Best treatment for iron deficiency anemia in children
What's the Best Treatment for Anemia?
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I've been told that I'm anemic. What should I do? Do I just need to eat more red meat, or is there a drug I can take?
Anemia is diagnosed when the number of red blood cells (RBCs) in the body is below the established normal level. There are many causes for this condition, and treatment is determined only after the cause has been identified. A simple way to categorize the causes of anemia is to consider the three mechanisms by which the red cell count can become low. There may be decreased production of these cells, the cells may be destroyed or sequestered in the body, or there may be blood loss from the body.
Decreased production may be caused by the lack of necessary compounds, such as iron, folic acid, or vitamin B12. Diseases of the bone marrow, which produces RBCs, can also affect RBC count — aplastic anemia, for example, essentially turns off the bone marrow. Bone marrow can also be taken over by a tumor or have its functioning suppressed by medications or radiation therapy. In addition, chronic diseases associated with inflammation can prevent the bone marrow from producing the normal number of RBCs.
The abnormal destruction of RBCs may also lead to anemia. This is the case with conditions that attack the RBCs and cause them to break apart. Such conditions can be hereditary (sickle-cell anemia, for example, or thalassemia) or acquired (through drugs or from malaria).
Finally, blood loss leads to anemia when the rate of loss is greater than the bone marrow’s ability to replace the RBCs. This can result from ulcers, polyps of the colon, or heavy menstrual periods.
Video: What is Anemia? How Do We Treat It?
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