TYPES OF ANEMIA
Anaemia, also known as anemia, occurs when your blood has an insufficient number of red blood cells or if they don’t have enough haemoglobin.
– In megaloblastic anaemia, due to the deficiency of vitamin B12 and sometimes also folate (folic acid), red blood cells are larger in diameter and fewer in number. Megaloblastic anaemia takes place when red blood cells aren’t produced properly. Because they are too large, they may not be able to exit the bone marrow to enter the bloodstream and deliver oxygen.
– In microcytic anaemia, caused by iron deficiency, human body has smaller and fewer red blood cells. As a result, and also because of the lack of haemoglobin, red blood cells are unable to transport enough oxygen to body tissues including brain and muscles, leading to various symptoms.
– Pernicious anaemia is an autoimmune condition that affects your stomach. In your stomach, vitamin B12 is combined with a protein called intrinsic factor. In case of pernicious anaemia our immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the stomach that produce the intrinsic factor which is necessary for proper absorption of vitamin B12 from our gastrointestinal tract. As a result the body is unable to absorb vitamin B12 which leads to anaemia caused by chronic deficiency of vitamin B12. Pernicious anaemia is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency in the UK and is more common in women around 60 years of age.
– Sickle cell anaemia is caused by a genetic mutation of the haemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. Any type of sickle cell disease is associated with abnormal haemoglobin. Haemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells which carries oxygen throughout the body via the circulatory system. Sickle cell means the red blood cells are sickle shaped. Abnormal haemoglobin and sickle shaped red blood cells cause blockages in arteries, veins and capillaries. When blood vessels are blocked by sickle-shaped red blood cells, parts of the body are deprived of oxygen. This can cause severe pain and damage to the organs and tissues that are deprived.