- Depends on many factors
- Age of child
- Severity of anaemia
- Other associated conditions- ex. Heart problems
- Fast heart rate(to compensate low haemoglobin)
- Fatigue/ Weakness( because heart is beating fast)
- Pale( because of low red cells)
- Yellowish skin( if red cells are breaking, jaundice is formed)
- Shortness of breath
- Dizziness or Chest pain
- Desire to eat non-food items, such as ice, paper or clay (pica)
- Adequate Production from bone( if low production, then anaemia)
- Normal life expectancy of red cells( If cells are destroyed early then anaemia)
- If bleeding, then red cells are lost
- Red blood cells need Vitamins and minerals for surviving, like Iron, vitamin B. If there is no supply of these vitamins, then anaemia
Iron deficiency anaemia.
- This is most common type
- Due to reduced intake of iron in food, or problem absorbing the iron from food.
- In pregnancy, more blood is required ( as the baby is growing), hence iron tablets are given in pregnancy.
- Vitamin and folic acid are required for formation of red cells. Folic acid is found in green leafy vegetables and B12 is found in egg, milk, meat.
- The vitamins are absorbed in body with help of a factor (protein). Absence of this causes anaemia (pernicious anaemia)
Infections- Like malaria cause breaking of red cells
Anaemia of chronic disease.
- Long-term infections like cancer, AIDS, arthritis, kidney disease, chronic diseases of gut (inflammatory bowel diseases) can cause anaemia
Failure of bone marrow to produce cells(Aplastic anaemia)
- It can be caused by viral infections, medications, chemicals and sometimes inherited from parents
Early breakage of red cells(Haemolytic anaemias)
- Lysis means ‘ to break’. certain infections and defects in red cells can cause early breakage of cells.
- There is generally a family history of such diseases
Various other types like thalassemia( genetic defects running in families), Sickle cells (genetic defects).
- The doctor can notice that the child is pale, the mouth and nails are colourless. The heartbeat could be fast with a murmur( sound due to fast moving blood)
- Blood test- to count number of red cells( Full blood count)
- Peripheral smear- to see the quality of cells( shape/ structure)
- Levels of iron, vitamins in blood
- If there is jaundice, then the reason for breakage of red cells needs to be found
- Bone marrow aspirate- The bone is drilled and the marrow ( factory of cell production) is observed.
- Genetic studies
- Brown rice
- Dark-green leafy vegetables
- Pulses and beans
- Nuts and seeds
- Meat, fish, eggs
- If the doctor feels it is due to deficiency of iron, he will start an iron syrup. (2-5 mg /kg/day).
- Its is given for approx 3 months and blood test is done to find cells increasing in number
- In some babies, anaemia at 2-4 months is noted. If the baby is born term (> 38-week gestation) then no treatment is generally given.
- Blood is transfused if severely pale
- Severe pale looking child
- Drowsy, unconscious
- Heart disease
- Severe leg pain in pale child