The true causes of anemia of chronic disease are not known. However, doctors have traced a number of triggers that will lead to the condition.
Apart from common knowledge, anemia of chronic disease or anemia is not a disease but a symptom of an underlying health problem. The goal then is to treat the underlying cause to get rid of the anemia as a symptom. There are several possible causes for it. Knowing the details and understanding the process can greatly help in treatment and prevention.
About Causes of Anemia of Chronic Disease
Anemia is described as having below normal red blood cells in the blood. There can be several anemia of chronic disease causes. The treatment or prevention measures will depend on the specific cause. A number of inflammatory diseases, chronic infections and other related illnesses can change the ability of the body to create and produce more red blood cells for proper functioning.
Some of the common conditions that lead to the problem include cancer covering Hodgkin’s disease and lymphoma, autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and systemic lupus erythematosus or SLE. Liver cirrhosis, chronic kidney disease and other long term infections can also be triggers. Some of the long term infections include osteomyelitis or bone infection, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, bacterial endocarditis, AIDS and HIV.
The Process of Causes of Anemia of Chronic Disease
Even though the true anemia of chronic disease causes are not fully identified by physicians, there is a big relationship to the way chronic diseases change the number of red blood cells in the body.
There are different conditions that will lead to a variety of factors in the red blood cells. If cancer, autoimmune disorders, inflammatory diseases or other long term infections are present, the lifespan of red blood cells will be shorter.
The bone marrow also cannot readily produce red blood cells that easily. Iron is not released readily so production of red blood cells becomes limited. The body will also recycle old red blood cells and iron just to make new ones. As an effect, there will be fewer red blood cells in the body.
The Development of the Causes of Anemia of Chronic Disease
Causes of anemia of chronic disease generally pertain to the low red blood cell count after the person has been suffering from a long term infection or illness. The condition does not usually develop to severe anemia, although it is also referred to as the second most common type. The most common is iron deficiency anemia. Even young children and those who are usually hospitalized can develop the problem.
The symptom is often detected late because many people and doctors focus more on the underlying problem. Many years ago, doctors though that the anemia of chronic disease causes were only tuberculosis and syphilis. After several decades several other long term conditions were added to the list such as connective tissue disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, trauma and chronic infection.
Detecting Causes of Anemia of Chronic Disease
The causes of anemia of chronic disease will usually cause minor or mild symptoms only at first which is why it takes time before the condition is realized or discovered. The symptoms will differ among individuals. Many people will often display paleness, weakness, tired feelings, headache, nausea, dizziness and shortness of breath particularly when doing physical activities. Once a person develops these signs and symptoms, he should go for a diagnostic test.
Different tests and examinations will be done to determine the trigger or causes of anemia of chronic disease. Some of the examinations done during a diagnostic procedure include red blood cell count, hemoglobin level, serum iron level, serum ferritin level, reticulocyte count and a number of other related blood tests.
Complications of Anemia of Chronic Disease Causes
The symptoms of the causes of anemia of chronic disease will vary depending on the underlying condition. Most anemia cases will not develop to a severe state although patients should still watch out for possible complications and very low red blood cell count.
The primary condition or cause of anemia of chronic disease will lead to its own specific set of signs and symptoms. Some of the things that you will notice include lack of energy, lethargy, feelings of laziness, dizziness and shortness of breath. The treatment approach is usually overlooked because of the main problem that causes other symptoms.
If the anemia of chronic disease causes lead to a variety of complications, it’s important for the patient to undergo blood transfusion immediately. Erythropoeitic drugs are also highly needed to improve the production and distribution of red blood cells throughout the body. After the person receives such treatment, it is very likely that he’ll have normal blood pressure and average or slightly below average red blood cell count.
Determining the Causes of Anemia of Chronic Disease
Looking out for the anemia of chronic disease causes will greatly help in preventive measures. Many people can avoid the problem by eating a healthy and nutritious diet. Choose iron-rich foods that will help in the proper production of red blood cells.
Also engage in different cardiovascular exercises or an aerobic sport that will properly distribute blood throughout the body and improve oxygen distribution. Go for a full physical assessment and complete blood work at least once each year to know the current levels of red blood cells. Blood pressure should be checked at least once a month. A huge difference in the systolic and diastolic pressure could be indicative of the problem.
People should be wary of the anemia of chronic disease causes and let their doctor know immediately if they experience any problem or abnormalities. If you have an underlying condition or infection that has been present for at least three months, check for the presence of anemia that might be triggered by the present condition.
Identifying the problem early and providing fast treatment will usually be helpful in getting rid of the symptom together with the main problem completely. Consult your doctor immediately for any untoward sign or symptom.