The different types of anemia are produced by a variety of underlying causes but all have the same effect.
Anemia is a blood condition in which there are too few red blood cells or the red blood cells are deficient in hemoglobin, resulting in poor health. Common causes include a lack of dietary iron, heavy blood loss, or the production of too few red blood cells due to disorders such as leukemia. Anemia is the most common blood disorder. There are several types of anemia that are produced by a variety of ways due to various underlying causes.
Iron Deficiency Anemia
The most common type of anemia is iron deficiency. The body needs iron to produce hemoglobin which is necessary for red blood cell production. Low iron levels impair the body’s ability to produce hemoglobin, which is a primary component of red blood cells. The body needs iron during rapid growth in childhood, pregnancy or when there is choric bleeding. Menstruating women also needs additional of iron.
Vitamin B-12 Deficiency Anemia
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is also known as pernicious anemia. Vitamin B-12 is also essential in hemoglobin production. This vitamin is normally found in meats and vegetables and is essential for the maturation of red blood cells. People with pernicious anemia are unable to produce intrinsic factor, a substance that allows the small intestine to absorb vitamin B12. The result is B-12 deficiency because of the gradual development of the symptoms; this condition may not be immediately recognized. Those with thyroid disease or diabetes mellitus are at increased risk for this type of anemia. This inability may be caused by a genetic disorder, Crohn’s disease, an immune system disorder that causes chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, or surgery that removes the part of the stomach that normally produces intrinsic factor.
Folic Acid Anemia
A lack of folic acid, another one of the B vitamins, can also lead to anemia. Leafy vegetables such as spinach and turnip greens, dried beans and peas, avocados, bananas, oranges, and asparagus provide us with natural sources for this vitamin. Folate is essential for the body since it is involved in the synthesis, repair, and normal functioning of DNA. Folic acid is also necessary for the production and maintenance of new cells. This is important during periods of rapid cell division and growth that occurs during pregnancy and in the development of young children. Folic acid deficiency is also common among alcoholics.
This is one of the deadliest and most rare forms of anemia. When the bone marrow, the tissue that produces new red blood cells, becomes injured, it will lead to aplastic anemia. Damage to the bone marrow is caused by infection, cancer, radiation or exposure to toxic chemicals. This condition is usually found among adolescents and young adults. Symptoms may include bleeding in the body’s mucous membrane, a moist lining in the body passages of mammals that contains mucus-secreting cells and is open directly or indirectly to the external environment.
Sickle cell anemia is also known as Hemoglobin S disease. This type of anemia is a genetic disorder which means that this can be inherited. This is common among people with African ancestry. People with sickle-cell have an abnormal form of hemoglobin that distorts red blood cells to a shape resembling a sickle, a crescent-shaped cutting blade used in agriculture. Because of its shape, these sickle-cells cannot easily pass through the tiny blood vessels, thus preventing oxygen in the blood from the reaching organs and tissues. Persons with this disease often suffer from pain in the joints and bones. Infections and heart failure can also occur.
Hemolytic anemia is caused by premature destruction of red blood cells. Like the sickle-cell anemia, hemolytic anemia can also be inherited. It can also be acquired because of toxic materials such as lead, copper, and benzene can also cause the destruction of red blood cells. It occurs when antibodies of the immune system damage the red blood cells. Blood transfusions may be necessary for some people with this kind of anemia.
Thalassemia is inherited type of anemia caused by the defects in the genes producing hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen in the blood. It is most common in people in Southeast Asia, in China and those people of Mediterranean descent. Thalassemia can lead to fatigue to organ damage. There are two types or Thalassemia: the alpha thalassemia and beta thalassemia. Alpha thalassemia is mild to moderate in symptoms and might not need treatment while to beta thalassemia which is more severe usually needs transfusions or bone marrow transplants.
Sideroblastic anemia is a blood disorder in which the body has enough iron but is unable to use it to make hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. As a result, iron accumulates in the mitochondria of red blood cells, giving a ringed appearance to the nucleus. There are three types of sideroblastic anemia: inherited, acquired, and idiopathic. The signs and symptoms of iron overload can range from mild to severe, and include fatigue, breathing difficulties, and weakness. Enlargement of the liver or spleen may also occur. In severe cases, the increased levels of iron in the blood may lead to heart disease, liver damage, and kidney failure.
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