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  • What is Anaemia?

    Anaemia is a condition in which there is not enough haemoglobin to carry oxygen in the blood. The haemoglobin is the red pigment in the red blood cells. Therefore Anaemia occurs when the number of red blood cells in the blood is reduced due to their decreased production or increased destruction.

    Anaemia can also be due to abnormal formation of haemoglobin and red blood cells that makes them less stable and more prone to destruction.

    The common types of Anaemia are:

    • Anaemia associated with bone marrow disease such as leukaemia
    • Anaemia of chronic disease which can be caused by chronic inflammatory diseases that affect red blood cells production, such as cancer, kidney failure and rheumatoid arthritis
    • Aplastic Anaemia caused by the reduced ability of the bone marrow to produce red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells
    • Haemolytic Anaemia which occurs when red blood cells are destroyed
    • Iron Deficiency Anaemia caused by lack of iron in the body (most common type in Sinagpore)
    • Sickle Cell Anaemia which is an inherited condition characterised by red blood cells that assume an abnormal crescent shape
    • Vitamin B12 Folate Deficiency Anaemia
  • Anaemia occurs when the blood doesn’t have enough red blood cells. This can be caused by the inability of the body to produce enough red blood cells, or the increased destruction/loss of red blood cells, which can result from:

    • Damage to the bone marrow
    • Destruction of red blood cells due to infectious diseases, hereditary disorders and autoimmune diseases
    • Hereditary disorders such as Thalassaemia, Sickle Cell Anaemia
    • Increased function of the spleen (where the red blood cells are usually filtered) leading to increased destruction of red blood cells
    • Lack of certain nutrients such as iron and folate
    • Menstrual disorders that lead to increase blood loss
    • Reduced stimulation caused by Renal Disease or other Endocrine Disorders
    • Significant bleeding causing the body to lose red blood cells faster than it can replace
  • The symptoms of Anaemia include:

    • Chest pain
    • Cognitive problems
    • Cold hands and feet
    • Fast or irregular heartbeat
    • Fatigue and giddiness
    • Headache
    • Pale skin
    • Shortness of breath
  • The treatment of Anaemia depends on the cause and the type of your condition. The aim of the treatment is to eliminate causative agents and to potentially restore the function of red blood cells. This can be achieved by:

    • Blood transfusions to boost red blood cells levels and alleviate symptoms
    • Bone marrow transplant
    • Immunosuppressant drugs to stop the abnormal destruction of red blood cells
    • Using various nutritional supplements including iron, folate and vitamin B12
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