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Anemia Center

Anemia Treatment

Anemia treatment
Anemia can be cured in most casea and managed in others. Mortality associated with anemia is usually low when the condition is identified and treated early. However, delayed treatment or treatment avoidance of the condition may result in a host of anemia associated symptoms which can lead to organ failure or even sudden death.

One of the main goals for treatment of anemia is to increase the amount of oxygen that your blood can carry. This is done by raising the red blood cell count and/or hemoglobin level. Another goal is to treat the underlying condition or cause of the anemia.  Anemia treatment depends on the cause of the condition.

Anemia of chronic disease - Doctors generally treat the underlying disease. Iron supplements and vitamins may not be recommended but if symptoms become severe, blood transfusion or hormone injections can help stimulate red blood cell production and ease fatigue.

Anemias associated with bone marrow disease - Treatments include medication, chemotherapy and/or bone marrow transplantation.

Aplastic anemia - Blood transfusions are recommended to boost levels of red blood cells, or a bone marrow transplant may be necessary. Immune-suppressing medications may be prescribed to lessen the immune system's response and give the transplanted bone marrow a chance to start functioning again.

Hemolytic anemias - Doctors recommend avoiding suspect medications, treating related infections and taking drugs that suppress the immune system, which may be attacking your red blood cells. Medications e inclusteroids, immune suppressant medications or gamma globulin.

Iron deficiency anemia - Iron supplements may be prescribed for several months or longer. If the underlying cause of iron deficiency is loss of blood - other than from menstrual bleeding - the source of the bleeding must be located and stopped and may involve surgery.

Sickle cell anemia - Treatment may include oxygen therapy, pain-relieving drugs, and oral and intravenous fluids to reduce pain and prevent complications.

Vitamin deficiency anemias - Pernicious anemia is treated with injections of vitamin B-12. Folic acid deficiency anemia is treated with folic acid supplements.

Prevention
Your body needs iron to make hemoglobin. Your body can more easily absorb iron from meats than from vegetables or other foods. To treat your anemia, your doctor may suggest eating more meat-especially red meat, such as beef or liver.

Iron - Iron can be given as a mineral supplement and is usually combined with multivitamins and other minerals that help the absorption process. 

Vitamin B12 - used to treat pernicious anemia.

Folic Acid / Folate - a form of vitamin B found in foods that is needed to make and maintain new cells. Folic acid helps pregnant women avoid anemia and promotes healthy growth of the fetus.

Vitamin C -Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron. Good sources of vitamin C are vegetables and fruits, especially citrus fruits.

Medical procedures
If anemia or blood loss due to internal bleeding is severe, you may need a medical procedure to treat the condition. Procedures include blood transfusions, surgery to stop internal bleeding and blood marrow stem cells transplants.

Medications
Your doctor may prescribe medicines to increase the number of red blood cells your body makes or to treat an underlying cause of anemia. Some of these medicines include:

  • Antibiotics
  • Chelation therapy for lead poisoning
  • Hormones - including a man-made version of erythropoietin to stimulate the body to make more red blood cells. This hormone has some risks. You and your doctor will decide whether the benefits of this treatment outweigh the risks.
  • Immune system suppressants - prevent the body's immune system from destroying its own red blood cells
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