The blood vessel system is rather complicated. Blood cells are responsible for many things, but red blood cells are primarily responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body from the lungs. Red blood cells are created in a person’s bone marrow before being released into the system. If a person’s blood is not transporting oxygen appropriately, then they are suffering from a form of anemia.
Anemia can occur in many different forms, as there’s many ways that the production of cells and the transfer of oxygen can be inhibited. Anemia symptoms are not always the most obvious and can be downright subtle. Depending on the type of anemia involved, many people are able to find an appropriate treatment to help alleviate the issue.
Types and Causes of Anemia
There’s three main groupings of anemia types and each of them are related to a specific cause. The first group of anemias happen when a person suffers from blood loss. The second type of anemia results when red blood cells are destroyed by a force or factor. The final grouping of anemia types are caused when red blood cell production is reduced or compromised in some fashion.
There are actually over 400 different types of anemia, so listing them all isn’t particularly useful. However, some of the most well known or common types of anemia include:
- Iron-Deficiency Anemia - This is one of the most common forms. The lack of iron means the body doesn’t produce enough hemoglobin. There’s several causes, including a low iron diet, some medications, pregnancy, slow bleeding, Crohn’s disease and more.
- Sickle Cell Anemia - This form of anemia produces red blood cells that look like little sickles instead of the normal circular shape. They don’t last long enough to properly transfer oxygen.
- Vitamin-Deficiency Anemia - This specifically happens when people are low on vitamin B12 as well as folate. They are important to creating red blood cells.
- Aplastic Anemia - This is a serious form of anemia in which the body simply doesn’t produce enough red blood cells. It can occur to anyone at any age.
- Thalassemia - This is an inherited condition which causes anemia. The hemoglobin that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen is found in insufficient amounts.
Symptoms of Anemia
It’s important to note that symptoms for anemia can vary by quite a wide margin. With the number of different types and causes of anemia, the symptoms can vary based on cause. In some cases, no symptoms may show at all and the anemia is only diagnosed due to catching it looking for another condition. Some of the symptoms that may present themselves include:
- Irregular Heartbeat
- Shortness of Breathe
- Pale Skin
- Yellowed Skin
- Chest Pain
- Cold Feet
- Cold Hands
There’s a wide variety of treatments that can occur for people who suffer from anemia. The type of treatment will be designed by each person’s doctor. In some minor cases, iron supplements and an iron rich diet may be a common treatment option. Some other supplements could be chosen, like vitamin B-12 or folic acid.
For more serious cases, there are other options. Iron infusions for anemia are a specific release of iron through an IV and perfect for people who don’t absorb iron properly from food or in the gut. They may also be used in cases that need a high level of iron quickly.
Blood transfusions can be required in cases where anemia is severe and the body isn’t producing proper red blood cells. If the bone marrow is completely incapable of producing red blood cells, then a bone marrow transplant can be required! This is a very serious form of surgery.
There are many other treatments that may be needed for specific or rare cases of anemia. In some cases, the treatment will be for the conditions causing anemia in the first place, which will in turn cause the end of anemia.
The articles on this website should not be used to start the use of dietary supplements or vitamins, natural or herbal products, homeopathic medicine or other mentioned products prior to a proper consultation with a doctor or certified health provider.