Any process that can disrupt the normal life span of a red blood cell may cause anemia. Normal life span of a red bloodcell is typically around 120 days. Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow.
Anemia is caused essentially through two basic pathways. Anemia is either caused:
1. by a decrease in productionof red blood cell or hemoglobin, or
2. by a loss or destruction of blood
Some patients with anemia have no symptoms. Others with anemia may feel:
* fatigue easily* appear pale
* develop palpitations (feeling of heart racing)
* become short of breath
Additional symptoms may include:
* hair loss
* malaise (general sense of feeling unwell)* worsening of heart problems
How is anemia treated?
The treatment of the anemia varies greatly. First, the underlying cause of the anemia should be identified and corrected. For example, anemiaas a result of blood loss from a stomach ulcer should begin with medications to heal the ulcer. Likewise, surgery is often necessary to remove a colon cancer that is causing chronic blood loss andanemia.
Sometimes iron supplements will also be needed to correct iron deficiency. In severe anemia, blood transfusions may be necessary. Vitamin B12 injections will be necessary for patients sufferingfrom pernicious anemia or other causes of B12 deficiency.
In certain patients with bone marrow disease (or bone marrow damage from chemotherapy) or patients with kidney failure, epoetin alfa...