It is often believed that anemia refers to the drop in the number of red blood cells in the blood ... wrongly. In fact, the reduction below the usual level of the amount of hemoglobin circulating in the body.Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. It is important because it sets and thus allows oxygen transport in the body.
Two different causes can cause anemia.
- The cause central marrow does not produce enough good red blood cells and are either of poor quality or in short supply, or both at once. There is talk of anemia "aregenerative" (without regeneration) because blood contains little or no red blood cell precursor cells - which reflects the low activity of the marrow.
- The cause device: the spinal works well but there is excessive destruction or loss of red blood cells in the bloodstream. There is talk of anemia "regenerative" (with regeneration) for the blood contains many precursor cells of red blood cells - which indicates an overactivity of the marrow.
Usually, clinical signs are: pale skin and mucous membranes, shortness of breath during effort, tachycardia, fatigue. In advanced stages, shortness of breath and tachycardia are present and constantly associated with systolic heart failure, lower limb edema and symptoms of cerebral anoxia (headache, dizziness, tinnitus, floaters ...).
Some contexts promote anemia, such as repeated pregnancies and closely spaced, malnutrition, alcoholism, chronic gynecological or digestive bleeding, treatment with antifolate drugs.
Made from a simple blood test, blood counts to identify the type of anemia. Based on the results, other tests may follow (determination of iron, bone marrow, bone marrow biopsy, study of the life of red blood cells, enzymatic assays, Immunological, Coombs test ...).
The family of anemia with a large number of members, it would take too long to detail here the different treatments. We therefore limit ourselves to the most common types.
- The megaloblastic anemias such as pernicious anemia, are treated with a vitamin B12 intramuscularly and / or folic acid by mouth. An iron intake and blood transfusions are sometimes necessary.
- Hyposideremia hypochromic anemias are treated by large doses of oral iron (called "iron therapy").
- The hemolytic anemias are of two kinds:
Anemia * excessive fragility of red blood cells (eg, hereditary, or triggered by contact with certain foods, or drugs) do not yield to any treatment. In some cases, the only solution is that the patient avoids the harmful agents, which will have a complete list.
* Anemia by excessive destruction of red blood cells are acquired and due to many diseases (immunization, cirrhosis, uremia, cancer, alcoholism, prosthetic heart valves, disease of the spleen ...). Treatment is specific to each disease.
- The refractory anemias, such as their name suggests, are insensitive to treatment. The only recourse is blood transfusion.
Evolution is polymorphic and depends on the underlying disease (fragility of red blood cells, cirrhosis, uremia, cancer, alcohol ...). It can vary from total incurable full recovery.
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