Nutritional Deficiency Anaemia
Anaemia is one word a lot of people do not want to hear but I will talk about it in a different way
Anaemia is a widespread public health problem associated with an increased risk of morbidity and mortality, especially in pregnant women and young children. It is a disease with multiple causes, both nutritional (vitamin and mineral deficiencies) and non-nutritional (infection) that often co-occur. It is assumed that one of the most common contributing factors is iron deficiency, and anaemia resulting from iron deficiency is considered to be one of the top ten contributors to the global burden of disease. In iron deficiency anaemia, the red cells seem abnormal and are unusually small (microcytic) and pale (hypochromic). The paleness of the red cells reflects their low haemoglobin content.
Nutritional deficiency anaemia develop when micronutrients needed for RBC formation are not present in adequate amounts. Anemia develops gradually and may initially be regenerative but ultimately becomes nonregenerative
The recommended daily amount (RDA) of a nutrient is determined by how much the body needs to stay healthy. Nutrients can be obtained in a variety of ways—from eating a varied diet to taking vitamin supplements. A nutritional deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t absorb the necessary amount of a nutrient.
Nutritional or vitamins deficiency anaemia refers to a reduced red blood cell count due to a poor diet which is deficient in iron, folate and/or Vitamin B12. It refers to types of anaemia that can be directly attributed to nutritional disorders. Examples include Iron deficiency anaemia and pernicious anaemia. It is often discussed in a paediatric context.
Starvation causes anemia by a combination of vitamin and mineral deficiencies as well as a negative energy and protein balance. Deficiencies most likely to cause anemia are iron, copper, cobalamin (B12), B6, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin E, and vitamin C (important only in primates and guinea pigs).
The body requires many vitamins and minerals that are crucial for both development and preventing disease. These vitamins and minerals are often called micronutrients. They aren’t produced naturally in the body, so you have to get them from your diet.
A nutritional deficiency occurs when the body doesn’t absorb the necessary amount of a nutrient. Deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems. These can include problems of digestion, skin problems, stunted or defective bone growth, and even dementia.
Vitamin deficiency anemia is characterized by pallor (reduced amount of oxy-hemoglobin in skin or mucous membrane), fatigue and weakness. Because it tends to develop slowly, adaptation occurs and the disease often goes unrecognized for some time. In severe cases, dyspnea (trouble breathing) can occur. Unusual obsessive food cravings, known as pica, may develop. Pica for ice is a very specific symptom and may disappear with correction of iron deficiency anemia. Hair loss and light headedness can also be associated with iron deficiency anemia.
Additional symptoms may include: constipation, tinnitus,sleepiness, palpitations, hair loss, fainting or feeling faint, depression, breathlessness on exertion, twitching muscles, tingling, numbness, or burning sensations, missed or heavy menstrual cycle.
Anemia goes undetected in many people, and symptoms can be minor or vague. The signs and symptoms can be related to the anemia itself, or the underlying cause. Most commonly, people with anemia report non-specific symptoms of a feeling of weakness, or fatigue, general malaise and sometimes poor concentration.
A diet that meets the recommended dietary guidelines would take care of this except pregnant women who are required to take supplemental folic acid and iron and preterm (a term used for babies born before the due date) infants who may be placed on iron supplements.
The treatment is a case of diet change to include more iron and vitamins when not severe. Your Dietitian or Nutrition/Diet Advisor will be able to advise you.
Where severe, you should see a doctor.
- Nutritional deficiencies, known as malnutrition, are the result of your body not getting enough of the nutrients it needs.
- Children are more at risk for serious complications due to nutritional deficiencies than adults.
- You can prevent nutritional deficiencies by making sure you get enough nutrients from your diet. You should talk to your doctor and dietitian to help make any decisions on dietary changes and before taking any nutritional supplements.