Anemia : Common Types and Complications


Anemia is a condition caused by a decrease in the number of healthy red blood cells in the body or hemoglobin, the primary component of red blood cells responsible for transferring oxygen to the cells of the body. Resulting in the body not getting enough oxygen.

World Health Organization (WHO) statistics from 1993 to 2005 show that the proportion of people with anemia is 8.24%. Prevalence is highest among pre-school children (4.47%) and lowest among men (7.12%).

Symptoms of anemia associated with fatigue, dizziness, skin dyspnea, shortness of breath, chest aches, dizziness, cold hands and feet, headache, irregular heartbeat.


Common anemia types.


Iron deficiency anemia.


Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin synthesis of red blood cells. Without iron, the blood cannot effectively transport oxygen in the body.

The body gets iron through the daily diet. The amount of iron in normal human beings is between 2000-3000 mg.

The iron base buffer is located in the red blood cells in the form of hemoglobin. The body stores excess iron in the liver, spleen and bone marrow, which is an iron store when needed.

Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body’s iron stock is low and may occur for several reasons including:

The body’s red blood cells and iron lose more than their production.

The inability of the body to absorb iron.

Do not eat iron-rich foods.

Heavy bleeding caused by long menstrual periods.

Bleeding caused by other diseases.

Iron deficiency and iron-rich foods such as chicken, meat, liver, fish, turkey, lentils, peas, beans, bread, whole grains, raisins, plums, apricots, spinach and other vegetables are treated.


Anemia caused by vitamin deficiency.


This type of anemia is caused by a lack of red blood cells due to the lack of certain vitamins in the body. Folic acid, also known as vitamin B9, vitamin B12, and vitamin C.

This deficiency occurs when foods rich in these vitamins are not eaten, such as fruits, green leafy vegetables, meat, eggs, milk, citrus, sweet peppers, and tomatoes.

The disease may also occur despite eating a diet rich in these vitamins when the body cannot be absorbed by the presence of chronic diseases in the bowels caused by alcohol or smoking, or remove a large part of the micro-surgical.


Bone marrow failure anemia.


It results when the bone marrow – a squamous tissue within the bone – fails to produce sufficient amounts of white, red blood cells and platelets.

The patient may get this disease genetically from parents or acquire it.

Causes of this type are:


Radiotherapy especially in high concentration doses.

Exposure to certain chemicals such as benzene.

Infection of certain viruses especially jaundice virus.

Autoimmune diseases such as lupus.

Anemia is a rare but serious disorder. Treatments include blood transfusion, blood transplantation, bone marrow cells, and medications.


Anemia caused by hemolysis.


This group of anemia develops when the destruction of red blood cells are faster than the bone marrow can produce new blood cells. They may occur due to exposure to infection, use of certain medications, exposure to toxins, and certain immune reactions.

One of the most common types of anemia is the disease came from receiving blood from the wrong blood type. The body begins to produce antibodies that destroy red blood cells.

The options available to treat hemolytic anemia vary depending on the severity of the condition, the age, and the extent to which the body accepts the drugs. Options for hemolytic anemia include blood transfusion, intravenous immunoglobulin, and surgeries.


Sickle cell anemia.


This type of anemia is sometimes severe. It occurs as a result of an imbalance in the structure of hemoglobin, which makes red blood cells shaped like a sickle. Causing the atrophy and death of these cells prematurely, as they do not live more than one week while normal blood cells live 120 days.

This causes a chronic shortage of red blood cells. It also loses its elasticity, leading to clogging of small capillaries as they pass through, thus inhibiting the body’s blood supply.

The child is born with sickle cell anemia; if the gene inherits the infection from both parents. It is easy to diagnosis the disease when performing routine tests immediately after birth.

The only treatment available for this disease is bone marrow transplantation or stem cell transplantation.


Anemia caused by a disease in the bone marrow.


Leukemia, myelodysplasia, and other diseases cause the spinal cord to produce blood cells and anemia.


Anemia as a symptom of a chronic disease.


Chronic diseases such as cancer, AIDS, gout, kidney failure and other chronic inflammatory diseases lead to a lack of red blood cells production, causing chronic anemia.


Other types of anemia.


Other types of anemia are rare, such as thalassemia, a genetic disorder in the blood that results from a mutation in DNA synthesis.

The mutation causes a decrease in hemoglobin production and red blood cells in the body leading to anemia.

There are several types of thalassemia including alpha thalassemia, intermedia beta thalassemia, and Mediterranean anemia. Thalassemia treatment depends on its type. Treatment includes frequent blood transfusions, bone marrow transplantation, and stem cell transplantation.


Complications of anemia.


Anemia has several complications and varies by cause. In general, these are the most important complications we must observe:


In cases of severe anemia, the patient may feel so tired that he can not perform his daily tasks very easily. He has a difficult to play or work.

Damage to the nerves.

Vitamin B12 has a great role, not only for the production of healthy red blood cells but also for the proper functioning of the nervous system.

Changes in cognitive state.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can affect normal brain function.

The death.

Certain types of hereditary anemia, such as sickle cell anemia, can cause severe medical complications, which are life-threatening. The loss of large amounts of blood during a short period of time generally leads to anemia, which may be fatal in this case.


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