Anemia is a condition in which the blood circulating in the body lacks the required amount of RBCs. Reduced RBCs may lead to several disorders and may sometimes severely affect the cardiovascular system.
Effects of Anemia on The Body
General Effects of Anemia
Dizziness, weakness, fatigue and constantly feeling tired are some of the effects of anemia. These are somewhat milder effects that can be dealh with easily by making a few changes to your diet, including leafy green vegetables and fruits rich in iron so as to compensate for the loss of iron and oxygen in the body.
Effects on the Cardiovascular System
Anemia is hard on your cardiovascular system, and may lead to several stronger effects that may pose to be health hazards if the anemia is chronic. Some of them are listed below-
Low oxygen content in body tissues is known as hypoxia. Hypoxia is a result of low RBC content in blood, which results in reduced oxygen carrying capacity of blood. Many health problems may arise if the body tissues are not supplied with enough oxygenated blood. Organ malfunction and failure is common when the situation is prolonged.
Studies have shown how the heart rate of a person is greatly influenced by anemia. People suffering from chronic anemia are most likely to have high heart rates (tachycardia). This happens as a response of the body to the low RBC count. The heart rate increases so as to pump out more blood and deliver all the required oxygen for the body cells to stay alive.
Irregular heartbeat, also known as arrhythmia is also an effect of long term anemia. Chronic arrhythmia may lead to damage of heart muscle and even heart failure.
Effects on Age Groups
Different age groups show different reactions to anemia. The reason for this is speculated to be the fact that the level of resistance differs from each of the age groups.
Effects on Children
Severe and chronic anemia can have disastrous effects on the motor and mental development of children. Children with anemia show decreased efficiency in their work and lowered attention. These children are also susceptible to stroke.
Effects on the Elderly
Cognitive development is severely affected in case of elderly anemic patients. They are also susceptible to dementia and have a lower chance of recovering from heart strokes and other cardiac conditions.
Effects on Cancer Patients
Shorter survival time is estimated in cancer patients suffering from anemia. This is because the blood performs an immunological function by nourishing all the body cells with oxygen, and also transporting WBC’s to the required site to fight the necessary foreign material.
Effects on Heart Patients
The risk of death after a stroke or a cardiac arrest increases by a whopping 20% for anemic patients. Also, recovery takes a longer duration for these patients.
Effects on Pregnant Women
Anemia, especially when in the first trimester of pregnancy, is equally harmful to both the mother and the fetus. Low oxygen supply can lead to gestational hypoxia and malformations. Also, anemia can result in impaired development of organs and sometimes even miscarriage.
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