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Anemia: Causes, Symptoms, and Effects

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8 Questions

What is anemia characterized by?

A decrease in red blood cells or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood

What is a common symptom of anemia?

Fatigue

What type of anemia is caused by a vitamin deficiency?

Vitamin deficiency anemia

What is polycythemia characterized by?

An overproduction of red blood cells

What is a common cause of secondary polycythemia?

High altitude

What is a treatment option for polycythemia?

Phlebotomy to reduce red blood cells

What is used to evaluate red blood cell production in anemia?

Bone marrow biopsy

What is a complication of polycythemia?

Increased risk of blood clots and stroke

Study Notes

Anemia

Definition

  • A condition characterized by a decrease in red blood cells (RBCs) or the amount of hemoglobin in the blood
  • Impairs the body's ability to transport oxygen to tissues and organs

Causes

  • Blood loss (e.g., hemorrhage)
  • Decreased RBC production (e.g., iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency, chronic diseases)
  • Increased RBC destruction (e.g., hemolytic anemia)

Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Headaches

Types

  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Vitamin deficiency anemia (e.g., B12, folate)
  • Chronic disease anemia (e.g., kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis)
  • Hemolytic anemia (e.g., sickle cell disease, thalassemia)

Diagnosis

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) to measure RBC count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit
  • Peripheral blood smear to examine RBC morphology
  • Bone marrow biopsy to evaluate RBC production

Polycythemia

Definition

  • A condition characterized by an overproduction of RBCs
  • Increases blood viscosity and risk of blood clots

Causes

  • Primary polycythemia (e.g., polycythemia vera, a genetic disorder)
  • Secondary polycythemia (e.g., high altitude, chronic lung disease, tumors)

Symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased risk of blood clots and stroke

Diagnosis

  • CBC to measure RBC count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit
  • Blood tests to evaluate erythropoietin levels
  • Bone marrow biopsy to evaluate RBC production

Treatment

  • Phlebotomy to reduce RBC count
  • Medications to reduce blood production (e.g., hydroxyurea)
  • Low-dose aspirin to reduce blood clotting risk

Anemia

Definition and Effects

  • A condition characterized by decreased red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin, impairing oxygen transport to tissues and organs
  • Results in reduced oxygen delivery to tissues and organs

Causes

  • Blood loss (e.g., hemorrhage)
  • Decreased RBC production (e.g., iron deficiency, vitamin deficiency, chronic diseases)
  • Increased RBC destruction (e.g., hemolytic anemia)

Symptoms

  • Fatigue and weakness due to inadequate oxygen delivery
  • Shortness of breath and dizziness from reduced oxygen levels
  • Pale skin due to decreased RBCs and hemoglobin
  • Headaches from inadequate oxygen supply

Types

  • Iron deficiency anemia: inadequate iron for hemoglobin production
  • Vitamin deficiency anemia: inadequate vitamins (e.g., B12, folate) for RBC production
  • Chronic disease anemia: underlying diseases (e.g., kidney disease, rheumatoid arthritis) affecting RBC production
  • Hemolytic anemia: RBC destruction due to genetic disorders (e.g., sickle cell disease, thalassemia)

Diagnosis

  • Complete Blood Count (CBC) to measure RBC count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit
  • Peripheral blood smear to examine RBC morphology
  • Bone marrow biopsy to evaluate RBC production

Polycythemia

Definition and Effects

  • A condition characterized by overproduction of RBCs, increasing blood viscosity and blood clot risk
  • Results in thickened blood and increased cardiovascular risk

Causes

  • Primary polycythemia: genetic disorders (e.g., polycythemia vera)
  • Secondary polycythemia: High altitude, chronic lung disease, or tumors stimulating RBC production

Symptoms

  • Headaches and dizziness from increased blood viscosity
  • Fatigue and shortness of breath due to increased blood thickness
  • Increased blood pressure from thickened blood
  • Increased risk of blood clots and stroke

Diagnosis

  • CBC to measure RBC count, hemoglobin, and hematocrit
  • Blood tests to evaluate erythropoietin levels
  • Bone marrow biopsy to evaluate RBC production

Treatment

  • Phlebotomy to reduce RBC count and blood viscosity
  • Medications (e.g., hydroxyurea) to reduce blood production
  • Low-dose aspirin to reduce blood clotting risk

This quiz covers the definition, causes, symptoms, and effects of anemia, a condition characterized by a decrease in red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood.

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