Anemia: a common problem in hematology

Anemia is one of the most frequent consultations we clinical hematologists have and it has many causes. Hematologists assess the intensity of anemia according to a hematological value called hemoglobin, unlike what many patients think, which is through the number of red blood cells, and we look at the hemoglobin, which to define anemia must be less than 13 in men and less than 12 in women, and also at the size of the red blood cells, whether they are small, large or normal. This allows us to quickly orient the diagnosis of anemia.

The causes of anemia are multiple; in general, non-hematological diseases, digestive tract diseases, inflammatory or tumor diseases are more frequent than blood diseases.

Symptoms and signs of anemia

In general, the most frequent symptom of anemia is fatigue, tiredness. In any case this is variable, there are people in whom when anemia is of slow onset the presence of symptoms is very insidious, they hardly have any symptoms, while in others, a rapid blood loss logically causes many symptoms.

Diagnosis of anemia

The diagnosis of anemia is logically initiated by asking the patient about the existence of various diseases, about surgical procedures and about the assessment of blood cell transmission.

Then, from this set of clinical data and the evaluation of the hemogram, i.e. the blood cell count, we can quickly classify what type of anemia the patient is suffering from.

According to the size of the red blood cells we can think of a hemorrhagic cause, we can think of a vitamin B12 deficiency cause or we can logically think that the anemia is a manifestation of an underlying blood disease.

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Treatment of anemia

The treatment of anemia should be directed at the cause of the anemia. There are anemias due to iron deficiency, due to vitamin B12 deficiency, which are very easy to treat, while anemias that are caused by a hematologic disease require treatment of that disease to improve the anemia and its symptoms.