Anemia or low hemoglobin (Hb) is a common blood disorder that can affect people of all age groups. hemoglobin Our red blood cells (RBCs) contain a protein that serves as a transport vehicle for oxygen to all the tissues of our body. These RBCs and other blood cells are produced in a spongy structure known as bone marrow which is present in most of the long bones of our body.
“when so protein becomes less, they can lead to different symptoms that vary in different age groups and vary according to severity. If one’s Hb is consistently low, and it develops slowly over time, such as nutritional deficiencies, patients may exhibit few symptoms, appear pale, and tire easily. On the other hand, if it develops rapidly, such as blood loss or when the blood is breaking down (hemolytic anemia) or blood cancer, it can be life threatening with excessive breathlessness, swelling etc. Anand Kumar K, Consultant Hematologist, Bone Marrow Transplant Physician and Pediatric Oncologist, Sparsh Hospital.
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“It is not enough to treat all anemia with nutritional supplements (iron and vitamin B12) alone, nor is it recommended to repeatedly blood transfusionNoted Dr. Kumar. “Both are not routinely recommended. In all cases of anemia, one needs to know the root cause so that it can be dealt with effectively.
What are the reasons?
The causes of persistently low Hb or anemia vary among different age groups. In children, the most common cause of low Hb is nutritional deficiency (iron and vitamin B12) which can be easily corrected with supplements, but the causes of chronic anemia in children are few, most of it congenital or There are inherited conditions. These children may have a defect in hemoglobin (thalassemia, sickle cell anemia), a defect on the outer wall of the red blood cell (hereditary spherocytosis) or an enzyme (G6PD deficiency), which can lead to recurrent ruptures. blood (hemolysis). Some of them may have defects in production in the bone marrow (Diamond Blackfan syndrome, Fanconi anemia).
In adults, the breakdown of red blood cells (auto-immune hemolytic anaemia), defects in the quality and quantity of blood cells in the bone marrow (myelodysplastic syndrome), and poor bone cell counts due to a malfunction of our immune system. Marrow (multiple myeloma, leukemia or lymphoma) etc.
There are some red flag signs of having consistently low Hb.
*When your symptoms are not getting better with simple nutritional supplements
*Experiencing extremely severe symptoms in a short period of time
* Having associated symptoms such as jaundice, fever, bone pain, easy fractures, and those who require frequent blood transfusions.
“If anyone has the above symptoms, they have to consult a hematologist,” the expert suggested.
To diagnose the above conditions, several types of blood tests are done. A simple test such as a peripheral smear seen by a specialist hematologist can provide important clues to a patient’s underlying condition. If a blood test is not able to find out the cause with a bone marrow test, various body scans are done to clarify the cause. For example, recurrent iron deficiency may not be a simple nutritional problem for an elderly person. This can be due to a serious problem like stomach or colon cancer which can be detected at an early stage with endoscopy.
It is believed that the cause of persistently low Hb in women is blood loss Iron deficiency in the menstrual cycle. However, if it is growing more than normal, one needs to exclude local causes such as fibroids or rare hereditary bleeding disorders such as von Willebrand disease. Like the above, many conditions have different diagnoses, which your hematologist will be able to diagnose.
Treatment depends on the underlying cause. This can include simple iron and/or vitamin B12 supplementation for nutritional anemias, immunosuppression for autoimmune conditions, chemotherapy for blood cancers, to bone marrow transplants for congenital blood problems such as thalassemia or high-risk blood cancers. .
“There is no need to panic with these rare and dangerous situations. Being aware and consulting a hematologist (blood specialist) at the right time will help in overcoming the fear, diagnosing it early and treating the underlying condition appropriately,” Dr Kumar said.
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