Anemia is defined as a decrease in the normal amount of hemoglobin. This condition may result from blood loss, increased destruction of red blood cells, decreased production of red blood cells, or non-functioning red blood cells. Common types of anemia include iron deficiency anemia, hemolytic anemias, and pernicious and folic acid deficiency anemia .
Blood indices such as MCV, MCH, and MCHC change according to the type of anemia.
At a hemoglobin (Hgb) level of 8-10 g/dL, signs of anemia may include pallor of the skin, nail beds and mucosa. Symptoms may include lack of stamina, tachycardia, dyspnea, angina pectoris, heart failure, gastrointestinal disturbances, and sore tongue .
Exacerbation of these symptoms, in combination with a pounding headache, suggests a Hgb level of 7-8 g/dL.
A normal hemoglobin level is 14-18 g/dL for men and 12-16 g/dL for women. Hemoglobin levels below 10 g/dL are clinically significant. Severity of signs and symptoms will increase as hemoglobin decreases.
Treatment is based on the type of anemia. Iron deficiency anemia is treated with iron supplements; pernicious anemia is usually associated with vitamin B12 deficiency and is treated accordingly. Folic acid deficiency anemia Image is treated with folate supplements.
Some anemias, such as sickle cell anemia, can only be treated symptomatically. For other types, such as aplastic anemia, treatment needs to address an underlying bone marrow suppression.
Increased red blood cell production can be achieved with medications such as erythropoietin. Medications usually indicate the type of underlying disease and type of treatment for the anemia.
Treatment for an anemia without resolution of signs and symptoms could possibly indicate inadequate treatment or a wrong diagnosis.
- Oral Health Care Considerations