Anemia is a condition in which concentration of red blood cells or hemoglobin (the oxygen carrying pigment) is below normal. Anemia is defined as hemoglobin concentration in blood below the lower limit of the normal range for the age and sex of the individual. In adults, the lower extreme of the normal hemoglobin is taken a 13.0 g/dl for males and 11.5 g/dl for females. This reduction of blood cells may be caused by blood loss, increased destruction or decreased production.
Mainly there are three causes of anemia:
- Due to increase blood loss
- Due to impaired red cell formation
- Due to increased red cell destruction
Types of Anemia
Iron deficiency anemia
This is the most common form of anemia. Iron is very essential for the bone marrow in the production of Hemoglobin. Common cause of iron deficiency anemia is depletion of iron stores due to:
- Prolonged or heavy menses
- Chronic blood loss due to an ulcer
- Deficiency of iron in diet
- Colorectal cancer
- Erosive gastritis
- Loss of blood due to hemorrhoids
- GIT bleeding after using certain medication (such as aspirin, NSAIDs)
- Bleeding due to kidney and bladder tumors
- Celiac disease (in which there is damage in the lining of the small intestine, causes malbsorption of iron ultimately leads to iron deficiency anemia)
In pernicious anaemia, there is impaired absorption of vitamin B12, which leads to deficiency of vitamin B12, which stops the production of normal red blood cells in the bone marrow.
To maintain a sufficient number of healthy red bleed cells, in addition to iron, both folate and vitamin B12 are necessary. A deficiency in either or both of these vitamins may result in megaloblastic anemia.
It develops due to premature and excessive destruction of the red blood cells in the blood stream.
Sickle cell anemia
It is an inherited genetic disorder caused due to premature death of abnormal sickle shaped red blood cells resulting in chronic shortage of red blood cells.
Sign and symptoms of anemia
Symptoms mainly include:
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid heart rate
- Lack of vital energy
- Chest pain
- Pale appearance
- Low blood pressure
- Coldness of the skin surface
- Heart murmurs
- Splenomegaly may also be present with anemia
Signs of anemia
- Pallor: pallor is the most common and characteristic sign which may be seen in the conjunctiva and skin.
- Central nervous system: there may be symptoms like faintness, giddiness, headache, tinnitus, drowsiness, numbness and tingling sensations of the hands and feet.
- Cardiovascular system: include tachycardia, collapsing pulse, cardiomegaly, dysponea on exertion and congestive heart failure in some elderly patients.
- Ocular manifestations: retinal hemorrhage may occur if there is associated with bleeding diathesis.
- Reproductive system: menstrual disturbances like amenorrhea, and menorrhagia and loss of libido may occur.
- Renal system: mild proteinuria and impaired functioning of kidney may occur in severe type of anemia.
- Gastrointestinal system: anorexia, flatulence, nausea, constipation and weight loss may occur.
- A diet lacking in certain vitamins and minerals: A diet consistently low in iron, vitamin B-12 and folate increases the risk of anemia.
- Intestinal disorders: Having an intestinal disorder that affects the absorption of nutrients in the small intestine such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease.
- Menstruation: In general, women who haven’t had menopause have a greater risk of iron deficiency anemia than do men and postmenopausal women. Menstruation causes the loss of red blood cells.
- Pregnancy: If a pregnant woman and aren’t taking a multivitamin with folic acid and iron, the pregnant women at an increased risk of anemia.
- Chronic conditions: If have cancer, kidney failure, diabetes or another chronic condition, could be at risk of anemia of chronic disease. These conditions can lead to a shortage of red blood cells. Slow, chronic blood loss from an ulcer or other source within the body can deplete the body’s store of iron, leading to iron deficiency anemia.
- Family history: If the family has a history of an inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia, might be at increased risk of the condition.
- Other factors: A history of certain infections, blood diseases and autoimmune disorders increases the risk of anemia. Alcoholism, exposure to toxic chemicals, and the use of some medications can affect red blood cell production and lead to anemia.
- Age: People over age 65 are at increased risk of anemia.
Left untreated, anemia can cause many health problems, such as:
- Severe fatigue: Severe anemia can make a person so tired that can’t complete everyday tasks.
- Pregnancy complications: Pregnant women with folate deficiency anemia may be more likely to have complications, such as premature birth.
- Heart problems: Anemia can lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). When in anemic condition, the heart must pump more blood to make up for the lack of oxygen in the blood. This can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.
- Death: Some inherited anemia, such as sickle cell anemia, can lead to life-threatening complications. Losing a lot of blood quickly results in acute, severe anemia and can be fatal.
To diagnose anemia, your doctor is likely to ask you about your medical and family history, perform a physical exam, and run the following tests:
- Complete blood count (CBC): A CBC is used to count the number of blood cells in a sample of your blood. For anemia, your doctor will be interested in the levels of the red blood cells contained in your blood (hematocrit) and the hemoglobin in your blood.
Normal adult hematocrit values vary among medical practices but are generally between 40% and 52% for men and 35% and 47% for women. Normal adult hemoglobin values are generally 14 to 18 grams per decilitre for men and 12 to 16 grams per decilitre for women.
A test to determine the size and shape of the red blood cells. Some of the red blood cells might also be examined for unusual size, shape and color.
Homeopathic treatment requires a thorough investigation of the patient’s physical as well as mental makeup. This makes the only guide for the selection of Homeopathic similimum. Homeopathic medicines are selected on the basis of constitutional similarity which includes the study of person’s physical state, mental state, familial tendencies and state of his present complaints.Has few most commonly used homeopathic medicines for Anemia.
There are several natural Homeopathic medicines that are of great help in the treatment of Anemia, but Ferrum Metallicum or Ferrum Met as it is known tops the list. The persons needing Ferrum Met are weak with paleness, and have frequent false flushings appearing at the slightest excitement. Vertigo, pulsating headaches and ringing in ears are also experienced by patients. Difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath with palpitations in heart are dominantly present in such patients, as is coldness of body. Homeopathic remedy Ferrum Met needs a special reference for its use in females who are anemic due to excessive bleeding during periods. The blood flows abundantly and the periods last much longer than normal.
Aletris Farinosa is the best natural Homeopathic medicine for women suffering from Anemia with extreme weakness and fatigue. There is a marked weariness and tiredness all day in such patients. The energy level seems to be markedly reduced and the body feels powerless. Frequent episodes of faintness and vertigo are common and even the face appears very pale. Anemia in women due to repeated abortions is best treated with Homeopathic remedy Aletris Farinosa. Vaginal discharge due to Anemia can also be corrected with this Homeopathic medicine. Aletris Farinosa is also the ideal Homeopathic mode of treatment for women with Anemia due to abundant bleeding during periods.
Anemia due to extreme blood loss is best treated with natural Homeopathic medicine China. The bleeding can be the result of a traumatic injury, excessive bleeding in periods or bleeding from any part of body like throat, bowels, nose, etc. The person is exhausted and even fainting spells occur due to extreme anemic conditions consequent to blood loss. Episodes of vertigo with marked weakness are also experienced. The body feels cold and pallor is marked. The face especially appears pale with sunken features. Homeopathic medicine China acts both as a haemorrhage controller as well as enhances the amount of blood after the bleeding episodes.
Natural Homeopathic medicine Natrum Mur acts very efficiently to control weight loss as a result of Anemia. The person appears very lean and emaciated with loss of flesh. The headache due to Anemia is also best treated with Natrum Mur. The headache is mainly bursting in character. Nausea and vomiting may accompany the pain in head. Natrum Mur is also the Homeopathic cure when anemic patients experience palpitations. Natrum Mur has a great ability to control palpitations due to decreased blood. Anemia due to longstanding grief is also best treated with Homeopathic remedy Natrum Mur. There is also a marked desire for extra salt in persons needing Natrum Mur to cure Anemia.
Ferrum Phos is the most frequently used natural Homeopathic medicine to increase the haemoglobin level. It can be safely used among people of all age groups. Even during Anemia in pregnancy, Ferrum Phos is a safe Homeopathic remedy though the dosage is to be properly handled by the physician during pregnancy. The skin appears pale in persons needing Ferrum Phos and they also experience palpitation of heart and weakness. The pulse rate is quickened. Vertigo and headache also appear as symptoms. Ferrum Phos is also the best Homeopathic remedy for controlling sweat in anemic patients especially at night.
This remedy has debility from exhausting discharges and loss of vital fluids. The individuals will have sallow complexion of face especially after hemorrhage, loss of vital fluids or sexual excesses. There will be heaviness of head with loss of sight, aversion to exercise, sensitive to touch, ringing sensation in ears, intolerance to fruits. Great congestion in the chest and violent palpitation of the heart. Trembling with numb sensation.
Here women will have a weak yellow complexion. They feel cold even in a warm room. They are irritable. There will be asthenic inflammation of eye with uterine trouble. There is craving for vinegar, acids and pickles. Dyspnoea aggravates after sleep and is better by rapid motion. Violent intermittent palpitation.
This remedy is adapted to tall, slender persons, narrow chested, thin with transparent skin, weakened by loss of animal fluids. There will be great debility with emaciation. There will be hemorrhagic tendency. Chronic congestion of head, thirst for cold water. Violent palpitation with anxiety while lying on left side and weakness and trembling from every exertion.
This remedy has action on blood and is usually given for anemic individuals to increase the number of RBCs and amount of Hb. There will be mental exhaustion. The individual will be weak with shortness of breath, loss of flesh, will be forgetful, dull and confused. The headache in the occiput will be pulsating type and will crave for wine and coffee.
Anemia after long exhausting disease condition.
Anemia due to grief or loss of seminal fluids.
Sometimes due to anemia, there is an irresistible desire to eat chalk, paper, earth or any such indigestible things; Nit-acid is one of the best homeopathic medicine for anemia.