Patients who suffer from anemia have a shortage of red blood cells or hemoglobin, which is the part of red blood cells that carries oxygen through the bloodstream. The hemoglobin attaches itself to oxygen molecules to facilitate transport. A deficiency of hemoglobin will prevent your body’s organs from getting a sufficient supply of oxygen.
If you are diagnosed as anemic, your treatment will be based on several factors. Here are three things to remember about your anemia treatment.
- There are many kinds of anemia.
Since there are more than one type of anemia, your treatment may differ from that of other patients. Anemia can stem from an iron deficiency, chronic illness, heredity, vitamin deficiency or other condition.
A lower than normal red blood cell count can be due to blood loss caused by internal bleeding. It may be the result of blood cells being destroyed, or your body simply not creating an adequate supply of them. Effective treatment will need to address the root cause of your anemia.
- Anemia is not a disease, it is a symptom.
Whenever a patient is diagnosed as anemic, there is always an underlying condition that caused the anemia. It is indicative of some malfunction in the body that should be the focus of any effective treatment.
Your physician will begin with an evaluation of your medical history to find any existing or previous conditions that can cause anemia, or an indication of a hereditary cause. The list of conditions that may underlie your anemia symptom requires a comprehensive evaluation to narrow down the cause of your anemia.
- Certain Groups are at higher risk of anemia
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia. This condition occurs more frequently among certain groups, such as vegetarians whose diet may not include adequate amounts of iron that meat products would otherwise provide. Pregnant, menstruating or breast-feeding women are also commonly iron-deficient.
Other groups at increased risk of anemia are cancer patients and dieters. Cancer can impede the body’s capacity for producing red blood cells. Diets that do not provide a sufficient source of iron may also lead to anemia.
Anemia forces the heart to work harder to get enough oxygen through your bloodstream. Strenuous activity can cause exhaustion, and may put your heart at risk. Changes in diet may cause an iron or vitamin deficiency that leads to anemia.
The cause and the degree of your anemia will determine the right course of treatment for you. A mild anemia may require nothing more than supplements or a simple change in diet. More complex types of anemia, such as sickle cell anemia, are hereditary by nature and require specific drugs, vaccinations, as well as lifestyle and dietary adjustments.
Discuss your symptoms with your doctor in Houston to help determine if you are anemic and, if so, what is causing it. Common symptoms of anemia include fatigue, loss of appetite, drop in blood pressure, increased heart rate/palpitations; pale complexion, shortness of breath or inability to concentrate.