Hematological Diseases: Iron Deficiency, Megaloblastic Anemia (Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid), Sickle Cell Anemia : Pharmaguideline -->

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Hematological Diseases: Iron Deficiency, Megaloblastic Anemia (Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid), Sickle Cell Anemia

Disorders of the blood, such as hemophilia, are characterized by problems with red blood cells, white blood cells, spleen, platelets, lymph nodes.

Hematological Disease

Disorders of the blood, such as hemophilia, are characterized by problems with red blood cells, white blood cells, spleen, platelets, lymph nodes, and bone marrow. There are many disorders that children can suffer from, some of which are genetic while others are acquired.

Children’s blood vessels, lymphatic system, or spleen can be affected by hematologic disorders.
  • A variety of factors can contribute to spleen problems. Occasionally, the spleen becomes too large or cannot function effectively, causing low platelets (thrombocytopenia) and low blood counts (anemia).
  • A lymphatic malformation, for example, may present with a number of symptoms. An improperly-developed lymphatic channel can result in benign masses called lymphatic malformations. A bacterial infection can occur if they are not treated.
  • Vascular malformations and non-cancerous tumors, such as hemangiomas, can develop from abnormally formed blood vessels.
  • In addition to idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), sickle cell disease and hereditary spherocytosis, abnormally formed blood cells can also lead to other medical conditions. In addition to idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), sickle cell disease and hereditary spherocytosis, abnormally formed blood cells can also lead to other medical conditions.

Iron Deficiency

Anemia, or an insufficient number of healthy red blood cells in the blood, is a type of iron deficiency anemia that is common. All tissues in the body receive oxygen from red blood cells.

Anemia due to iron deficiency occurs when the body does not possess sufficient amounts of iron. Insufficient iron causes the body to not be able to produce enough hemoglobin (a pigment in red blood cells that transports oxygen). Fatigue and shortness of breath are symptoms of iron deficiency anemia.

In most cases, iron supplementation can cure anemia caused by iron deficiency. You may require additional tests or treatments for iron deficiency anemia if your doctor suspects that you are bleeding internally.


It is common for iron deficiency anemia to have such mild symptoms that it often goes unnoticed at first. When iron deficiency and anemia worsen, the symptoms and signs intensify.

The following symptoms of anemia are usually caused by an iron deficiency:
  • Brittle nails
  • Pale skin
  • Cold hands as well as feet
  • Weakness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Poor appetite


A person with iron deficiency anemia does not produce enough hemoglobin because their body does not have enough iron. Red blood cells carry oxygenated blood throughout your body thanks to the molecule hemoglobin, which gives them their red color. The body cannot produce enough hemoglobin if you don't eat enough iron, or if your body loses too much iron. Iron deficiency anemia results from this.

A deficiency of iron can cause anemia due to:
Blood loss - The red blood cells in blood contain iron. Losing blood results in iron loss. Due to the blood lost during menstruation, women with heavy periods are more likely to develop iron deficiency anemia. The body can lose blood slowly and chronically through peptic ulcers, hiatus hernias, colon polyps, or colorectal cancer. Aspirin, especially when used regularly, may cause stomach bleeding.

Iron deficiency in your diet - Foods contains iron that your body regularly absorbs. Deficiency in iron can develop over time if you don't consume enough. Meat, eggs, leafy green veggies, and iron-fortified foods are some examples of iron-rich foods. Iron is also essential in the diet of infants and children for proper growth and development.

Iron intolerance - The small intestine absorbs iron from your food and transports it to your bloodstream. Iron deficiency anemia can be caused by intestinal disorders such as celiac disease, which affect the intestine's ability to absorb nutrients. If part of your small intestine has been bypassed or removed surgically, you may not be able to absorb iron and other nutrients.

Pregnancy - Pregnant women who do not take iron supplements can develop iron deficiency anemia since their iron stores must serve both their own increased blood volume and provide hemoglobin to their growing fetus without supplementation.

Megaloblastic anemia (Vitamin B12 and folic acid)

The presence of very large red blood cells and a decline in their number are the hallmarks of megaloblastic anemia. Red blood cells are lost when the body has fewer than normal amounts of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body through a protein called hemoglobin. Anemia is caused by not having enough of these cells or proteins. A lack of B12 or folic acid is usually the cause of megaloblastic anemia. A deficiency of these B vitamins can be caused by inadequate consumption or poor absorption from the intestinal tract. Usually, megaloblastic anemias are the result of medication or inherited problems with vitamin B12 or folate transport or metabolism.

Pernicious anemia

In pernicious anemia, vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed by the body because no intrinsic factor is present in the stomach secretions. Vitamin B12 must have an intrinsic factor in order to be absorbed by the body. All forms of megaloblastic anemia are characterised by incomplete development of the inside of each red blood cell, as well as enlarged red blood cells. As a result of the malformation, fewer cells are produced by the bone marrow, and red blood cells often die sooner than the normal 120-day lifespan.

Sickle cell anemia

The sickle cell disease group consists of sickle cell anemia and related disorders. Red blood cells in your body aren't enough to carry oxygen throughout your body when you have sickle cell anemia. In most cases, red blood cells are flexible and round, which enables them to pass through blood vessels easily. Sickle cell anemia is characterized by sickled or crescent-shaped red blood cells. They adhere to small blood vessels and can clog them up, preventing blood flow and oxygen from reaching parts of the body. Sickle cell anemia is usually incurable. The condition can provide pain relief, but it may also cause complications.


Around 5 months of age, sickle cell anemia usually begins to show signs and symptoms. Individual symptoms may vary over time. Among the signs and symptoms are:

Anemia - You have too few red blood cells because sickle cells easily break apart and die. It usually takes 120 days for red blood cells to need replacing. A shortage of red blood cells (anemia) occurs when sickle cells die within 10 to 20 days. In the absence of red blood cells, your body cannot get enough oxygen.

Episodes of pain - Symptoms of sickle cell anemia include pain crises, which occur periodically. There is a wide range of pain intensity and duration, from short bursts to weeks long. Only a few people experience pain crises each year. Each year, some people have at least twelve crises. These crises can sometimes be so severe that they require hospitalization. Sickle cell anemia can also cause chronic pain in adolescents and adults from bone and joint damage, ulcers, and other reasons. Inflammation occurs when tiny blood vessels in the chest, abdomen, and joints become blocked by sickle-shaped red blood cells. Your bones may also feel pain.

Swelling of hands as well as feet - Red blood cells with sickle-shaped shapes block blood flow, causing swelling of the hands and feet.

Frequent infections - By having sickle cells in your body, your spleen can be damaged, increasing your vulnerability to infections. Vaccinations and antibiotics are typically administered to children and infants with sickle cell anemia to prevent infections such as pneumonia.

Delayed growth or puberty - Developing a healthy body depends on adequate supply of healthy red blood cells. Infants and children with a lack of healthy red blood cells may grow slowly, and teenagers may delay puberty.

Vision problem - A sickle cell can block tiny blood vessels in the eyes. The retina - the region of the retina responsible for processing visual images - can be damaged.
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Ankur Choudhary is India's first professional pharmaceutical blogger, author and founder of pharmaguideline.com, a widely-read pharmaceutical blog since 2008. Sign-up for the free email updates for your daily dose of pharmaceutical tips.
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