Anemia is a condition in which the affected person does not have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the tissues. Anemia can make the person feel exhausted.
Signs and Symptoms
- Feeling of suffocation (difficulty breathing).
- Little concentration
- Memory problems
- Cold extremities.
- Chest pain
- Cognitive problems
Causes of Anemia
- Iron deficiency
- Rheumatic diseases
- Medullary aplasia (partial or total disappearance of the cells responsible for the production of blood in the bone marrow)
- Infiltration of the bone marrow by tumors
- Chronic renal failure
- Deficiency of Vitamin B 12 or folic acid.
- Diseases of the blood as refractory anemias
- Hemorrhages of any origin
- Intravascular rupture
- Alteration of its membrane
- Blood loss
- Deficient production of red blood cells: idiopathic, congenital, aplastic.
- Hemolytic anemia: Medication intake, spherocytosis, hemoglobin pathologies, congenital deficiency of glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenases, due to deficiencies in enzymatic synthesis.
- Secondary anemias: The existence of another disease or process: Cancer, cirrhosis, epistaxis, AIDS, ulcers, among others.
- Anemia due to lack: iron, vitamin B12, vitamin B9, erythropoietin.
When to see a doctor?
Ask for an appointment with your doctor if you feel fatigued for unexplained reasons. Some anemias, such as iron deficiency anemia, are common. Fatigue has many causes, in addition to anemia, so do not assume that if you are tired, you should have anemia.
- Medical and family history
- Medical examination
- Blood test
- hemoglobin electrophoresis
Treatment and Management
- Iron-deficiency anemia: This form of anemia is treated with changes in diet and with iron supplements.
- Anemias due to vitamin deficiency: Folic acid deficiency is treated with folic acid supplements.
- A blood transfusion or injections of synthetic erythropoietin, a hormone usually produced in the kidneys, can help stimulate the production of red blood cells and relieve fatigue.
- Blood transfusions to increase levels of red blood cells
- Bone marrow Transplantation
- Administration of oxygen, medications to relieve pain, and oral and intravenous fluids to reduce pain and prevent complications. Doctors can also recommend blood transfusions, folic acid supplements, and antibiotics.
- An anti-cancer drug called hydroxyurea (Droxia, Hydrea) is also used to treat sickle cell anemia.