Doctor insights on:
Why would an H&H be low while in hospital with no history of anemia in A patient with aspiration pneumonia on continuous IV fluids?
Sounds normal: Modest anemia, i.e. low hematocrit and hemoglobin levels, almost always occurs along with serious infections like pneumonia, and with many other health problems. If the patient is otherwise healthy, the anemia should clear over a few weeks after the pneumonia has been treated. Discuss with the patient's doctor if you remain concerned about it. ...Read more
What shall I do with a patient who had history of diabetes mellitus and anemia now experience acute kidney failure and pneumonia due to vasculitis?
1: Both kidney failure and pneumonia need attention. The kidney specialist will take care of the acute kidney failure and a blood vessel specialist will take care of the vasculitis. Pneumonia can be handled either by these two doctors or your primary doctor.
If managed carefully under control you can also get rid of diabetes. ...Read more
Two measurements: The first measurement is hemoglobin (oxygen-carrying protein inside red blood cells). This is reported as grams per 100 ml (g/dl). Values <12 (14 for men) are considered anemic. The second is hematocrit. This indicates the % of volume of blood taken up by red blood cells. Values <36 (42 for men) are considered anemic. Note: different labs might have slightly differing normal ranges. ...Read more
Yes, depending on. .: Severity and intervention. Hematocrits can fall to where o2 delivery is insufficient to support organ function, particularly the heart, which must work even harder due to severe anemia. Death can occur. If anemia develops slowly, patients can compensate to even very low hematocrits, but then precipitously decompensate. In contrast, rapid development may preclude compensation w/ grave consequences. ...Read more
Hundreds of causes: It takes me an hour as a medical school lecturer just to basically rattle off the list. Heads up -- if you are iron deficient and eat a reasonable amount of meat (despite the disinformation, vegetables are poor in iron), you're likely losing blood possibly into the gut from serious disease. Don't let them miss it. Any physician can begin the anemia workup. Good luck. ...Read more
Type ; cause: It is very important to know what kind of anemia and what causes it. Iron deficiency is one of the main causes but there are others: vitamin b12/folate deficiency, chronic disease like infection or cancer, genetic conditions, certain medications, toxins, etc. Consulting with your doctor or a hematologist for proper testing and diagnosis is a must before starting any treatment. ...Read more
Polycythemia....: Is the fancy word for an excessive red cell mass. There is a myeloproliferative disorder (polycythemia vera-pv) that is characterized by a pathologically elevated hematocrit, and often dysfunction in the jak-stat signaling pathway. High o2 affinity hemoglobins are also associated with elevated rbcs. However, acquired elevations are more common, such as from smoking and decreased tissue oxygenation. ...Read more
Make sure you have a firm diagnosis of the cause of the anemia. It could be blood loss, which needs to be traced. If it is dietary lack, find out what is missing.
If you are iron deficient, and that is why you are anemic, eat red meats, poultry, and also molasses. But usually you need to take a supplement. If your anemia is caused by something else, you can't fix it easily by diet. ...Read more
Signs & symptoms...: Include fatigue, exercise intolerance, headache, pallor, etc. Therapy depends upon the underlying cause, and causes of anemia are many and varied. They can result from impaired rbc production (eg., nutritional deficiencies, marrow infiltration, etc), hematoma, blood loss (gi bleed, hemorrhage, epistaxis, etc.), hemolysis, thalassemia, hemoglobinopathies, etc. More specific info would help. ...Read more
3 basic kinds: You can lose blood (bleeding), destroy the blood cells in circulation (hemolysis) or not produce them (bone marrow problems or factor deficiencies). Each one of these has many subcategories and often they overlap. Certain lab tests and occasionally a bone marrow biopsy will usually disclose the reason. ...Read more
Yes, several are: Several types of anemia ("low blood", low hemoglobin) are genetic and inherited from one or both parents. Thalassemia is one example, and is quite common. Carriers have mutations on one chromosome and are mild to moderately anemic. Carriers often don't know they are carriers unless a doctor has checked blood tests. A fetus with mutations on both chromosomes may die from severe anemia before birth. ...Read more
Cooleys anemia: Coolew's anemia also known as thallasemia major is genetic disorder of blood. It is diagnosed by doing blood test.Cbc will show fewer healthy red blood cells and less hemoglobin. And it is confiemed by doing hemoglobin electophoresis, which will show abnormal hemoglobin. ...Read more
No: It is not normal to be anemic. Your body has ability to maintain a good status all the time. If you are anemic it means that those mechanisms have been overwhelmed and cannot keep anymore a proper balance. You should see your pcp and after some iron therapy if still anemic a more in depth work-up will be needed. ...Read more
Cooley's anemia: Beta thalassemia major/cooley's anemia can be presented with severe anemia that requires blood transfusion. Symptoms will include- extreme fatigue, pallor, failure to thrive, development problems (short stature, amenorrhea- dysfunction in sexual development), chest pain, shortness of breath, (they have problems with iron overload that leads to heart failure), abdominal pain, liver failure etc. ...Read more
It depends: It is very important to know what kind of anemia and what causes it. Iron deficiency is one of the main causes but there are others: vitamin b12/folate deficiency, chronic disease like infection or cancer, genetic conditions, certain medications, toxins, etc. Consulting with your doctor or a hematologist for proper testing and diagnosis is a must before starting any treatment. ...Read more
Severe anemia...: Can be very harmful to your health. It can cause syncope (or passing out). It can worsen the effects of heart disease or lung diseases. Mild anemia should be managed with supplements to replete iron and vitamin c. Your doctor should also try to fix causes of your anemia and should rule out various cancers. ...Read more
Dr. Thomas Cooley: Dr. Cooley was born in michigan and went to university of michigan. He described in 1925 what is later known as beta thalassemia or mediterranean anemia. He thought that this anemia is a hereditary condition. He was at children's hospital of michigan in detroit as a general pediatrician, but he had left way before I entered that hospital as a pediatric resident. ...Read more
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