Anemia

Iron deficiency anemia – Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough iron to produce hemoglobin, which is necessary for red blood cells to carry oxygen. It is one of the most common type of anemia.

Symptoms: Fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath and cold hands and feet.

Diagnosis: CBC, serum ferritin, serum transferrin, serum iron

Treatment: Iron supplementation and dietary changes to increase iron intake.

Vitamin deficiency anemia – vitamin deficiency anemia occurs when the body lacks certain vitamins necessary for red blood cell production, such as vitamin B12 or folate. Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia is commonly caused by a lack of intrinsic factor, a protein needed for vitamin B12 absorption in the small intestine. Folate deficiency anemia can result from inadequate dietary intake, poor absorption or increased need such as pregnancy.

Symptoms: Dizziness, Fatigue, Heart palpitations, Muscle weakness, Numbness or tingling in your hands or feet, Pale or yellowish skin, Shortness of breath (dyspnea), Unexplained weight loss

Diagnosis: CBC, Folate and vitamin B12 levels.

Treatment: vitamin supplements or dietary changes.

Anemia of chronic disease (ACD) – Anemia of chronic disease is a type of anemia that occurs as a result of chronic inflammatory, infectious or autoimmune diseases. In ACD the body’s immune response to these conditions interferes with the normal production and recycling of red blood cells, leading to lower  than normal levels of red blood cells and hemoglobin.

Symptoms: Tiredness, Shortness of breath, Pale or yellowish skin, Irregular heartbeat, Dizziness or lightheadedness, Chest pain, Cold hands and feet.

Diagnosis: Hemoglobin level, serum iron level, reticulocyte count, iron-binding capacity,     serum ferritin level

Treatment: focuses on managing the underlying chronic condition and include medications to stimulate red blood cell production or blood transfusions in severe cases.