DISCUSSION WK7 PATHO Iron deficiency anemia According to Huether & McCance, anemia is having a lower number of red blood cells or hemoglobin in red blood cells that result in the body not getting enough oxygen (Huether & McCance, 2017). There are many types of anemia Iron deficiency anemia (IDA) is the most common anemia; it involves depleted iron and reduced hemoglobin synthesis as a result of insufficient dietary intake or from chronic blood loss (Huether & McCance, 2017). Although in many developing countries this is a severe disease, in developed nations the primary cause is a loss of iron, almost always through blood loss from the GI or genitourinary tracts (Hammer & McPhee, 2014).). There are three stages to IDA; the first stage is depletion of the body’s iron stores for red cell production and hemoglobin synthesis, usually due to chronic blood loss or inadequate dietary intake (Heuther & McCance, 2017). In the second stage, the lacking amounts of iron are transported to the marrow yielding to iron-deficient red cell production (Heuther & McCance, 2017). The last stage starts the replacement of the normal cells by the hemoglobin deficient red cells in the circulatory system leading to the beginning of symptoms of IDA (Heuther & McCance, 2017). The diminishing hemoglobin causes insufficient oxygen being transported to body tissues which cause fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath, and pale skin discoloration that makes the affected person look pale. For more severe cases where hemoglobin drops to 7-8g/dl symptoms can be gastritis, neuromuscular changes, irritability, headache, numbness, tingling, and vasomotor disturbances, making the need for treatment critical (Huether & McCance, 2017). Chronic Inflammation Anemia The second most common anemia is anemia of inflammation and chronic disease (AI/ACD); this often occurs in combination with chronic illnesses such as cancer, AIDS, and inflammatory disorders (Huether & McCance, 2017). The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2013 explains that AI/ACD disease is frequently confused with iron-deficiency anemia due to both forms of anemia levels of iron circulating in the blood are low. With AI/ACD iron levels are usually within normal limits or high, the main cause of low levels is due to the body becoming incapable of using stored iron or able to absorb iron from diet explaining the cause of low iron levels (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2013). The body does not respond well to erythropoietin, which is a crucial stimulating hormone that stimulates red blood cell production (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, 2013). When the inflammatory process takes place a release of cytokines can cause interference with the body’s capability to use iron to create red blood cells, at the same time blocking the production and function of erythropoietin (Thompson, 2010).
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