Main Causes of Anemia. Case Study

Introduction

According to Antony (2011), it is surprising that there is a large population of anemic people in developed nations like the United States and Europe, especially due to poor diet. According to Goldman and Schafer (2011), factors that lead to a decrease in the number of red blood cells or the quantity of hemoglobin in human blood are the primary causes of anemia. According to Copstead and Banasik (2010), six major types of anemia result from different events. Iron deficiency results into an anemic condition when the bloodstream has too little amounts of iron. Secondly, deficiency of folic acid results into a reduction of Vitamin B. Pernicious anemia results from lack of vitamin B12. However, it is common in people aged between 50 and 60 years. Aplastic anemia is a condition that results from reduction in human red blood cells, especially due to injuries that may affect the marrow. A hereditary form of anemia, Sickle cell anemia forms the fifth category that runs through families with a mutant gene (autosomal recessive mutation on β-globin gene) that causes abnormal type of red blood cells. Finally, Polycythemic Vera is common in middle-aged males. It is characterized by an increase in a number of blood cells such as leucocytes, red blood cells and thrombocytes.

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The purpose of this discussion is to determine the type of anemia affecting Mrs. A, a 26-year old white female. From an in-depth analysis of the patient’s conditions and symptoms, it is quite accurate to conclude that she is suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia.

Identification of the disease

In this case, it is accurate to argue that the patient is suffering from Vitamin B12 deficiency anemia for a number of reasons. First, according to Gardner and Benz (2008), this form of anemia is characterized by light-headedness, fatigue or lack of energy in the body, especially when one is standing or doing some physical exercise. Secondly, there is evidence of increase in heart and respiratory rates. Additionally, the patient experience short breath when exercising. It is also important to note that this form of anemia is present when there has been a loss of blood through surgeries or conditions that destroy the normal process of RBC synthesis. These conditions include long-term intake of antacids and other drugs such as aspirin (Gardner & Benz, 2008). In women, the symptoms are pronounced during their menstrual periods. They may result into an elevation of body temperatures but a low blood pressure. Since the patient in question has these conditions, it is clear that she suffers from Vitamin B deficiency.

Diagnostic Rationale

The fact that the patient in question has complications during her menstruation period shows that the condition is not acute but chronic. This is further supported by the historical information that “she had been having menorrhagia and dysmenorrheal for the last 12 years”. Secondly, the fact that she is just 26 years old accurately excludes the presence of Pernicious anemia, while her gender excludes the presence of Polycythemia Vera. Moreover, since there is no evidence of past injuries, Aplastic anemia is excluded. In addition, since the condition was not present since childhood, it is comfortable to exclude sickle cells anemia as the suspected disease. Finally, exclusion of Folic Acid deficiency is necessary because the patient does not have memory lapse that is common in this form of anemia. Evidently, the patient is suffering from B12 deficient anemia.

Secondly, the suspected condition is supported by diagnostic tests on her blood, which reveals that the patient has reduced levels of hemoglobin (8g/dl compared to the normal at 11-16 g/dl), presence of micro lytic and hypochromic cells and reduced hematocrit and erythrocyte counts.

References

Antony, A. C. (2011). Megaloblastic anemias. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier

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Copstead, L. C., & Banasik, J. L. (2010). Pathophysiology. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier

Gardner, L. B., & Benz, E. J. (2008). Anemia of chronic diseases. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

Goldman, L., & Schafer, A. I. (2011). Cecil Medicine. Philadelphia, PA: Saunders Elsevier

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