A Primer on Anemia: Symptoms and Types


Are you planning to take a hematology CME course? Then, you may encounter various studies about a condition called anemia. This disorder is characterized by a lack of red blood cells (erythrocytes) or hemoglobin in a person’s circulatory system. These components are responsible for carrying oxygen to all parts of the body.

A patient experiencing this condition can easily grow tired and weak. They may also have other symptoms, such as:

  • Paler skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain in the chest
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Dizziness

A complete blood count (CBC) is the main method of diagnosis. The results of the test will show whether the patient’s red blood cell and hemoglobin levels are within normal range.

In your hematology CE course, you’ll study the different sub-types of anemia. Here are a few you may encounter.

Iron-Deficiency Anemia

Iron is an essential component for the production of hemoglobin. A person’s bone marrow can’t make enough of this red protein without the help of iron. This deficiency may developbecause of dietary reasons or heavy blood loss.For mild cases, nutritional supplements or intravenous therapy is enough to raise hemoglobin levels. But, for more severe conditions, a red blood cell transfusion may be required.

Aplastic Anemia

An aplastic disorder involves a sudden or gradual stop of erythrocyte creation because ofsevere damage to the bone marrow. Thefatty substance loses cells; hence, it becomes aplastic or empty. This has various causes, such as contact with toxic chemicals or a viral infection.The appropriate treatment for this illness also depends on its origin.

B VitaminDeficiency Anemia

Some other essential nutrients used to produce red blood cells are vitamins B-12 and B-9. Patients that don’t eat enough food rich in protein or folic acid may have this type of deficiency. This can be remedied by a change in diet or by drinking food supplements. But, if this is caused by any gastrointestinal condition that prevents the body from absorbing B-12, more intensive medical intervention is needed.

Hemolytic Anemia

This develops when the body breaks down red blood cells faster than the bone marrow makes them. In most cases, erythrocytes rupture while in the circulatory system or spleen due tofactors such as an inherited genetic disorder to a damaged heart.

These are just a few sub-types of anemia. You can study them in detail when you take a hematology CME course.


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