, cancer, and kidney failure, inhibit the normal generation of red blood cells.
  • Due to iron deficiency: it is the most frequent, especially during pregnancy. Its origin can also be due to bleeding such as excessive menstruation, stomach ulcer, cancer, and uncontrolled intake of drugs that cause bleeding. 
  • Due to bone marrow disorders: myelofibrosis and leukemia cause it and their severity is variable, ranging from mild to severe, endangering life. 
  • Hemolytic: caused by blood diseases that destroy red blood cells, which can be hereditary or acquired later on. 
  • Aplastic: it is rare and can cause death. It is caused by recurrent infections, drug side effects, and autoimmune disorders. 

Symptoms

They are variable and depend on the disease’s progress, but those that frequently appear are: 
  • Lack of energy.
  • Tiredness.
  • Breathing problems.
  • Headache.
  • Numbness.
  • Tingling and cold limbs.
  • Irritability.
  • Cardiac arrhythmia.
  • Dizziness.
  • Chest pain.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Yellow skin tone.
  • Trouble concentrating.
Some anemias can be serious and long lasting if not diagnosed and treated early. Due to this, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible if you have these symptoms, since if the anemia is severe, red blood cells and hemoglobin will not be able to transport the necessary oxygen to the body, causing serious complications. In case of pregnant women, babies can be born small and of low weight. If it is due to significant bleeding and it is not stopped promptly, it can lead to death.

Diagnosis and treatment

Your doctor, in addition to performing a physical examination and analyzing your medical history, will request a complete blood count that allows you to know your level of red blood cells and the hemoglobin in your blood, as well as a test to determine the size and shape of red blood cells. If deemed necessary, he or she may take a bone marrow sample to determine the type of anemia you have. The treatment to follow will depend on the cause of the anemia, which may consist of the intake of iron supplements, vitamin B12, folic acid, or other vitamins and minerals, prescribing corticosteroids or other drugs to suppress the immune system and help the bone marrow make more blood cells, blood transfusions, or some other medical procedure. A balanced diet that includes foods rich in iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, and vitamin C can help prevent anemia. In ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.

Fuentes:

  • medlineplus.gov
  • mayoclinic.org
  • msdmanuals.com
  • cancer.net
  • cun.es
  • medigraphic.com
  • Díaz CJA, García MJJ, Díaz CM. Factores de riesgo asociados a la anemia ferropénica en niños menores de dos años. Revista de Ciencias Médicas de la Habana. 2020;27(4):521-530.
  • De la Cruz-Góngora V, Rivera-Pasquel M, Shamah-Levy T, et al. Iron deficiency is not the main contributor to anemia in older Mexican adults: results from the National Health and Nutrition Survey 2018-19. Salud Pública Mex. 2021;63(3):412-421.
  • Cardoso-Reyes MC, Morales-Castillejos L. Tratamiento de la anemia inflamatoria. Rev Hematol Mex. 2021;22(1):9-17.
  • Zapata GA, Uc MME, Angulo VFI, et al. Anemia ferropénica crónica: síndrome de Plummer-Vinson (Paterson-Brown-Kelly). Rev Fac Med UNAM . 2021;64(2):22-25.

Internal Medicine

En Medicina Interna, ofrecemos un servicio de atención médica de prevención, diagnóstico, tratamiento oportuno y seguimiento de patologías infecciosas, respiratorias, endocrinológica, dermatológicas.

The dissemination of the content of this material is for informational purposes only and does not replace, under any circumstance or condition, a consultation with a specialist doctor, for which the ABC Medical Center is not responsible for the different use that may be given to it. If you require more information related to the subject, we suggest you contact the specialist doctor you trust directly.