Vedica isn’t keeping well since few days. She’s been sleeping all day. So one day her father and brother decided to call the doctor finally. The doctor revealed that she’s been suffering from ‘Anaemia’. Her family doesn’t know what is it. Do you know what is it? Let us help her family find out what is anaemia.
What is Anaemia?
It is a condition wherein you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. Having anaemia may make you feel tired and weak. There are many types of anaemia, each with its own cause. It can be a temporary or long-term, and it can range from mild to severe.
The signs and symptoms of this disease vary depending on the cause of your it. They may include:
- Pale or yellow skin
- Irregular heartbeats
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or light-headedness
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
- A headache
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Causes of Anaemia
- White blood cells to fight infection
- Platelets to help your blood clot
- Red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body
Red blood cells contain haemoglobin- an iron-rich protein that gives blood its red color. Haemoglobin enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from your lungs to all parts of your body and to carry carbon dioxide from other parts of the body to your lungs so that it can be exhaled.
Most blood cells, including red blood cells, are produced regularly in your bone marrow- a spongy material found in the cavities of many of your large bones. To produce haemoglobin and red blood cells, your body needs iron, vitamin B-12, folate and other nutrients from the foods you eat.
Haemoglobin is usually measured as a part of the routine complete food count (CBC) test from a blood sample.
The normal ranges for haemoglobin depend on the age and, beginning in adolescence, the gender of the person. The normal ranges are:
- Newborns: 17 to 22 gm/dl
- One week of age: 15 to 20 gm/dl
- One month of age: 11 to 15 gm/dl
- Children: 11to 13 gm/dl
- Adult males: 14 to 18 gm/dl
- Adult women: 12 to 16 gm/dl
All of these values may vary slightly between laboratories.
Types of anaemia
Different types of anaemia and their causes include:
- Iron deficiency anaemia – This is the most common type of anaemia worldwide. This deficiency occurs because of a shortage of iron in your body. Your bone marrow needs iron to make haemoglobin. Without adequate iron, your body can’t produce enough haemoglobin for red blood cells. It also occurs in many pregnant women.
- Vitamin deficiency anaemia – In addition to iron, your body needs folate and vitamin B-12 to produce enough healthy red blood cells. A diet lacking in these and other key nutrients can cause a decrease in red blood cell production.
- Other anaemia – There are several other forms of this disease, such as anaemia of chronic diseases (like- cancer, HIV/ AIDS, rheumatoid arthritis, Kidney diseases), anaemia’s with bone marrow diseases, haemolytic anaemia (when RBC is destroyed faster than bone marrow can replace them) sickle cell anaemia (abnormal haemoglobin structure) and malarial anaemia.
- Eat a vitamin-rich diet –Many types of anaemia can’t be prevented. But iron deficiency and vitamin deficiency can be avoided by having a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including:
- Iron– Iron rich food include iron-fortified cereals, dark green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, lentils, beans, beef and other meats.
- Folate– This nutrient and its synthetic form folic acid can be found in fruits and fruit juices, dark green leafy vegetables, green peas, kidney beans, peanuts, and enriched grain products, such as bread, cereal, pasta, and rice.
- Vitamin B-12- Foods rich in vitamin B-12 include meat, dairy products, and fortified cereal and soy products.
- Vitamin C – Foods rich in vitamin C include citrus fruits and juices, peppers, broccoli, tomatoes, melons, and strawberries. These items help increase iron absorption.
- Consider a multivitamin: If you’re concerned about getting enough vitamins from the food you eat, ask your doctor whether a multivitamin may be right for you.
- Consider genetic counseling: If you have a family history of an inherited anaemia, such as sickle cell anaemia or thalassemia, talk to your doctor.
- Prevent malaria: Anaemia can be a complication of malaria. If you plan a traveling to a place where malaria is common, talk with your doctor beforehand about taking preventive drugs.
Question For You
Q. Which of the following is an important component of haemoglobin?
a. Iron b. Sodium
c. Calcium d. None
Ans: a. Iron
Iron is an important component of haemoglobin which is present in red blood cells. It carries oxygen from lungs to different parts of the body. Sources of iron include sunflower seeds, nuts, beef, beans, green leafy vegetables, tofu, amla, jaggery. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, that is a low count of haemoglobin as there is insufficient iron in the body to produce enough of haemoglobin.