Anemiarefers to the condition where there is a deficiency of hemoglobin orerythrocytes in the blood, usually leading to weakness and sometimespaleness. Concerning laboratory counts, a normal healthy adult femalehas a hemoglobin count of about 12-16 g/dl, hematocrit count of36-45%, erythrocyte count of 4.1*106/mm-5.1*106/mmand reticulocyte count of 0.5-1.5%. Consequently, an adult femalewith counts that are below the standard levels mentioned above isknown to be anemic (Harper, 2016). Therefore, Ms. A is anemic sincemost of her counts are lower than the acceptable standards.Furthermore, the fact that her RBC smear indicates microcytic andhypochromic cells is a clear indication that she is bearing irondeficiency anemia. The small hypochromic erythrocytes in theperipheral blood smear is a clear sign of an iron deficiency in theblood, confirming iron deficiency anemia.
Irondeficiency anemia is caused by low levels of iron in the body, whichis not enough for the normal body functions. Iron is vital for thecreation of hemoglobin, which is a protein responsible for thetransfer of oxygen to the body tissues through the red blood cells.Oxygen is critical in the tissues and body muscles to functioncorrectly (Harper, 2016). Consequently, insufficient levels of ironin the body results in the short transfer of oxygen to the rest ofthe body tissues. For women within their reproductive years, justlike Ms. A, iron deficiency anemia is majorly caused by loss of ironduring heavy menses (Harper, 2016). In her case, the fact that shehas had menorrhagia coupled with cramps for the past 12 years is aclear indication of what causes her anemic condition.
Thesignificant symptoms of iron deficiency anemia, which are alsopresent in Ms. A’s case, are general fatigue, weakness of joints,shortness of breath, dizziness, fast heartbeat and low bloodpressure. Some of the other common symptoms include headaches,brittle nails, tongue soreness, weakness as well as pale skin, amongothers (Cafasso & Nall, 2016).
Otherthan menorrhagia, other supplementary causes of such anemia includeinadequate iron intake due to poor eating habit. Iron deficiency inthe body can also be caused by the inability of the body to absorbiron. Certain intestinal conditions might limit the amount of ironthat the body absorbs from the foods taken. A person with such acondition is likely to have iron deficiency even when they are takingiron-rich foods (Cafasso & Nall, 2016).
Anemiathat results from inadequate iron intake can be prevented by takingfoods that are rich in iron as well as vitamin C. Foods that are richin iron include meat, beans, leafy greens, eggs, pumpkin and squashseeds, iron-fortified dry, seafood and instant cereals, among others.Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, and can be obtained from foodssuch as citrus fruits, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, leafy greensand Brussels sprouts, among others (Cafasso & Nall, 2016).
Thereare two types of treatment for all types of anemia: treatment of theunderlying cause of the anemia and getting the hemoglobin levels backto the normal, acceptable standards. In the case of iron deficiencyanemia, the patient may be recommended to over-the-counter irontablets to help restore iron concentrations in the blood (MayaFoundation for Medical Education and Research, 2016). To increasechances of iron absorption, the doctor may recommend consumption ofthe pills on an empty stomach, with vitamin C and also avoid takingthe medication with antacids. It is important to go for a checkuponce in 6-10 years. For the case of Ms. A, it is important to go forrecurrence checkup once a year (Maya Foundation for Medical Educationand Research, 2016).
Cafasso,J. & Nall, R. (2016). IronDeficiency Anemia.Healthline. Retrieved August 11, 2016
Harper,J. L. (2016). Medscape: IronDeficiency Anemia Treatment and Management.Retrieved
August11, 2016 from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/202333-treatment
MayaFoundation for Medical Education and Research. (2016). Diseases andConditions: Iron
DeficiencyAnemia.Retrieved August 11, 2016 fromhttp://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/iron-deficiency-anemia/basics/treatment/con-20019327