Follow Us:

Treat anaemia timely to avoid serious complications

Iron deficiency or anaemia means that you have less iron than your body needs to be healthy.

Deepa Gupta | New Delhi |

Anaemia is a condition in which blood has lower amount of red blood cells or haemoglobin than the normal amount. The condition can be diagnosed by various blood tests depending upon your symptoms. The blood tests to determine the cause of your anaemia include CBC (complete blood count), blood iron level and serum ferritin level, levels of vitamin B12 and folate or other special blood tests. In rare cases a sample of bone marrow is taken to determine the cause of this problem. The disease cannot be treated unless the underlying cause has been established. There are basically three different causes of anaemia – loss of blood, less red blood cells formation or destruction of red blood cells.

Haemoglobin helps red blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. If you are affected by anaemia, your body does not get enough oxygen-rich blood. This may lead to tiredness, dizziness, weakness, breath shortness, headaches, irregular heartbeats, chest pain, leg cramps, pale skin, insomnia and difficulty in concentration.

Mild to moderate anaemia can be treated with iron supplements, certain vitamins, intravenous iron therapy or medicines which can produce more red blood cells under the supervision of a doctor. Healthy eating changes can also help to cure the condition along with medication and supplements. In case of severe anaemia, red blood cells transfusions may be recommended by the doctor. It usually takes four to six weeks to improve the symptoms of anaemia after taking regular iron supplements. They may be required to be taken for more months as recommended by your doctor to build up iron reserves and keep anaemia from returning. Eating healthy foods can also help you avoid both iron and vitamin deficiency anaemia. Include foods rich in iron (nuts, seeds and green leafy vegetables), vitamin B12 (dairy and meat) and folic acid (citrus juices, dark leafy greens, legumes and fortified cereals). A daily multivitamin will also help prevent nutritional anaemia.

If anaemia is not treated well in time, it can cause serious health complications. The overall health of anaemic person begins to suffer and in extreme cases, major organ damage due to oxygen saturation can happen. Your heart has to work harder if you are suffering from the disease. It is because with anaemia, your heart has to make up for the lack of red blood cells or haemoglobin. This extra work can harm the heart. It is better to treat the disease timely to avoid further complications.