Reviewed By : Dr. Anjali D.
Following are the common questions about Anemia:
- Is Anaemia dangerous?
- What are the signs and symptoms associated with Anaemia?
- What tests are suggested for diagnosing Anaemia?
- What are the lab values of tests required for Anaemia?
- What is the cost of Anaemia tests in India?
- What are the different factors that can lead to Anaemia?
- What are the most prominent forms of Anaemia?
- Is Aplastic anaemia a cancer type?
- Who are at a high risk for Anaemia?
- What are the preventive measures to adopt for avoiding Anaemia?
- What are the different treatment methods for Anaemia?
Is Anaemia dangerous?
Unless serious bleeding is not witnessed, Anaemia cannot be considered as life-threatening. However, with passage of time, anaemia may lead to overwork for your heart in order to compensate lack in energy level. Patients who suffer from anaemia, usually live short lives in comparison to patients who are affected by similar chronic diseases without fatigue.
What are the signs and symptoms associated with Anaemia?
The following signs and symptoms are associated with Anaemia depending on severity:
- Pale skin
- Easily feeling tired
- Dropping blood pressure while standing from a lying or sitting position which may be caused post acute blood loss such as during heavy periods
- Palpitation or racing heart
- Frequent headache
- Patient is easily irritated
- Reddened or cracked tongue
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Unique food craving
- Appetite loss
What tests are suggested for diagnosing Anaemia?
The following tests may be recommended depending on severity of anaemia:
What are the lab values of tests required for Anaemia?
Normal range for tests suggested for Anaemia is as follows:
Complete Blood Count (CBC):
- RBC count:
Male - 4.32 to 5.72 trillion cells/L
Female – 3.90 to 5.03 trillion cells/L
Male – 13.5 to 17.5 grms/dL
Female – 12.0 to 15.5 grms/dL
Male – 38.8 to 50.0%
Female – 34.9 to 44.5%
- WBC count: 3.5 to 10.5 billion cells/L
- Platelet count: 150 to 450 billion/L
What is the cost of Anaemia tests in India?
Costs of tests required for anaemia in India will depend on the severity of your ailment. Additionally, your residential location (City), diagnostic center, hospital and equipments used by these health care entities will form the base for cost involved. You can view a comprehensive list of costs for anaemai tests across different cities in India here.
What are the different factors that can lead to Anaemia?
Anaemia can be caused due to various reasons as mentioned below:
- Diet deficiency: Diet lacking in folic acid, vitamin B12 or iron can lead to anaemia.
- Inheritance: Sickle cell or thalassaemia are inherited disorders leading to anaemia.
- Incorrect absorption: When your body is unable to utilize dietary nutrients due to conditions like coeliac disease, this may lead to anaemia.
- Autoimmune ailment: Autoimmune anaemia (Haemolytic) wherein immune cells will attack RBCs, thus decreasing their span of life, is a condition leading to anaemia.
- Chronic ailments: Tuberculosis and rheumatoid arthritis may lead to anaemia.
- Hormonal disorders: Hypothyroidism leads to anaemia.
- Bone marrow ailment: Infections or cancer may be cause of anaemia.
- Loss of blood: Blood lost due to cancer, heavy menstruation, trauma, peptic ulcer, blood donations done frequently, bowel cancer or surgery may lead to causing anaemia.
- Medications & Drugs: Anti-coagulant or anti-inflammatory medications, antibiotics along with alcohol are factors leading to anaemia.
Along with the above factors, malarial infections, septicaemia, pregnancy or puberty may also lead to anaemia in some cases.
What are the most prominent forms of Anaemia?
There are various forms of Anaemia as mentioned below:
- Iron Deficiency Anaemia: This is considered as the most usual and common form of anaemia. It is caused when the patient is having a deficiency of iron in body. Iron is a necessity for making hemoglobin and hence is important. Patients who suffer from this anaemia type are often referred to have “tired blood” or “iron-poor blood.”
- Vitamin B12 Deficiency Anaemia: Human body requires Vitamin B12 for making red blood cells. It is also necessary for keeping the nervous system in normal working state. Vitamin B12 anaemia can lead to various conditions such as losing sense for touch, walking difficulty, stiffness in legs and arms and dementia.
- Sickle cell Anaemia: This is considered as a deadly and serious blood disorder that is inherited. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body and when a person is affected by sickle cell anaemia, an abnormality develops in these red blood cells.
Is Aplastic anaemia a cancer type?
No. This is a misconception. Aplastic aneamia is actually a quite rare disorder due to which, bone
marrow looses its capability of producing adequate amount of blood cells. Though it is not a cancer
type, it might be associated with cancers concerning the bone marrow, like leukemia.
Who are at a high risk for Anaemia?
There are certain groups or professionals that are at high risk of being affected by anaemia. These include:
- Breastfeeding or pregnant women
- Babies (especially premature)
- Children in puberty stage
- People following fad diets
- People suffering from chronic diseases, stomach ulcers or cancer
What are the preventive measures to adopt for avoiding Anaemia?
There are some anaemia forms that cannot be prevented as these are caused due to breakdown in process of cell-making. However, some preventive measures to adopt for avoiding other anaemia types include:
- Consuming certain groups of food can lead to prevention of Anaemia that is caused due to diet deficiency
- Following a diet comprising of lean meats, legumes, vegetables, fresh fruits and dairy products can help in preventing anaemia
- Vegetarians avoiding dairy products can consume mineral supplements and vitamins regularly to prevent anaemia
What are the different treatment methods for Anaemia?
Treatment methods for Anaemia will vary according to severity and cause.
Treatment may include:
- Minerals and vitamin supplements may be prescribed if deficiency is witnessed
- People with low iron content may be given iron injections
- In case of pernicious anaemia, injections of Vitamin B12 may be prescribed
- If the cause of anaemia is some infection, then antibiotics are recommended
- At times, regular medication dosage may be altered if required
- Oxygen therapy is prescribed in some cases
IMPORTANT: Patients suffering from anaemia need to understand that without your doctor's advice, taking iron supplements is not good. This may lead to poisoning if the dosage is more than what is recommended.