Anemia is a condition in which the hemoglobin concentration is lower than normal, reflects the presence of fewer than normal RBCs within the circulation. Anemia is present when there is a decrease in Hb in the blood below the reference level for the age and sex of the individual.
There are many different kinds of anemia but all can be classified into three broad etiologic categories:
There are three major types:
• Microcytic Anemia
• Normocytic Anemia with a normal MCV
• Macrocytic Anemia with a high MCV.
Cause of Microcytic Anemia is the body’s limited ability to absorb iron and the frequent loss of iron owing to haemorrhage. Although iron is abundant, most is in the insoluble ferric (Fe3+) form, which has poor bioavailability. Ferrous (Fe2+) is more readily absorbed.
The other causes of a microcytic hypochromic anaemia are anaemia of chronic disease, sideroblastic anaemia and thalassaemia.
Normocytic, normochromic anaemia is seen in anaemia of chronic disease, in some endocrine disorders (e.g. hypopituitarism, hypothyroidism and hypoadrenalism) and in some haematological disorders (e.g. aplastic anaemia and some haemolytic anaemias
These can be divided into megaloblastic and nonmegaloblastic types, depending on bone marrow findings.
Symptoms of Anemia (all nonspecific)
• Fatigue, headaches and faintness
• Intermittent claudication
Signs of Anemia
• Systolic flow murmur
• Cardiac failure.