Treatment of Anemia
Treatment of anemia varies depending on the type of anemia suffered by the patient. The principle of treatment of anemia is to find the main cause of anemia. Treatment of anemia should not be done until the main cause is known. This is because the treatment for one type of anemia can be dangerous for other types of anemia. Some examples of anemia treatment by type include:
- Anemia due to iron deficiency. This type of anemia can be overcome by taking iron supplements, and increase the consumption of iron-rich foods. In addition, patients can also be given vitamin C to increase iron absorption. It should be noted that calcium-containing supplements may inhibit the absorption of iron. Consult your doctor before taking iron supplements to get the right dosage. Excess iron in the body can be harmful to the patient because it can cause fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, headache, heart disease and joint pain. To alleviate the side effects of taking iron supplements, patients can take supplements after meals. If side effects continue, see your doctor again.
- Anemia due to vitamin deficiency. This type of anemia can be treated by eating foods rich in folic acid and vitamin B12, and taking supplements that contain both. If the patient’s body has impaired absorption of folic acid and vitamin B12, treatment may involve vitamin B12 injections daily. After that the patient will be given a monthly vitamin B12 injection once that can last a lifetime or depends on the patient’s condition.
- Anemia due to chronic disease. There is no specific treatment for this type because it depends on the underlying disease of anemia. If anemia worsens, doctors may administer blood transfusions or erythropoietin injections, a blood-enhancing hormone and fatigue-suppressing hormone.
- Anemia due to bleeding. If someone is bleeding and blood loss in large quantities, the main treatment to be done is to seek and treat the source of the bleeding. Once the source of bleeding is overcome, the patient can be given blood transfusions, oxygen, and blood-boosting supplements containing iron and vitamins.
- Aplastic anemia. Treatment of aplastic anemia can be preceded by a blood transfusion to increase the number of red blood cells. If necessary, bone marrow transplantation may be performed if the bone marrow can no longer produce healthy red blood cells.
- Anemia due to bone marrow disease. Treatment of this type of anemia may vary according to the illness suffered by the patient. Treatment may involve chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation.
- Hemolytic anemia. Handling of hemolytic anemia can be done in several ways depending on the cause. Treatment can be by avoiding drugs that have side effects of haemolysis, by finding and treating infections that cause hemolytic, or with immunosuppressants to suppress the immune system that allegedly damages blood cells.
- Sickle cell anemia (sickle cell anemia). The ultimate treatment of sickle cell anemia is by replacing red blood cells that are destroyed by blood transfusions, folic acid supplements, and antibiotics. Another treatment is to take painkillers and add fluids through oral and intravenous to reduce pain and avoid complications. Bone marrow transplants can be used to treat sickle cell anemia under certain conditions. Medications for hydroxyurea cancer can also be used to treat sickle cell anemia.
- Thalassemia. Thalassemia can be treated by blood transfusions, consumption of folic acid supplements, splenectomy to take the spleen, as well as transplantation of blood and bone marrow stem cells.