Anaemia is a condition that occurs when your body does not have enough healthy red blood cells or haemoglobin . Anaemia is of different types, such as aplastic anaemia, iron deficiency anaemia, sickle cell anaemia, thalassemia, and vitamin deficiency anaemia .Symptoms of anaemia
The signs of this condition vary depending on the cause, and in some cases, you may not have any symptoms . The common symptoms of anaemia are fatigue, weakness, pale or yellowish skin, irregular heartbeats, shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, cold hands and feet and headaches . In most cases, the symptoms of anaemia are not noticeable and can worsen as the condition worsens .Causes of anaemia
Iron deficiency is the most common cause of anaemia . The other causes are when your body does not make enough red blood cells, bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced and your body destroys red blood cells (auto-immune condition) .
Menstruation, intestinal disorders, pregnancy, a diet lacking in iron, vitamin B-12 and folate, chronic conditions (cancer, kidney failure, diabetes), family history and other factors such as certain infections, blood diseases and autoimmune disorders increases your risk of anaemia .Complications of anaemia
If not treated on time, anaemia can result in severe fatigue, pregnancy complications, heart problems and even death .
Most types of anaemia cannot be prevented; however, iron deficiency anaemia and vitamin deficiency anaemias can be avoided by following a diet encompassed of a variety of vitamins and minerals . Including the following in your diet can help prevent the onset of the afore-mentioned anaemias.
The treatment varies depending on the cause. Anaemia caused by iron deficiency is treated by taking iron supplements and changing your diet . Treatment for folic acid and vitamin C deficiency involves dietary supplements and increasing these nutrients in your diet.
Anaemia of chronic disease does not have a specific treatment, for aplastic anaemia, the treatment includes blood transfusions to boost levels of red blood cells.
Anaemias associated with bone marrow disease is treated through include medication, chemotherapy, or bone marrow transplantation . For haemolytic anaemias, the treatment includes avoiding suspect medications, treating infections, and taking drugs that suppress your immune system, which could be attacking your red blood cells.
Prevalence of anaemia is higher in India as compared to other developing countries . And the numbers show that women are more affected than men. It is estimated that about 20-40 per cent of maternal deaths in India are due to anaemia and one in every two Indian women suffers from some form of anaemia .
According to surveys, India has the highest number of cases of anaemia in the world, citing reasons such as the high cost of healthcare facilities, poor food quality and the low status of women. Anaemia remains to be a major cause of maternal mortality and low birth weight in India. According to WHO, if the prevalence of anaemia at community levels is more than 40 per cent, it is considered as a problem of high magnitude, which is the condition is most states in India .
The reality of the situation points at the urgent need for improving the overall nutritional status of adolescents through nutrition education, community awareness and supplementation programmes.
Women's health has always taken a backseat because of the different roles they play and the biggest responsibility of becoming a mother that only they can shoulder. Now, it is imperative for them to empower themselves with the right knowledge and take the right actions.
Anaemia is a critical health concern in India, affecting over 50 per cent women. Usually, haemoglobin less than 12 gm/dL is considered as anaemia, and women are at a higher risk for developing anaemia. Several reasons contribute to anaemia: poor nutrition, worm infections, heavy and abnormal menstruation, and pregnancy where there is a higher need for haemoglobin in the blood.
The is complicated by a considerable lack of awareness about anaemia in India. Therefore, to address this issue at a greater level, Bollywood actress and author Twinkle Khanna inaugurated the Female Anaemia Risk Indicator (FARI) on Iron Deficiency Day (26 November 2020). This tool will help women to know if they are at risk of anaemia. They may need to visit a medical practitioner for further advice.