In Depth Knowledge About Anaemia!

In Depth Knowledge About Anaemia!

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By Dr. Lata Bhat (Senior Consultant), Pediatrics

When the blood does not have enough hemoglobin or healthy red blood cells, it develops into a condition called anemia. In India, most of the anemia is due to iron deficiency i.e. poor iron in the diet. The second important reason is thalassemia.

Cause-

The causes of anemia include:

  1. Blood loss
  2. Poor production of red blood cells
  3. Damage to the red blood cells

Type-

There are various types of anemia:

  1. Iron deficiency anemia
  2. Vitamin deficiency anemia
  3. Chronic disease induced anemia
  4. Aplastic anemia (not enough production of red blood cells)
  5. Bone marrow disease-related anemia
  6. Hemolytic anemia (destroyed red blood cells)
  7. Sickle cell anemia (causes the red blood cell to take a crescent shape)
  8. Other rare anemia (thalassemia and malarial anemia)

Symptom-

When a patient has anemia, they have fatigue and loss of energy, headache getting sick frequently. Some other symptoms include-

  1. Pale skin
  2. Irregular or fast heartbeat
  3. Chest pain
  4. Difficulty in breathing
  5. Headache
  6. Dizziness

Treatment-

Treatment of anemia depends on the type. Some treatments include-

  • Iron supplements: if you have iron deficiency anemia
  • Vitamin B12 supplements: if you have vitamin deficiency anemia
  • Blood transfusions: if you have aplastic anemia
  • Bone marrow transplant or chemotherapy: for bone marrow disorder related anemia

Diet-

If you have anemia, your diet should comprise of the following foods-

  • Spinach
  • Beetroot
  • Red meat
  • Peanut butter
  • Tomatoes
  • Eggs
  • Pomegranates
  • Soybeans
  • Whole grain bread
  • Seafood
  • Honey

Advice:

All pregnant women are more prone to iron deficiency in anemia because the iron requirement in a woman is double than the iron requirement in a man i.e. 2mg per kg per day. Whereas in man, it is 1mg per kg per day. It is because women have loss of blood regular periods every month; they bear babies. As a routine, all babies are iron deficient. So, they must be given 3 mg per kg per day for 2-months. All preadolescent girls must be given an iron supplement for 100 days.

Given pregnancy- post-partum i.e., after delivery. All ladies must receive iron supplementation. Food rich in Iron, e.g., green leafy, vegetables, bananas, mangoes, preferably food should be cooked in iron utensils.

For children- Too, much consumption of milk, especially in small children is very important, the reason is Iron Deficiency. Parents should start weaning food at six months preferably a food like a banana shake. Fruits and vegetables should be taken regularly. Jaggery and peanuts are also excellent sources of Iron.