Causes of Anemia
Anemia occurs when the body lacks healthy red blood cells that contain hemoglobin. There are about 400 conditions that can cause anemia in a person and divided into 3 groups, namely:
- The body does not produce enough red blood cells.
- Bleeding causes the body to lose blood faster than the body’s ability to produce blood.
- Abnormalities in the body’s reaction by destroying healthy red blood cells.
The following is a brief description of the types of anemia based on its causes, including:
Anemia due to iron deficiency. This type of anemia is the most common worldwide. Iron deficiency can cause the body to become anemic because the bone marrow requires iron to make blood cells. Anemia can occur in pregnant women who do not take iron supplements. Anemia can also occur in many menstrual bleeding, organ ulcers (wounds), cancer, and the use of painkillers such as aspirin. The symptoms commonly experienced by anemia sufferers of iron deficiency are:
- Have an appetite for strange objects such as paper, paint or ice (this condition is called pica).
- The mouth is dry and cracked in the corner.
- Upward-curved nails (koilonychia).
Anemia due to vitamin deficiency. In addition to requiring iron, the body also needs vitamin B12 and folic acid to make red blood cells. Lack of two elements of these nutrients can cause the body can not produce healthy red blood cells in sufficient quantities resulting in anemia. In some cases, gastric anemia sufferers can not absorb vitamin B12 from digested food. The condition is called pernicious anemia. The symptoms commonly experienced by anemia sufferers deficient in vitamin B-12 and folic acid are:
- Amused and tingle in the hands and feet.
- Loss of sensitivity to the sense of touch.
- Difficult to walk.
- Have stiffness in the legs and hands.
- Experiencing dementia.
Anemia due to chronic disease. A number of diseases can cause anemia due to interference in the formation and destruction of red blood cells. Examples of such diseases are HIV / AIDS, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, Crohn’s disease, and chronic inflammatory diseases. The symptoms that can arise in cases of anemia due to chronic diseases include:
- The color of the eyes and skin becomes yellowish.
- The color of the urine turns red or brown.
- Ulcers on the feet.
- Symptoms of gallstones.
- Developmental delays in children.
Aplastic anemia. Aplastic anemia is a rare condition that occurs but is harmful to the patient’s life. In aplastic anemia, the body is unable to produce red blood cells optimally. Aplastic anemia can be caused by infection, drug side effects, autoimmune disease, or exposure to toxic chemicals.
Anemia due to bone marrow disease. Some diseases such as leukemia or myelofibriosis can disrupt the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow and cause anemia. Symptoms may vary, from mild to dangerous.
Hemolytic anemia. Hemolytic anemia occurs when a red blood cell is destroyed by the body faster than its production time. Some diseases can interfere with the process and speed of destruction of red blood cells. Haemolytic anemia may be genetically inherited or may be acquired after birth.
Sickle cell anemia (sickle cell anemia). This anemia is genetic and is caused by an abnormal form of hemoglobin causing red blood cells to be shaped like a crescent moon instead of a round bikonkaf like red blood cells. Sickle-shaped red blood cells have a shorter life span than normal red blood cells. Symptoms experienced by people with sickle cell anemia are:
- Easily infected.
- Sharp pain in the joints, stomach, and limbs.
- Delay in growth and development in children.
Other types of anemia Disease, caused by thalassemia or malaria.
Some risk factors that may increase the risk of anemia in a person are:
- Lack of vitamins and iron. Getting used to eating foods that are low in vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron may increase your risk of anemia.
- Digestive disorders of the intestine. Some diseases such as Crohn’s disease and celiac disease can cause impaired absorption of nutrients in the intestine thus increasing the risk of anemia.
- Menstruation. Generally women who still have menstruation have anemia risk is greater than menopausal women or men. It is caused by blood loss at the time of menstruation.
- Contain. Pregnant women who do not take enough folic acid supplements have a higher risk of anemia.
- Chronic illness. If a person has cancer, kidney failure, or other chronic diseases, the risk of anemia will increase as a result of red blood cell deficiency. Injuries to internal organs accompanied by bleeding may also cause the body to be deficient in iron, thus increasing the risk of iron deficiency anemia.
- Family history of anemia. A person who has a family member with a history of congenital anemia has a high risk of developing the same condition. Generally inherited anemia is sickle cell anemia (sickle cell anemia).
- Age. The addition of age will increase a person’s risk of anemia. Anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency and folic acid is more common in elderly people over 75 years.
- Other factors such as infections, blood disorders, autoimmune diseases, alcohol addiction, exposure to toxic chemicals, and side effects from drugs can increase an anemia risk in a person.