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Do you feel constantly tired, sleepy and you would like to spend your time on the couch wrapped in a blanket? Maybe it's because you spend your nights and work too much. But maybe the cause of your disastrous well-being is anemia. Find out about the most common causes of anemia.

Anemiais calledanemiaand this term best describes its essence: too little hemoglobin, red blood cells (erythrocytes) and a low value of the so-called . blood hematocrit index. What are the reasons for this?

The most common cause of anemia - not enough iron

This element may be missing when it is improperly absorbed (e.g. after gastrectomy or part of the intestines, with hiatal hernia), in the period of increased demand (e.g. pregnancy and childbirth, rapid growth). It also happens that too little iron reaches the body (diet low in iron, lack of appetite). Iron deficiency also occurs when a lot of blood is lost (uterine fibroids, heavy menstruation, gastric and duodenal ulcers, esophageal varices, gastrointestinal cancer, nose, lung and kidney bleeding).

If we have a lack of iron for a long time, he alth problems begin. We complain - especially the elderly - of heart palpitations, easy fatigue, shortness of breath, post-exercise and even resting heartaches. We may experience headaches, tinnitus, spots in front of our eyes, nausea, lack of appetite, diarrhea, burning in the esophagus and difficulty swallowing. Smoothness of the tongue is visible, the skin is pale, the corners of the mouth are cracked and the nails and hair become brittle.

See what foods are worth eating in case of anemia:

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Iron is poorly absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, so most people's diets do not fully cover their needs. The average additional iron loss associated with menstruation is 0.5 mg / day, with pregnancy 0.5-0.8 mg / day, and with breastfeeding - 0.4 mg / day. Therefore, iron deficiency anemia is more common in women (in men almost exclusively in cases of occult bleeding, usually caused by ulcers and gastrointestinal erosions).

Normal serum iron concentration is 80-130 μg%, and the daily requirement is 12 mg.

Normal serum iron concentration is80-130 μg%, and the daily requirement is 12 mg (15 mg in pregnancy, 18 mg during breastfeeding, 10 mg in people over 65 years of age). To get this 12 mg, you need to consume 120 mg of iron each day. Iron deficiency anemia is treated by restocking iron supplies (tablets, intramuscular or intravenous injections) and diet. Good sources of iron are meat, fish, egg yolks (boiled), green leafy vegetables, potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, cereal grains, fresh fruit (especially plums, apricots, peaches, raspberries and strawberries), and dried fruit. It is worth remembering that the iron contained in leafy vegetables and grains is less used by the body than that from animal products.

Anemia - pernicious anemia: when vitamin B is lacking12

This is what is called anemia associated with the presence of large, defective red blood cells (megaloblasts). It is caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12 . There are several reasons for this condition - from improper diet and the lack of so-called stomach in the stomach. Castle's factor to hyperthyroidism, parasite invasion and neoplastic diseases. Pernicious anemia develops slowly. At first, there is a lack of appetite, temporary constipation and diarrhea appear, as well as pain in the abdominal cavity that is difficult to locate. Later there is burning, smoothing the tongue and losing weight. Less commonly, anemia is accompanied by fever and enlargement of the liver and spleen. The biggest problem, however, are neurological complications (especially after the age of 60). First you lose the sense of position in your legs and arms. During the examination (hitting the bent knee), it turns out that the tendon reflexes weaken. When the disease is advanced, walking, temperature, color vision (yellow and blue) and delirium are disturbed. Diagnosing the disease can be difficult at first (neurological disorders may precede changes in the blood picture), but after diagnosis and administration of vitamin B12(usually in smaller doses for the rest of life), the patient's condition quickly improves.

Anemia - favism (bean disease)

It is also called favism. It is an inherited disease (mutation in the X chromosome) associated with disorders of red blood cells metabolism (deficiency of a certain enzyme). Dangerous anemia occurs after consuming raw broad beans or contact with its pollen. Degradation of red blood cells can also be caused by drugs (salicylates, sulfonamides, phenacetin), but also by naphthalene, diabetic acidosis, and viral and bacterial infections. The first case of favoritism was reported in 1843; it was ignored because, according to the knowledge at the time, the disease was impossible (arguedassumption of biological invariability of species - all people react in the same way to the same stimuli). Favism was classified as a disease only in the 20th century. Perhaps the first discoverer of favism was Pythagoras. One of his prohibitions against his students was, "Keep your hands off the beans." The only treatment is transfusions. Certainly, patients must avoid drugs and substances that break down red blood cells.

  • Only 10% of the iron contained in food products is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Anemia occurs after haemorrhage, lead poisoning, bacterial and viral infections, malabsorption syndromes (celiac disease and partial excision of the stomach or intestines), kidney and liver diseases, hypothyroidism and pituitary gland, cancer, rheumatological diseases, leukemias and other bone marrow diseases, genetic defects of red blood cells and hemoglobin synthesis, etc. It is always important to diagnose the cause of anemia, often on this basis it is possible to detect the disease early.

Rare cases of sickle cell anemia

Occurs almost exclusively in black people. Its name comes from the fact that normally round red blood cells are sickle-shaped. The disease is caused by a genetic (hereditary) defect in the synthesis of hemoglobin. The most common symptom is pain in the long bones (tibia), hands and feet. There may also be pain in the joints with fever, ulceration around the ankles, severe abdominal pain with vomiting. Clogging of small blood vessels caused by disintegrating defective erythrocytes can cause hemiplegia of the cranial nerves, infections and lung failure. During the so-called oranges (massive breakdown of erythrocytes) are used for exchangeable blood transfusions. Bone marrow transplants and - more and more often used - gene therapy give the patients some hope.

You must do it

After completing the morphology, compare your results with the standards:

  • Women

hemoglobin - 13.8 g / dlerythrocytes - 4.4 million / mm hematocrit - 37-47%

  • Men

hemoglobin - 15.5 g / dlerythrocytes - 5.15 million / mm³ hematocrit - 40-54% If your red blood cells are below 3.5 million / mm3and less hemoglobin than 10 g / dl - you may already have symptoms of anemia.

Source: Simply Saying

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