Ailments & Remedies

Ailments List

Anaemia

 

Overview

Anaemia is a common blood disorder when the red blood cells or RBCs count is reduced or the haemoglobin level drops leading to low transportation of oxygen in the blood. This can lead to extreme tiredness, fatigue, palpitations, shortness of breath and poor concentration. A blood test can usually detect this blood disorder.

 

Causes

The most common cause of anaemia is a lack of iron, which is called iron deficiency anaemia. There are various reasons which may lead to iron deficiency anaemia. These include; pregnancy and childhood growth spurts when more iron than usual is needed, and intake from the diet may not be sufficient enough; Poor absorption of iron, which can occur with gut diseases such as Crohn’s disease; Heavy menstrual periods where the iron in the diet is not enough to replace the amount that is lost each month; Bleeding from the gut in conditions such as Ulcerative Colitis, where blood is lost with the stools. This may not be apparent, if the bleeding is slow or intermittent, so the reason may not be obvious straight away; A poor or restricted diet may also be the cause of iron deficiency anaemia. Other causes may include lack of certain vitamins, red blood cell problems, bone marrow problems and conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and kidney failure.

 

Symptoms

Anaemia may have varying degrees of severity. A person may be pale which can be observed in fingernails, lips, palms and the lining of eyelids.  There may be a constant feeling of tiredness. When this condition is severe, dizziness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and loss of appetite may occur.  Behavioural disturbances might be noticed in children with this condition in a chronic state.  Less common symptoms may be swelling of arms and legs, chronic heartburn, vague bruises, vomiting, increased sweating and blood in the stools.

 

Diagnosis

A doctor would take a medical history of the patient and prescribe blood tests to determine blood counts. In chronic cases, the doctor may recommend sophisticated tests to measure the bone marrows ability to produce red cells.   

 

Treatment

Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the anaemia. It may be resolved with dietary changes; advice on improving the diet to treat anaemia can be sought from a qualified nutritionist. A doctor may prescribe iron supplements, folic acid or vitamin B12 to treat deficiencies. Severe anaemia may require a blood transfusion.



Common Remedies

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