Did You Know

In case you are taking iron folic acid tablets after low haemoglobin results...you need to give a second thought. Iron deficiency anaemia is not the only kind of anaemia!! Infact the anaemia of inflammation and anaemia of chronic disease are the result of some chronic and inflammatory diseases. Our liver produces a peptide hormone hepicidin in response to inflammation. In normal conditions hepicidin maintain normal levels of iron in blood by preventing excess absorption of iron.
In case of chronic conditions, there is high level of secretion of hepicin. This further reduce the amount of iron absorbed to further lower levels, leading to anaemia.


COW'S MILK CAN CAUSE ANAEMIA IN INFANTS

Drinking excessive amounts of cow's milk can make your child anaemic!!! Mother's milk contains adequate amount of iron in the 1st 6 months. But after that an adequate iron rich diet is essential. Moreover, if your baby drinks enough of cow's milk his overall diet may be lacking in iron.
Cow's milk is a poor source of iron and may prevent the gut from absorbing enough amounts of iron. Drinking large amount of cow's milk also decrease the baby's appetite for solids.
According to a research, Gastrointestinal and allergic problems may be caused by early introduction of cow's milk or by its substitution for breast milk. Furthermore, cow's milk has decreased iron density and bioavailability, excess protein and minerals, notably calcium, and thus interferes in the absorption of iron from other foods, and is also linked to small intestinal hemorrhage in young children.


RESTLESS LEG SYNDROME

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disorder characterized by unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable, and sometimes overwhelming, urge to move them. Because moving the legs (or other affected parts of the body) relieves the discomfort, people with RLS often keep their legs in motion to minimize or prevent the sensations. They may pace the floor, constantly move their legs while sitting, and toss and turn in bed.
According to the research conducted. Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is known to be more common in blood donors, in late pregnancy, and in end stage renal disease, when iron stores are depleted. It has also been found that anaemia has a direct connection with RLS.
Local iron deficiency in the substantia nigra(part of brain) could impair dopaminergic(neurotransmitter) function which is needed to produce smooth, purposeful muscle activity and movement. Disruption of these pathways frequently results in involuntary movements.


ANAEMIA AND HAIR LOSS

If you are worried about the hair volume along with loss of hair volume, you must go for a haemoglobin test because research tells that anaemic persons are more prone to hair loss.
Hair loss can be triggered with a number of medical conditions but one of the stealthiest is anaemia. Low iron intake has been known for some time to be a potential problem for millions of women, but it is only now that it is recognised that this factor can contribute to increased hair shedding, and that this condition is really quite common. One of the most common causes of hair loss in women, without doubt is low Iron stores.
In fact, in a recent survey of 500 women, it was found that a staggering 33% reported hair loss. This was observed as an increase in the amount of hair shed or a reduction in the length grown, both of which contribute to a reduction in hair volume if the problem persists for any length of time. A large majority of the women who consult a Trichologist have below optimum Iron stores for good hair growth. A study conducted on 1000 women revealed 33% suffered female hair loss, 90% caused by low Iron stores and 10% caused by Genetic (female pattern baldness) or other factors.


COOLEY'S ANAEMIA

Cooley's Anaemia, also known as Thalassemia Major, is a fatal genetic blood disease that results in the failure to produce sufficient hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of blood cells.
During the first 1-2 years of life, the patients can have many infections.
There is no cure. To stay alive, patients require frequent transfusions of red blood cells, as many as 52 pints of blood per year. These transfusions have a deadly side effect. Because there is no natural way for the body to eliminate iron, the iron in the transfused blood cells builds up and becomes toxic to tissues and organs, particularly the liver and heart, resulting in heart failure for some patients in their teens or early twenties.
To help remove excess iron, patients undergo the difficult and painful infusion of a drug, desferal. A needle is attached to a pump and worn under the skin of the stomach or legs five to seven times a week for up to twelve hours. Desferal binds iron in a process called "chelation". Chelated iron is later eliminated, reducing the amount of stored iron. Compliance with Desferal is vital to long term survival.


Haunted House

Did you know? Strange but true
What is the first thing which comes to your mind when someone talks about a "Haunted house" ?? A house being inhabited by disembodied spirits of the deceased who may have been former residents or were familiar with the property. Interestingly, explanation for the perception that a house is haunted include misinterpreting noises naturally present in structures, waking dreams, suggestibility, and the effect of toxic substances in environments that cause hallucinations.
Toxicologists believe that chronic exposure to substances such as carbon monoxide can lead to hallucinations of the type associated with haunted houses. They speculates on the connection between the prevalence of gas lamps during the Victorian era and turn of the century stories of ghost sightings and hauntings, describing it as the "Haunted House Syndrome". Since Carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless, tasteless, extremely poisonous gas that is less dense than air therefore, its presence remains undetected which is the prime cause for hallucination. It is present due to the incomplete combustion of the wood in fire place in the room CO binds to haemoglobin preferentially over oxygen when both are present in the lungs - even small amounts of carbon monoxide can dramatically reduce the ability of haemoglobin to transport oxygen. Levels as low as 0.02% carbon monoxide can cause headaches and nausea,while a concentration of 0.1% can lead to unconsciousness.
So, next time do not get afraid if you hear something about Haunted house, rather visit there and check out your haemoglobin level which might have fallen down causing hallucinations and now haunted house will not be haunting you anymore.


PICA

The word pica comes from the Latin word for magpie, a bird known for its unusual eating habits. Pica is characterized by persistent craving and compulsive eating of non-food substances. It is a compulsive urge to eat things like ice and even things like paper, chalk, soap, stone etc.
Pica has been associated with iron deficiency anaemia.
According to a research conducted in france, 50-70% of pica is reported among iron deficiency with or without anemia. It is still not proven whether pica causes or is a consequence of iron deficiency anaemia.
According to a case study, a 22 year African woman was presented at a hospital in switzerland in 1993. She suffered from anaemia. Her Hb was 9.6g/dL (normal range 12 to 16 g/dL), mean corpuscular volume (MCV) 74.7 fl (normal range 79 to 95 fl), mean corpuscular haemoglobin concentration (MCHC) 313 g/litre (normal range 320 to 360 g/litre), reticulocytes 13% (normal range 5 to15%) and ferritin of 9 ng/ml (normal range 10 to 200 ng/ml).
Despite oral iron replacement therapy her Hb remained low for the next 4 years.
The patient then reported back in 2005 had severe iron deficiency anaemia (Hb 7.5 g/dL, MCV 64.6 fl, MCHC 299 g/litre, reticulocytes 13%, ferritin 6 ng/ml and soluble transferrin receptor 13.4 mg/ml (normal range 2.2 to 4.5 mg/ml)).
During a follow-up visit and further explicit questioning about particular eating habits, the patient reluctantly disclosed an almost daily consumption of 'a friable stone' over more than a decade. She reported having developed a particularly strong craving for such stones, of which she would suck on small pieces until these completely dissolved. She had acquired this habit 15 years ago in her home country Cameroon, where consumption of stones is common.
The stone was found to consist of kaolinite with traces of quartz.
The patient was administered with iron replacement therapy and the anaemia was corrected within a month.


Anaemia and kidney disease


Anaemia may be associated with the improper functioning of the kidneys.
The kidneys may not produce adequate amounts of a hormone erythropoietin EPO).


ANAEMIA IN PATIENTS WITH TYPE 2 DIABETES

Diabetes has been linked to anaemia in a number of ways.
According to a research conducted by Neeta Bahal O'Mara, PharmaD, BCPS following observations were made:

  • Diabetes is one of the most common causes of CKD (Chronic Kidney disease). Patients with CKD are unable to produce enough amount of EPO hormone in response to hypoxia of kidneys. Among 90% of the hormone EPO is produced in the kidneys. EPO hormone is involved in the production of red blood cells that carry oxygen to various tissues and organs of the body. Its lower amounts in case of CKD results in lower production of red blood cells and therefore anaemia.
  • Another factor seen in case of diabetes is the use of medicines that adversely affect Hb concentrations. These include metformin, fibrates, thiazolidinediones and angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors.
  • Finally systemic inflammation associated with microvascular disease in patients with diabetes leads to production of inflammatory mediators such as interleukins and tissue necrosis factor. These mediators blunt the effect of erythropoietin on the bone marrow where erythroid precursors are stimulated.


  • According to another study, the longer the duration of diabetes, more are the chances of diabetic person to have anaemia. Patients with diabetes of over ten years are 3 times more chances of having anaemia than the persons having diabetes less than this duration.
    Therefore, patients with diabetes are at even higher risk of developing anaemia than the normal patients.


    IRON DEFICIENCY INDUCED PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY

    If you are suffering from tingling sensations in fingers and toes, weakness, muscle pain and twitching then you may be suffering from vitamin B-12 anaemia induced neuropathy.
    Vitamin B-12 can damage the myelin sheath that covers the nerves and help in efficient transfer of nerve impulse. This can affect the communication between brain, nerve cells and peripheral organs.
    Apart from the above mentioned symptoms, there are other symptoms that depend upon the nerve that is affected and may include vision changes, impaired cognition, learning disabilities, and memory loss. It can also lead to irritability, agitation, confusion, psychosis, spinal degeneration, and increased skin sensitivity, says Mitchell Bebel Stargrove in the book, "Herb, nutrient and drug interactions."
    According to a study conducted by Dr. Mane of Mane Centre, Florida, peripheral neuropathy may develop in children with iron deficiency anaemia. The peripheral neuropathy in these children can be removed by iron therapy.


    Anaemia and heart disease

    Anemia can lead to severe chest pain because parts of the heart are not getting enough oxygen. In case of low oxygen in blood, the heart has to work harder, causing the muscles in lower left ventricle to become thick. This condition is called left ventricular hypertrophy. It can lead to various heart problems and even a heart attack. Anaemia also results in the blockage of arteries in the neck region leading to stroke. According to a study, people with anaemia are 41% more likely to have a heart attack than the normal non anaemic people. Anaemic people have a higher death rate than the normal people. This death rate further enhances if an anaemic person is also suffering from diabetes, kidney disease or any other chronic disease.




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