How can dangerous anemia be prevented?

Anemia, also known as iron deficiency, affects millions of people worldwide. This condition causes fatigue, weakness, pale skin, shortness of breath, dizziness, headaches, and even heart problems. Learn more about the symptoms and causes of anemia.

Anemia is caused by low hemoglobin levels or red blood cells in the body. Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anemia. Other causes include vitamin B12 deficiencies and folic acid deficiencies.

Although anemia is often considered harmless, it can be severe and life-threatening. If left untreated, anemia can result in severe health complications such as heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, and nerve damage.

What is dangerous anemia and how does it prevent its occurrence?

How can dangerous anemia be prevented?

What is anemia?

Anemia is present in a third of the world’s population and is not a disease. This is a symptom that signals a decrease in blood concentration and a change in the qualitative composition of the iron-containing protein of hemoglobin and/or erythrocytes (red blood cells), designed to saturate the tissues of our body with oxygen.

It accompanies various diseases and pathological conditions associated with the primary lesion of the circulatory system or not dependent on it.

It can be:

  • Systematic disorders in the work of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • Ulcers and polyps.
  • Chronic kidney disease.
  • The presence of oncology.
  • Inflammatory processes and infections.
  • Worm lesions, etc.

It is essential to understand that no matter what causes anemia; it leads to a decrease in the respiratory function of the blood and, as a result, oxygen starvation.

Cardiac surgeons of the highest category spoke about the danger of manifestations of this pathology:

“My patients are people who have already had a heart attack and often have concomitant diseases. For them, anemia is very threatening since the heart already suffers from a lack of oxygen.

The presence of anemia always makes adjustments to the treatment since it can lead to death, even in a patient who has successfully undergone surgery if it is not recognized in time.

Anemia is also dangerous for a healthy person; it can cause sudden cardiac death and affect other systems of our body: our hormonal levels, our natural cycles, in particular in girls, brain activity, mental abilities, performance, and ability to get enough sleep. Relax and enjoy life.

The expert also noted that in the modern world, no one is immune from serious injuries or gastrointestinal bleeding and, as a result, anemia:

“Every day we consume a lot of aggressive substances that adversely affect the gastric mucosa. They can cause erosions and ulcers. This needs to be monitored and controlled.

Often, young girls decide to become vegetarian, refuse to eat meat, and limit the supply of the necessary “materials” for hematopoiesis, risking anemia.

[Read More: Anemia under the Microscope!]

Level of hemoglobin in the blood

The lower the hemoglobin level, the more severe the anemia. Norms of hemoglobin content may vary depending on gender and age. Anemia is diagnosed with a decrease in hemoglobin below 130 g / l in men and below 115 g / l in women.

Because of physiology, fair sex is more prone to the appearance of this symptom. In terms of age, the elderly and children are the most vulnerable.

If a person suffers from cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, or aortic valve pathology, a drop in hemoglobin below 100 g / l is dangerous.

It can provoke a second heart attack, retrosternal pain, angina pectoris, ischemic stroke, decreased physical activity, and load tolerance.

Causes of anemia

When determining anemia, everything is important, including age, the presence of occupational hazards, the composition of the diet, the presence of concomitant diseases, medication, heredity, etc.

Promotes anemia:

  • Unilateral power supply.
  • Lack of vitamins.
  • Irregular eating.
  • Transferred ARVI, coronavirus and other infections.
  • Existing helminthic lesions.

The specialist warns that any dietary restrictions, the introduction of mono-diets, vegetarianism, or malnutrition can lead to anemia.

Patients with a combination of diseases of the cardiovascular system with pathologies of the liver or kidneys are significantly limited in food intake, so they often have anemia of one kind or another.

Often anemia occurs due to blood loss:

  • Bleeding from wounds.
  • Nose bleed.
  • Uterine bleeding.
  • Intestinal bleeding and in the abdominal cavity and/or pleura.
  • Large hematomas.

Acute is the loss of more than 500-700 ml of blood (in adults) in a short period of time. The situation is aggravated if the process becomes chronic heavy and prolonged menstruation, stomach ulcers, cancer, hemorrhoids, hemodialysis procedures, etc.

Over time, they deplete iron stores in the body, which leads to disruption of hemoglobin synthesis and the process of transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide in tissues and lungs.

Anemia due to impaired hematopoiesis is possible, namely:

  • Violations of the regulation of the formation of red blood cells.
  • Insufficient intake of the components necessary for the formation of red blood cells, as well as due to a decrease in the absorption of iron or the level of proteins that are its carriers (vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, etc.) as a result of various diseases of the liver and gastrointestinal tract, as well as postoperative interventions.
  • Violations of the regulation of the formation of red blood cells.
  • Intoxication of bone marrow cells or the formation of secondary foci of tumor cells in it (metastasis).

Another type of anemia is hemolytic, the appearance of which is promoted by increased destruction of erythrocytes under the influence of both hereditary, associated genetic defects and gained factors because of the destruction of erythrocytes by parasites or because of exposure to antibodies, mechanical and chemical damage to the membrane, lack of vitamins.

The development of anemia is possible while taking certain medications:

  • Antitumor.
  • Antibacterial.
  • Antiprotozoal.
  • Antiviral.
  • Anti-inflammatory.
  • Antirheumatic.
  • Antiepileptic and antipsychotic.

Pseudoanemia of pregnancy

During pregnancy, iron deficiency anemia is most often manifested because of the increased need for iron, which exceeds the ability to absorb it from food.

Iron in large quantities is necessary to form the fetus and placenta. Its deficiency contributes to the poor health of the pregnant woman, premature birth, and the risk of developing postpartum infections.

For the fetus, the mother’s anemia is fraught with a lack of oxygen, which is necessary for normal development, particularly in the brain.

Also, in pregnant women, pseudoanemia is possible; it is also hyperplasia or hydremia. Unlike anemia, it is asymptomatic and resolves within a couple of weeks after delivery.

Hyperplasia is different in that the content of hemoglobin and red blood cells remains the same, but the volume of blood increases by as much as a quarter. Therefore, all indicators in the blood are reduced.

Anemia in children

Anemia associated with iron deficiency in the mother during pregnancy will subsequently lead to iron deficiency anemia in the newborn.

In these cases, from 6 months to a year, specialists use drugs to restore the level of iron in the blood, which can prevent anemia and reduce the risk of ARVI and intestinal infections and contribute to better development.

In hereditary forms of hemolytic anemia, the prognosis depends on the frequency of hemolytic crises (massive destruction of red blood cells) and the severity of anemia.

Anemia in children is prevalent. This is a group of erythrocyte diseases in which the structure of the blood cell stem changes. Most preschoolers are affected.

Most often, iron deficiency anemia occurs in children, mainly associated with malnutrition and, as a result, the intake of iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12.

Because of insufficient oxygen supply to the body, peeling appears on the skin, the skin itself is pale, the nails break, exfoliate, there may be ulcers in the mouth, cracks in the corners of the lips, children become lethargic and tearful, superficial sleep, the work of the cardiovascular system is disturbed, the pressure, fainting occurs, heartbeat quickens.

According to the specialist, the reasons can be different, starting with disorders at the level of intrauterine development, when everything depends entirely on the mother and she either has a congenital pathology, there is some kind of bleeding, or there is malnutrition.

Hemorrhagic anemia most often occurs in children suffering from nosebleeds and in girls with heavy menstrual cycles, iron deficiency because of a violation of the hematopoietic process, mega blast because of a deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B12, aplastic because of diseases of the bone marrow, hemolytic because of the predominance of the process of destruction of erythrocytes.

In any of the cases described, Maxim Anatolyevich advises contacting a pediatrician; since anemia rarely manifests itself on its own, you need to look for the underlying pathology.

For parents, the specialist gives the primary recommendation. For blood formation in the child’s body to proceed without failure, substances such as iron, animal and vegetable proteins, vitamins, and microelements must be supplied in full.

You need a proper diet, streamlining nutrition. When anemia is secondary, it is necessary to solve the problem that has become a prerequisite.

Anemia Treatment Methods

Treatment of anemia is carried out based on its causes and the general condition of the person. This initially requires diagnostics, including laboratory blood tests.

With acute post-hemorrhagic anemia, bleeding must first be stopped. After massive blood loss, iron preparations are prescribed.

The most common iron and B12 deficiency anemias are treated with vitamin B12 and iron-rich supplements. With a deficient hemoglobin level below 70-80 g / l.

A parenteral route of administration is possible (through the blood, bypassing the gastrointestinal tract), as well as replacement therapies: hemotransfusion (blood transfusion) or transfusion of erythrocyte mass.

If hemoglobin drops below 80 g / l, a blood transfusion is carried out in a hospital. In other cases, conservative therapy is used, which comprises the consumption of iron-containing drugs: tablets, capsules, intramuscular injections, and a special diet is prescribed that combines a certain amount of proteins, iron, and acids.

To fill the deficit with some medications, someone succeeds successfully, but not everyone, because it depends not on them, but on their metabolism, on the body’s reaction.

It is preferable to combine the use of iron-containing preparations with a complex of vitamins; this will facilitate absorption.

Treatment of aplastic anemia includes blood transfusions, bone marrow transplantation, and glucocorticoid and anabolic hormones therapy.

Despite the prevalence of anemia and, at first glance, a little danger, treating some of its types can be complicated and carried out in a hospital.

Therefore, it is not worth making a diagnosis and prescribing drugs for yourself; it is better to consult a specialist. This will save you time and money and your health.

How to prevent anemia?

Any treatment is unpleasant and very costly. Therefore, it is more beneficial to prevent the disease. First, pay attention to your diet. It should be balanced and contain sufficient protein, iron, and B vitamins.

The average rate of iron for the everyday life of an adult is 20-25 mg daily, only 10% of which the body will receive with food; the rest of the iron is formed during the breakdown of red blood cells.

In the daily diet of women, about 2 mg of iron should be present (because of the characteristics of the body); for men, 1 mg is enough.

To prevent anemia, make it a habit to check your health regularly with your doctor. Such examinations with the delivery of tests will reveal a deficiency of hemoglobin and not only, and, of course, will promptly notify you of diseases.

To prevent anemia, it is essential to have foods high in iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid in the diet. For consumption: pork and beef liver, veal, beef, buckwheat, green apples, pomegranates, mushrooms, cabbage, beans and other legumes, dark chocolate, etc.

The primary source of essential iron is red meat; it is already associated with protein and is best absorbed. Iron is also well absorbed in combination with acids.

The second most helpful product is green apples containing iron and acid.

It is better to eat fractionally and often in small portions. This will aid in better absorption. Food should be at room temperature to not irritate the stomach lining.

It is essential to adjust the drinking regime, categorically exclude alcohol (which affects the gastrointestinal tract and removes useful substances), and quit smoking (increasing stomach acidity can provoke gastritis or an ulcer).

With iron deficiency anemia, fermented foods such as kefir, kvass, sauerkraut, etc., will be helpful. They contain an acid that improves iron penetration into contracts (intestinal cells) and reduces the formation of harmful iron phytate (if you grind or heat-treat vegetable products, this will also reduce their number).

This information is presented in an educational format and cannot be used for self-diagnosis and treatment. For diagnosis and follow-up recommendations, contact your doctor.


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