Types of Anemia
Anemia is a condition in which there are low levels of red blood cells in the body which interferes with efficient transport of oxygen to the body cells. There are different types of anemia which are classified based on the cause, the appearance of the red blood cells and also the amount of hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Anemia ranges from mild, moderate to severe based on the clinical presentation and hemoglobin values and is characterized by lightheadedness, dizziness, headache, fatigue, and malaise and sometimes fainting(Rajan & Yeswanthi, 2017). The detection of the cause of anemia is the first step in the effective management, treatment, and control of anemia.
The likely type of anemia which Ms. A is suffering from is expected to be microcytic anemia using the classification of anemia according to the appearance of red blood cells. Microcytic hypochromic anemia is characterized by red blood cells which are smaller and paler than usual. The statement implies that the red blood cells lack adequate iron making them small and have insufficient hemoglobin which makes them pale in color. The most common symptoms of microcytic anemia include fatigue, weakness and tiredness which were already seen in Ms. A (Camaschella, 2015). A patient also experiences loss of stamina, shortness of breath, dizziness and pale skin if they have microcytic anemia. Microcytic hypochromic anemia is the conventional type of microcytic anemia and mostly results from iron deficiency.
Narrowing down the type of microcytic hypochromic anemia a diagnosis of iron deficiency anemia will be made for Ms. A. iron deficiency anemia results from inadequate consumption of iron leading to insufficient iron to produce red blood cells. People with a poor diet are likely to lack most body nutrients including iron hence affecting red blood cell production (DeLoughery, 2014). The lack of iron, therefore, leads to the creation of small red blood cells which are termed as microcytic. The body needs iron to produce adequate amounts of hemoglobin.
Chronic blood loss is another common cause of iron deficiency microcytic anemia among women. Ms. A has a history of menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea for the last 10-12 years which has contributed to the chronic loss of iron from her body. Most of the iron in red blood cells is recycled when the red blood cells are broken down once their lifespan expires. A person, therefore, does not experience iron deficiency anemia since the body can avail all the required iron for use in making more red blood cells when others die (Rajan& Yeswanthi, 2017). The patient has a history of aspirin use which is an anticoagulant and encourages increased bleeding hence contributing to the loss of a lot of blood and iron in the process. However, there is no recycling of lots of iron when a person experiences chronic bleeding given that most of it are lost. As a result, there is low iron for use in the red blood cell production which results in small and pale red blood cells.
Anemia affects very many people worldwide and may have life-long impacts on an individual if not correctly managed. Clinical presentation and laboratory work form critical criteria for the diagnosis of anemia hence health care professionals need to conduct a comprehensive health assessment. Ms. A is suffering from microcytic hypochromic iron deficiency anemia. Her red blood cells have been investigated and found to be pale and smaller than average hence hypochromic and microcytic anemia. She has experienced excessive loss of iron through menorrhagia which is exacerbated by the fact that she regularly takes aspirin which is an anticoagulant and encourages more bleeding. The excessive bleeding has caused Ms. A to lose a lot of blood and iron hence producing small blood cells with little hemoglobin thus the diagnosis of iron deficiency microcytic hypochromic anemia.
Camaschella, C. (2015). Iron-deficiency anemia. New England Journal of Medicine, 372(19), 1832-1843.
DeLoughery, T. G. (2014). Microcytic anemia. New England Journal of Medicine, 371(14), 1324-1331.
Rajan, T. S., & Yeswanthi, S. (2017). A Prospective Study on Quality of Life in Menorrhagia Patients with Anemia. Research Journal of Pharmacy and Technology, 10(7), 2233-2235.