Anemia

For every age group of men and women, there are recommended levels of iron and blood counts in your blood stream. Iron is what helps your blood keep a solid state, allowing it to more easily carry oxygen to the rest of your body. Low levels of hemoglobin and solid materials that carry oxygen in your blood is called anemia. Anemia can be caused by many types of nutritional and vitamin deficiencies or by lack of adequate production of red blood cells in your bone marrow.

Causes

The general feeling of fatigue and malaise associated with anemia is the first sign of the illness. Individuals with low iron often do not make enough red blood cells. Their blood cells cannot carry adequate levels of oxygen and nutrients to sufficiently support the body. Unusual blood loss, lack of normal production of blood cells and unusual destruction of blood cells are all factors that contribute to anemia. 

Diagnosis & Treatment

When your red blood cell count is low, you have signs of anemia on your complete blood count, the test usually performed to assess this problem. Other vitamin levels and nutrient levels may also be assessed.  If it appears that excessive destruction of blood cells is the root of your problem, then further evaluation, including a bone marrow exam to look at the material in the bone marrow that makes red cells, can be evaluated. The combination of these test results will allow your doctor to make a diagnosis and then plan to treat your problem.

Full evaluation of the causes of anemia can lead to resolution of this problem. The hematologist is trained to assess this problem. Medications can be provided to increase blood cell production, improve the health of red blood cells or increase precursor cells that make red blood cells. Following treatment, serial recheck of the blood count will be performed to assess your blood system’s response to therapy.