Anemia is a condition in which there is a decrease in the content of red blood cells and the protein hemoglobin, which deliver oxygen to organs. Patients most often experience weakness, fatigue, and frequent cold. There are several types of anemia. The most common is the iron deficiency form.
Anemia of varying degrees is diagnosed in two billion people each year. It occurs more often in developing countries, but also affects people in industrialized countries.
There are several forms of anemia, each of which causes a decrease in the level of red blood cells in the bloodstream. The levels decrease for one of the following reasons:
Decreased production of hemoglobin.
Synthesis of deformed hemoglobin, unable to transport oxygen
Reduced synthesis of red cells
Premature destruction of red blood cells in the body
Fatigue, shallow shortness of breath, a feeling of cold in the legs, hands are characteristic signs. The following symptoms occur:
Pale, dry skin, bruising
Restless legs syndrome – discomfort in the shins, unintentional movement of the lower extremities more often during sleep
Cold hands and feet
Shortness of breath
Each form has its own cause:
Iron deficiency anemia. Develops against a background of iron deficiency in the body. It is required for the production of hemoglobin in the bone marrow. Iron deficiency anemia is caused by loss of blood, e.g., during heavy menstruation, gastric or small intestinal ulcer, colon cancer; with regular use of pain killers, an inflammatory lesion of the mucous membrane of the stomach with bleeding can occur. It is important to identify the source of the bleeding to prevent recurrence.
Vitamin deficiency anemia. Sufficient vitamin B-12 and folic acid are required for synthesis. A diet low in key nutrients and vitamins leads to anemia.
Chronic inflammatory anemia. HIV/AIDS, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, and several other chronic diseases disrupt red blood cell synthesis.
Anemia associated with bone marrow diseases. Leukemia, myelofibrosis can disrupt red blood cell building.
Hemolytic anemia. Associated with premature destruction and mismatch of utilization with the formation of new red cells.
Sickle cell anemia. Hereditary pathology, characterized by defective red cells that are unable to carry hemoglobin and break down early.