Prevention is the best option

Anaemia. Prevention and treatment

Consell de salut: Anèmia

Anaemia is the manifestation of a disorder in which there is a reduction in the amount of red blood cells in the blood. It can occur due to a loss of these or due to a decrease in their production in the bone marrow for various reasons, with the most common being the lack of iron needed to produce haemoglobin, an iron-rich protein that gives the blood its red colour. This protein allows red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

Description

What should you consider if you are anaemic?

Anaemia patients' bodies do not get enough oxygen-rich blood. As a result, symptoms such as feeling tired or weak, as well as dizziness or headache appear. If left untreated, severe or prolonged anaemia can cause damage to the heart, brain and other organs of the body. 

 

Medical and family history 

Your doctor may ask you if you have any of the signs or symptoms of anaemia, or if you have had a disease or health problem that may cause it.

In order to give the precise indications to the doctor and for them to be able to make a quick diagnosis of the case, it is necessary to give:

  • The names of any medicines being taken.
  • Dietary information.
  • If any of the patient's family members have anaemia or a history of this disease.

 

Treatment 

Treatment of anaemia depends on the type, cause and severity of the disease. Treatment may consist of:

  • Changes in diet
  • Nutritional supplements
  • Medications
  • Surgical interventions
  • Surgery to treat blood loss

 

Treatment goal 

The goal of treatment is to increase the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry. This increase is achieved by increasing the number of red blood cells or the concentration of haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that is rich in iron and carries oxygen to the body's cells. 

Another goal is to treat the underlying disease or the cause of the anaemia. 

Changes in diet and nutritional supplements:

  • Iron
  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic acid

Blood transfusion may be necessary at times, although this should be assessed by the physician.

 

Prevention

It is possible to prevent repeated episodes of certain types of anaemia, especially those due to a lack of iron or vitamins. Making dietary changes or taking supplements recommended by your doctor can prevent these types of anaemia from returning.

Treating the cause can prevent anaemia (or keep it from recurring). For example, if a medicine is causing the patient to become anaemic, the doctor may prescribe another type of medication.

To prevent anaemia from getting worse, patients need to explain all their signs and symptoms in detail to their doctor. It is also recommended to ask what tests should be done and to adhere to the treatment plan.

Some types of hereditary anaemias, such as sickle cell anaemia, cannot be prevented. In the case of hereditary anaemia, patients need to consult their doctor about treatment and ongoing care.

    
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