Anemia of Chronic Disease: Low Iron Problem

Inflammation is not normally a serious health problem. However, affected individuals should always have their condition checked by a competent doctor to guarantee that the illness will be properly attended to and symptoms will be treated before anything gets worse. Anemia of chronic disease is a condition highly related to the inflammatory response. Knowing more about the condition and its effects will help people cope better and find the right solutions and preventive measures for good and long term health. Here are some information.

About Anemia of Chronic Disease

Anemia of chronic disease or ACD is an inflammatory response in which the body naturally limits or reduces the amount of available iron as a protective mechanism when threat is perceived within the system. Many cells will need iron to preserve life and function. ACD was first defined by Dr. Eugene Weinberg during the 1980s. Whenever harm or danger is noticed by the body, iron will be delivered to ferritin to keep it protected from external invaders.

Bacteria and viruses will need iron to sustain life so the body will naturally keep it away and contain it within the ferritin, far from the reaches of the harmful microorganisms. As a result, hemoglobin count will generally drop because the red blood cells no longer have sufficient iron to maintain function and existence. People with the condition usually have a hemoglobin count of 9.5 to 10.5 g/dL.

Causes of Anemia of Chronic Disease

The condition or anemia of chronic disease will generally last until the underlying infection or health anomaly is treated completely. It is actually a symptom of a chronic or long term illness, rather than a disease. Some of the conditions that can trigger the effect include autoimmune problems like systemic lupus erythematosus and Crohn’s disease, cancer, liver cirrhosis, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis, bacterial endocarditis, chronic kidney disease, Hodgkin’s disease, ulcerative colitis and rheumatoid arthritis. As long as these conditions are present, the patient will most likely have low red blood cell count. The goal of doctors then is to treat the true cause to get rid of the effects.

Symptoms and Treatment of Anemia of Chronic Disease

Anemia of chronic disease patients will also manifest other symptoms such as paleness, weakness, tired feeling, headache and shortness of breath. Checking the serum ferritin, hemoglobin level and serum iron will usually indicate the presence of the condition. Treatment of anemia of chronic disease or ACD will focus on the underlying problems. Patients are discouraged from taking iron supplements. These can even aggravate the existing condition. Some patients might require blood transfusion if hemoglobin levels continue to drop. The anemia is usually mild in most cases. Patients generally have good prognosis after treatment with erythropoietin.

Patients with anemia of chronic disease or ACD need to be monitored constantly to prevent accidents and complications. The weakness may lead to fainting at times. Vital signs and other data should be regularly checked to ensure that the patient is safe and healthy. Also check for possible sensitivity reactions when doing blood transfusions.