Exhausted and lethargic - that's how everyone feels sometimes. But if fatigue and exhaustion are part of everyday life, despite getting enough sleep, anaemia could be the cause. How does anaemia occur and what are the effects? You can also learn more about other symptoms and the link between anaemia and heart failure here.
The role of red blood cells in anaemia
Red blood cells carry haemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that attaches to oxygen in the lungs and carries it to tissues throughout the body. Anaemia occurs when you don't have enough red blood cells or when your red blood cells don't function properly. It is diagnosed when blood tests show a haemoglobin value of less than 13.5 g/dl in men and less than 12.0 g/dl in women. Normal values for children change with age.
When you are anaemic, your body lacks oxygen, so you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- A fast or irregular heartbeat
- Knocking or tinnitus
- Cold hands or feet
- Pale or yellow skin
- Chest pain
The best clinics in Switzerland offer a comprehensive blood test for anaemia with all iron elements important for diagnosisas well as general clinical tests. The detailed results will help the doctor to make a correct diagnosis and prescribe medication if necessary. Early determination with highly accurate results for a healthy and confident body!
Causes of anaemia
Anaemia can have many causes, including:
- dietary deficiency - a lack of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid in the diet
- Malabsorption - when the body cannot properly absorb or utilise nutrients in the diet, caused by conditions such as gluten disease.
- Hereditary diseases such as thalassaemia or sickle cell anaemia.
- Autoimmune diseases such as autoimmune haemolytic anaemia, in which immune cells attack red blood cells and shorten their lifespan.
- Chronic diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and tuberculosis.
- Hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism.
- Bone marrow diseases such as cancer
- blood loss - due to trauma, surgery, peptic ulcer, heavy menstruation, cancer (particularly bowel cancer) or frequent blood donation.
- Medications and drugs , including alcohol, antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs or anticoagulants
- Mechanical breakdown - mechanical heart valves can damage red blood cells, shortening their lifespan.
- infections, such as malaria and septicaemia, which shorten the lifespan of red blood cells.
- periods of rapid growth or high energy needs, such as puberty or pregnancy.
Is anaemia dangerous?
In many cases anaemia is a symptom of a deficiency, such as iron deficiency, which is well treated. However, sometimes there is another underlying disease behind it. Therefore, patients with anaemia should see a doctor, and undergo a good diagnosis.
If problems are detected, the patient can be treatment in Switzerland at he best clinics and the disease can be properly managed.
Treatment of anaemia
Treatment depends on the cause and severity, but may include:
- vitamin and mineral supplements - in case of deficiency
- iron injections - if you have very low iron levels
- Vitamin B12 (as an injection) - if you have pernicious anaemia.
- antibiotics - if an infection is the cause of your anaemia
- a change in the dose or regimen of your usual medicines, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, if necessary
- blood transfusion - if necessary
- oxygen therapy - if necessary
- Surgery to prevent abnormal bleeding, such as heavy menstruation
- surgery to remove the spleen - for severe haemolytic anaemia.
Please note: take iron supplements only on the advice of your doctor. The human body does not excrete iron very well, and you can be poisoned if you take more than the recommended dose.
Is anaemia hereditary?
There are rare forms of anaemia that are hereditary.
How common is anaemia?
Anaemia is not a rare condition: iron deficiency anaemia is the most common cause of iron deficiency.
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