Anemia Essay Research Paper What is Anemia

Anemia Essay, Research Paper

What is Anemia? Anemia is a deficiency of red blood cells or hemoglobin in the

blood. The word anemia comes from two Greek roots, together meaning ?without

blood.? At the beginning of the nineteenth century, ?anemia? referred to

the pallor of the skin and mucous membranes. After medical science advanced,

blood cell counts could be done. Anemia became the disease we know today.

Symptoms of Anemia Mild anemia may have no outer symptoms. Weakness, fatigue,

and pallor are very common symptom. Symptoms of severe anemia are shortness of

breath, rapid heartbeat, lightheadedness, headache, ringing in the ears,

irritability, restless leg syndrome, mental confusion, dizziness, fainting, and

dimmed vision. Types of Anemia Iron deficiency anemia- the most common type of

anemia; occurs because of low iron levels. Folic acid deficiency anemia- levels

of folic acid are low because of inadequate dietary intake or faulty absorption.

Pernicious anemia- inability of the body to properly absorb vitamin B12.

Hemolytic anemia- red blood cells are destroyed prematurely. Sickle cell anemia-

inherited abnormality of hemoglobin; occurs mainly in people of African or

Mediterranean decent. Thalassemia anemia- inherited disorder in the synthesis of

hemoglobin. Aplastic anemia- decreased bone marrow production. Diagnosis of

Anemia Determining the cause of anemia is very important because it may be the

sign of a very serious illness. A physician should ask about family history of

anemia, gallbladder disease, jaundice, and enlarged spleen. A stool test should

be done and the physician should check for swollen lymph nodes, an enlarged

spleen, and pallor. Laboratory tests can test both the numbers of red blood

cells as well as look at their appearance. Treatments of Anemia Because there

are so many different types of anemia as well as causes, treatments vary widely.

If the type of anemia results from a vitamin deficiency and there is no

underlying cause, treatment is simple. Vitamin supplements can be taken or a

change in diet can be made. Transfusions and bone marrow transplants for some

other types of anemia can be made. New drugs are currently being tested to help

anemic patients.

Understanding Anemia by Ed Uthman, MD (from:

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