Causes,Effects, Treatment and Prevention of Acquired Anemia
Anemiais a blood disorder that comes about when the numbers of erythrocytesthat transport oxygen to the body organs are inadequate (Rosdahl &Kowalski, 2008). Erythrocytes are one of the three key types of bloodcells. Erythrocytes or what is commonly referred to as red bloodcells contain a red pigment called haemoglobin, that enables them tocombine with oxygen and form an unstable compound (oxyhaemoglobin)and in this process transport oxygen from the lungs top all parts ofthe body (UnitedStates Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). When therenumber of red blood cells in the blood is low, the amount ofhaemoglobin is also low and as such the body does not get enoughoxygen to carry out metabolic activities. In the United States thereare more than three million Americans with anemia (National Heart,Lung and Blood Institute, 2008). Individuals suffering from chronicailments and women are at the greatest threat of developing thisblood disorder. The paper will seek to discuss the effects of thisblood disorder on the body organs and systems, the causes of thedisorder, preventive measures and how the disorder can be treated.The principal academic resource will be a journal by the USDepartment of Health and Human Sciences and a publication by NationInstitute of Health.
Asaforementioned, anemia is a blood disorder that can be inherited, andthat can occur due to iron deficiency. Depending on the cause of thisdisorder, anemia can be inherited or acquired (National Heart, Lungand Blood Institute, 2008). In this paper, we shall seek to discussacquired anemia. Anemia is categorized as acquired if one was notborn with the condition, but it develops in one’s lifetime (UnitedStates Department of Health and Human Services, 2011). Nonetheless,there when the cause of anemia is not clear it is just described astoo few erythrocytes in blood cells. For blood to be able to carrysufficient oxygen to all parts of the body, there must be enough redblood cells with an adequate amount of haemoglobin. In the bodyiron, folate and vitamin B12, some types of proteins and minerals arerequired to make haemoglobin. These vitamins and elements are derivedfrom the food we ingest and in a situation where thefood ingestedis not balanced or rich in these elements, especially iron, anemiccondition occurs (UnitedStates Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).
Anemiacan cause difficulty breathing, memory loss, blurred vision and canhave a fatal effect on legs and movement in general (UnitedStates Department of Health and Human Services, 2011).Because oxygen is required by all body cells for metabolic activity,anemia affects the performance of all organs and in severe conditionscan lead to death.
Thehuman body has a compactly controlled mechanism for utilizing andrecycling iron. Through this mechanism, iron is absorbed in the bonemarrow where it combines with the red pigment (haemoglobin0 to makeerythrocytes (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, 2008). Ironthat is not used to manufacture red blood cells is stored in the bodytissues. Once the erythrocytes reach their lifespan, they aredestroyed, and the haemoglobin is broken down and used to make newerythrocytes. Lack of enough iron in the diet can lead toiron-deficiency anemia (Rosdahl & Kowalski, 2008). If the bodycan not absorb an adequate amount of iron from food ingested, veryfew red blood cells will be manufactured in the bone marrow, andthose that are made will contain less haemoglobin than the requiredlevel (Rosdahl & Kowalski, 2008). This is what leads toiron-deficiency anemia, which is a nutritional deficiency.
Irondeficiency anemia can be treated through iron supplements or dietarychanges (Rosdahl& Kowalski, 2008).To improve the amount of iron in the blood to a healthy level, ironsupplements (ferrous sulfate) can be ingested together with the dailydiet as per the prescription of a doctor. Most of the ironsupplements are available inform of pills for adults and liquid foryoung children. Iron is also naturally available in a variety offoods such as oysters, peas, lentils, kidney beans, turnips andspinach. Animal products such as red meat, lean beef, fish, seafood,lamb and duck also provide a large amount of heme, a form of ironthat is easily absorbed than that found in plants (NationalHeart, Lung and Blood Institute, 2008).Apart from iron, folate and vitamin b12 are also required for thebody to make healthy haemoglobin and enough red blood cells. Thesenutrients are present in most of the foods we eat. Anemia that occursdue to vitamin deficiency is referred to as megaloblastic anemia(Rosdahl& Kowalski, 2008).It occurs when an individual does not consume adequate amounts ofvitamin B12 and folate. Vitamin B12 can be obtained from greenvegetables, peas, cereals, different varieties of fruits and driedbeans Vitamin C is also crucial in this process since it helps in theabsorption of iron and can be found from a range of fruits,particularly orange. Fortified cereals can also be a rich source ofvitamin B12.Folic acid supplements can also be used to treatmegaloblastic anemia (NationalHeart, Lung and Blood Institute, 2008).
NationalHeart, Lung and Blood Institute. (2008). Anemia:Healthy Living Lifestyle.Nation Institute of HealthWebsite.http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/files/docs/public/blood/anemia-yg.pdf
Rosdahl,C. B., & Kowalski, M. T. (2008). Textbookof basic nursing.Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
U.S.Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women’sHealth.(2011).Anemiafact sheet.Women Health Website.