Six Types of Anemia, Their Causes, Symptoms, and Treatments

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This article is brief overview of six types of anemia, its causes, symptoms, and treatments.

Anemia is relatively common. Many people have it and don’t know it because it may come on gradually and there may be no pronounced signs. Symptoms the victim of anemia may notice include weakness, breathlessness, fainting, heart palpitations, dizziness, difficulty concentrating, headaches, and abnormal menstruation. Signs other people may notice include pale complexion, and pale gums.

Several types of anemia are identified by doctors, and they may require a variety of treatments. Some are genetic and run in families, but others are not. A family may seem to have a genetic connection because they have the same diet and practice the same habits. Only blood tests and time can sort out all the answers.

1. Hemolytic anemia is the rupture of the red blood cell caused by some toxic substance. Some metals such as lead and copper, and toxic substances such as benzene in the blood stream are destructive to the cells. Medications and autoimmune diseases may cause this reaction, too. Blood transfusions may be required to treat it.

2. Iron deficiency anemia is caused by an insufficient supply of iron to produce the red blood cells. Women need more iron than men because of menstruation. Iron is found in meat, green, leafy vegetables, and whole grains. Vegetarians may need to take an iron supplement to get enough iron.

3. Vitamin deficiency anemia is also called pernicious anemia. It is caused by a lack of Vitamin B-12. Folic acid is also inadequate and necessary for blood cell production. The body either does not absorb it, or the supply is inadequate. The result is a malformed blood cell that cannot carry out the duties of the cell. Dietary sources are meat, fish, and dairy products.

4. Sickle Cell anemia is a condition in which the blood cell has lost its characteristic round shape and is oblong or sickle shaped. A crisis occurs when the cells clot in the veins and blood does not flow. It may cause pain in the joints, infections, and heart failure. It occurs in 0.06 % of the population usually African Americans.

5. Thalassemia is a group of diseases caused by a defect in the genes producing the hemoglobin. It is more common in people of Mediterranean descent. It can be mild and cause little effect or severe and require transfusions of bone marrow.

6. Aplastic Anemia is rare but very dangerous. The bone marrow is replaced by fat cells and fails to produce all types of blood cells. The causes may be unexplained, but it can also be brought on by toxins, pesticides and benzene.

Do not neglect anemia. Eat the good sources of vitamins and minerals to maintain health, but if you have been diagnosed with anemia in the past, get it checked out by your doctor.