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Anemia – The RBC Deficiency and Pregnancy

Anemia – The RBC Deficiency and Pregnancy

Anemia is a term derived from the Greek ‘anaimia’ meaning the lack of blood. Anemia is actually the lack of RBC – red blood cells or the lack of hemoglobin in the blood. The hemoglobin is found inside the RBCs and it carries oxygen to the tissues from the lungs. As the quantity of hemoglobin decreases, there is a lack of oxygen in the organs – a condition called hypoxia. The varying degree of anemia has different consequences.

The most common disorder of blood is anemia, and it is of several kinds caused due to various underlying reasons. Anemia can be mainly categorized into deficient RBC production, excessive blood loss and excessive blood cell destruction.

The low count of red blood cells causes a variety of signs and symptoms and can make any other underlying medical condition worse. Anemia symptoms may include weakness, light-headedness, paleness, fatigue, shortness of breath, palpitations while severe anemia symptoms may be dizziness, passing out, chest pain, rapid heart rate, angina or heart attack. Presence of anemia may be felt due to symptoms like change in stool color, low BP, jaundice, spleen enlargement or rapid breathing.

Anemia during pregnancy is a common occurrence among women as the demand for vitamins and iron increases in the body. It is necessary for a mother to increase the production of RBCs in the body which is also used by the placenta and the fetus. The body starts producing more RBCs and plasma but the increase is not proportionate. The plasma amount is disproportionately greater than the RBCS and hence blood is diluted. As the RBCs are lesser, there is a fall in hemoglobin concentration. In such cases, medical products like iron supplement pills and medical tests like serum ferritin is the best way to keep a check. Iron deficiency may also be caused due to a low-iron diet, lack of folic acid in the diet or loss of blood due to bleeding from piles or ulcers.

A pregnant woman will generally not have anemia symptoms except when the hemoglobin is below 8g/dl. Starting with paleness and tiredness, the mother may experience palpitations or chest pain if anemia is severe (hemoglobin drops to 6g/dl). Pregnant women should take care about anemia by emphasizing on varied diet, consulting the doctor about food and supplements intake during pregnancy, intake of good sources of iron and supplements of iron, vitamins and especially folic acid, so that the child does not suffer from the problem of spina bifida. Pregnancy is a fragile condition and one should be very careful and alert. Rest and proper food always proves to be good for the child.…

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Folic Acid Deficiency

Folic Acid Deficiency

Folic acid, an essential micro-nutrient, can be derived from food resources. Dried yeast, liver, and wheat germ are the rich sources. Whole cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables are good sources, while milled cereals, other vegetables, milk, & fruits are fair sources.

It is required for synthesis of nucleic acids, & formation of the heam component of hemoglobin in red blood cells. It is readily absorbed from the small intestines through the portal vein, & passed on to tissues through the general circulation. However, its excess intake is not stored in the tissues. It is water soluble B vitamin, & regularly excreted through the urine. Daily recommended enteral intake in normal adults is 400 micrograms.

To assess the deficiency at an early stage is very difficult, because it takes months to manifest its clinical signs & symptoms. Megaloblastic anemia, glossitis, & diarrhea are the major consequences. The attributed causes for deficiency are, such as, decreased intake often associated with alcoholism, malabsorption, & increased utilization in cases of, hemolytic anemia, pregnancy. In addition, some anticonvulsant & oral contraceptive drugs may lead to perturbed folate metabolism.

Megaloblastic anemia is an irreversible disease condition, which can be treated with supplements of folic acid & vitamin B12. However, folic acid deficiency during pregnancy invokes neural tube defects resulting in malformation of the spine (spina bifida), skull, & brain (anencephaly) of the fetus. Therefore, antenatal regime involving supplements of folic acid & vitamin B12 is highly recommended.

Atrophic glossitis is often linked to an underlying nutritional deficiency of iron, folic acid, vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin, & resolves with the correction of the underlying condition.

Diarrhea occurs due to infections, or rather of celiac disease can be treated with medication, nutritional diets, & electrolyte therapy.

Deficiency of folic acid can be diagnosed by analyzing serum folate & red blood cells (RBC) folate levels. A serum folate of 3 microgram/L, or lower indicates deficiency. Serum folate level reflects folate status, but RBC folate level reflects better.

Recent studies reveal the significance of folic acid supplements in cases of dementia, malignancy, heart disease, pregnancy & during menopause. Folate, a naturally occurring B vitamin is needed in the brain for the synthesis of nor epinephrine, serotonin, & dopamine. Its supplements help to improve cognitive function & reducing depressive symptoms in elderly patients with dementia & folate deficiency. Localized folate deficiencies of the skin are likely consequences of ultraviolet exposure, which permutes a permissive environment for genomic instability, an early event in the process of skin carcinogenesis. The effects of folate restriction even in severely depleted growth arrested keratinomytes were reversible by repletion with folic acid. The supplements may improve the integrity of the vascular endothelium, & therefore its consumption before & during pregnancy may reduce the risk of heart defects in infants. Clinical evidence suggests the benefits of supplements in pregnant women can avoid spontaneous abortion, & pregnancy complications, such as placental abruption & preeclampsia. It help relieve hot flushes in postmenopausal women. Just like estrogen hormone replacement therapy, folic acid interacts with neurotransmitters (nor-epinephrine, serotonin) in the brain to reduce hot flushes.…

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Beware! Weight Loss And Fatigue Could Also Be Caused By Anemia – Know The Importance Of Hemoglobin

Beware! Weight Loss And Fatigue Could Also Be Caused By Anemia – Know The Importance Of Hemoglobin

Are you feeling weak? Do you experience problem in breathing? Do you look pale than before? Calm down. You are on the right article. These are all symptoms of an easily curable disease called anemia.

What is anemia? : Anemia is a disorder characterized by low RBC count or low hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the oxygen transporter of our body. It transports oxygen from lungs to all our body parts. If this soldier of our body is disappointed the following symptoms appear.

Symptoms:

1. Fatigue

2. Intolerance to cold

3. Paleness

4. Low tolerance power

5. Less energy

6. Difficulty to do mental work to some extent

7. Less energy, less growth and hence weight loss!

In fact, anemia is a sign of disorder and a diagnosis.

Types of anemia

Nutritional anemia: it develops due to malnutrition caused by insufficient amounts of iron, vitamin B12 or the necessary amino acids in the diet.

Pernicious anemia: it develops due to insufficient production of erythrocytes resulting from an inability of body to produce the intrinsic factor that is needed for vitamin B12 absorption in the body.

Hemorrhagic anemia: it is an excessive loss of RBC’s due to heavy bleeding commonly caused by large wounds, stomach ulcers or menstrual bleeding. Excessive hemorrhagic anemia is fatal.

Hemolytic anemia: it develops due to haemolysis of erythrocytes. Haemolysis may occur due to inherent genetic defects or due to hemolytic agents like parasites, toxins and antibodies formed because of incompatible bloods of the mother and the developing fetus. An example of hereditary hemolytic anemia is thalassemia. It results from a defect in synthesis of Hb leading to production of extremely thin and fragile erythrocytes.

Aplastic anemia: it develops due to the destruction or inhibition of the red bone marrow. It is replaced by fatty tissue, fibrous tissue or tumor cells. Toxins, gamma radiations and certain medications are main causes.

Sickle-cell anemia: this develops due to abnormal kind of Hb being manufactured. When the erythrocytes give up its oxygen to the interstitial cells/fluid, the abnormal Hb forms long, stiff rod-like structures that bend the erythrocytes into sickle shaped erythrocytes rupture easily. Also such sickle shaped cells tend to get stuck in the blood vessels and cut off blood supply to the organ.

After reading all this an obvious question is what next? Can it be cured? Yes it can be. You need to take regular care of your body and of course, your hemoglobin count.

Normal range for women: 9-12.5

Men: 13-17

Sickle cell anemia is caused due to genetic disorder. So, it cannot be cured. Whereas, other types can be cured and body can be kept in healthy state by regular intake of some supplements.

Vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron are the main components needed in the food of an anemic person. Various supplements for these are easily available in the market. Some natural sources providing iron and folic acid are both plant as well as animal sources. This includes red meat, apple, spinach, peas and beans.

A bad news for tea and coffee lovers. Tea and coffee hinder the absorption of iron by the gastrointestinal tract. Orange, grapes banana will be useful. Dates, pomegranates and beetroots are considered best fruit for increasing hemoglobin level so eat these fruits as much as you can.…

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Are You Low on B12?

Are You Low on B12?

One of the factors in determining when you might have the symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency may generally start with a feeling of tiredness and a lower energy level. At times it can go unnoticeable because the deficiency is mild and there are no obvious symptoms. During this type of situation the deficiency can best be detected during a blood test at the doctor office. Irritability, memory loss, headaches and low concentration can be some of the symptoms that show up early on during the onset of a B12 deficiency.

In extreme cases vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to what is known as B12 deficiency anemia. This is due to the fact that this nutrient is essential in the creation of red blood cells, which work to carry oxygen throughout the body. The extent of the effects this can have on an individual are determined by how long to what extreme B12 has been missing in the diet. An early stage of the deficiency may only lead to excess tiredness and more sleeping, while long term cases can be debilitating to the point of being unable to get out of bed.

Another symptom that can occur from lack of B12 can come in the form of neurological symptoms that exhibits itself during a higher level of deficiency. Some linked neurological symptoms can be sharp stabbing pain in the palm of either or both hands, eye twitching, or mild electrical shocks that may occur along the side of the body. A few other symptoms can be a shortness of breath in the chest without the chest pain, tingling on the tongue, and or tingling along the back side of the thighs.

Another reason for deficiency will occur when there is a problem with your digestive system not being able to absorb the B12 vitamin. If the body destroys the stomach cells that are used to help the body to absorb the vitamin, then something called pernicious anemia may be happening. When in this stage pernicious anemia makes antibodies that destroy the cells in the stomach that causes a lack of substance that is needed for the body to soak up the B12 from food.

If you start to feel various symptoms along these lines, then it is essential that you speak with a physician, but before you do anything you need to improve your diet. It might be that an unhealthy lifestyle is causing this problem and that is up to you to fix.…

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Facts – Alcoholism & Iron Deficiency Can Develop Anemia!

Facts – Alcoholism & Iron Deficiency Can Develop Anemia!

There are several different conditions that may result in the development of anemia. Naturally, these causes are broke down into common causes and not so common causes according to medical professionals. It is important to know and understand that no one individual is completely immune to developing this disorder involving the red blood cells. In this health guide, you will learn about the various causes associated with this particular blood disorder.

Iron Deficiency

Many individuals develop anemia as a result of an iron deficiency in their body. In the bone marrow of the body, red blood cells are created. In order for these cells to be produced, iron must be present in the marrow. If there is a deficiency, the overall structure of the hemoglobin based molecule is affected.

This lack of iron is often a direct result of a low iron intake in the diet. Individuals that suffer from anemia that is due to a deficiency when it comes to iron are said to suffer from a specific type of anemia that is identified by medical professionals as “Iron Deficiency Anemia”.

Alcoholism

Many medical professionals have determined that individuals that consume alcohol on a regular basis may develop anemia. This is mostly because of the fact that when a person drinks alcohol, the various minerals and the vitamins in the person’s body are depleted. In addition to this, most individuals that drink alcohol regularly often do not indulge in diets that are rich in nutrients.

Medical professionals have discovered that the alcohol substance is quite detrimental to the overall health of the bone marrow. When it reaches this location in the body, the production of the red blood cells is drastically reduced.

Conclusion

There are many different reasons or causes of anemia. Iron deficiencies and alcoholism are among the most common causes of this condition. There are other potential causes as well. Chronic diseases may cause it – especially kidney disease. This may also be caused by pregnancy, poor nutrition, complications in the gastrointestinal tract, low production in hemoglobin, viral infections, and deformities in red blood cell shape may also cause anemia.…

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Did You Know That There Are 400 Types of Anemia?

Did You Know That There Are 400 Types of Anemia?

Anemia is the most common blood condition in the U.S., it effect almost 3.5 million people. It’s very important to know those who are at higher risk for anemia. People with chronic diseases, women in childbearing years, seniors and those who have family history of this illness are at higher risk. Also, infants with family history can be effected at birth. This doesn’t mean they are the only people that can have anemia. There are all types of anemia, with different causes and types of treatments.

Anemia is a condition that is caused when a persons blood lack enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin or both. Red blood cells transport oxygen to the organs. When the red blood cell are deficient, the body doesn’t get enough oxygen and this causes the body to become fatigue. Although becoming fatigue is a symptom it’s not the only one. There’s a list of symptoms that would depend on the type of anemia a person has. There is all types of anemia. They are divided into four different groups; these groups are listed by what causes this sickness. First is blood loss which causes fatigue. Secondly, when the red blood cell production is faulty or decreased than it causes anemia. Third cause of anemia is when red blood cell have been destroyed.

Some of the types of anemia are; Sickle cell, iron-deficiency, vitamin deficiency, hemolytic anemia and so many others. Treatments are individualized depending on type of anemia and conditions. For example: treatment for iron deficiency anemia could mean taking iron supplements, and could involve a blood transfusion or surgery to stop the loss of blood. Whereas a vitamin deficiency would only involve some type of vitamin injection, nasal spray or pills as treatment. So treatment is important and has a wide range.…

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Ancient Vampire Folklore May Have Roots in Modern Medical Science

Ancient Vampire Folklore May Have Roots in Modern Medical Science

Vampire folklore is prevalent throughout European history. Some tales date back as far as the 12th century. It’s possible that these early tales of vampires were spawned by real medical conditions.

Porphyria

There are several types of porphyria. Four of the types have symptoms of light sensitivity: Variegate Porphyria, Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PCT), Erythropoietic Protoporphyria (EPP) or Protoporphyria, and Congenital Erythropoetic Porphyria (C.E.P.). Other symptoms include brown teeth, red and sometimes bloody gums, and hypertrichosis (excessive hair growth). These symptoms mirror many vampire legends. However, victims of porphyria do not crave or drink blood.

Catalepsy

Catalepsy is a neurological condition characterized by a decreased sensitivity to pain coupled with muscular rigidity. Patients with catalepsy do not respond to external stimuli. They are aware of their surroundings but cannot speak or move. Attacks of catalepsy last for a few minutes or for several days.

In severe cases, a person who is suffering from a cataleptic attack will appear dead. Signs of life can only be detected my means of modern medical equipment. Ancient sufferers of catalepsy may have been buried alive. Later, when they regained muscular control they would have tried to free themselves from their coffins. Some vampire folklore describes noises coming from freshly buried coffins. When local villagers exhumed these graves and opened them, scratch marks were found on the inside, leading villagers to conclude vampires were trying to escape from their graves.

Anemia

Anemia is a condition that is characterized by the blood not having enough healthy red blood cells. Since red blood cells transfer oxygen throughout the body, symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, vertigo, and weakness. These symptoms are caused by the body’s organs not receiving enough oxygen. These symptoms also mirror the symptoms of vampire victims in early folklore. Anemia is a very common condition.

Rabies

Bats and Wolves, both of which are oftentimes associated with vampires, are common carriers of the disease rabies. Rabies has symptoms that mirror vampirism. Hyper-sensitivity, a symptom of rabies, could result in light or garlic aversion. Other symptoms include becoming nocturnal due to abnormal sleep patterns and hyper-sexuality. Rabies is spread by biting, and victims of rabies are oftentimes seen frothing with blood at the mouth.

Conclusion

Modern medical science may explain some of Europe’s early vampire folklore. Porphyria, catalepsy, anemia, and rabies are all possible causes of early vampire legends. People of the time who lacked medical knowledge wouldn’t understand some of these diseases and their symptoms. The result may be the vampire folklore that spread throughout Europe in the middle ages.…