What are the different types of anemias? Sickle cell anemia is when red blood cells form abnormal “sickle or crescent shaped cells” that cannot carry oxygen to the body normally (Dyer & Gould, 2011). Thalassemia anemia is when a blood disorder is inherited and the body cannot make a normal amount of hemoglobin. Pernicious anemia is when there is a decrease in the amount of healthy red blood cells that are within the intestines and they cannot properly absorb vitamin B12. Idiopathic aplastic anemia is a condition when the “bone marrow (soft, fatty tissue in the middle of bones) does not properly make blood cells” (Bunn, 2011). Hemolytic anemia is when bone marrow is not able to replace the red blood cells that are being destroyed in the body. Iron deficiency anemia is when the body does not have enough iron and will make fewer red blood cells that are too small and cannot carry oxygen which causes anemia. Anemia of chronic disease is when the body already does not have enough healthy red blood cells and the body carries a chronic illness or inflammatory disease that could cause the body to not produce healthy red blood cells based on medical conditions. Folate-deficiency anemia is when the red blood cells are abnormally large due to a lack of folate in the body most often called folic acid. B12 deficiency anemia is when there is a low red blood cell count because the body lacks vitamin B12.
Compare the causes, symptoms, diagnostic tests, and treatments of different types of anemia in a table. Anemias | CAUSES | SYMPTOMS | DIAGNOSTIC TESTS | TREATMENTS | Sickle Cell Anemia (Hemoglobin SS disease (Hb SS), sickle cell disease) | Abnormal hemoglobin S, inherited from both parents | Paleness, fatigue, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, jaundice, abdominal pain in younger children, priapism, blindness, confusion, stroke, ulcers on lower extremities | Bilirubin, CBC, Hemoglobin electrophoresis, serum creatinine, blood oxygen, sickle cell test, serum potassium | Folic acid supplements (to make new RBCs), blood transfusions, pain medications, lots of fluids, Hydroxyurea (Hydrea) medication, antibiotics, Dialysis, kidney transplants, gallbladder removal, hip replacement for avascular necrosis of the hip, surgery, wound care for ulcers, bone marrow, stem cell transplants, Hib, PCV, PPV | Thalassemia anemia (Mediterranean anemia, Cooley’s anemia, Beta thalassemia, Alpha Thalassemia) | Lack of alpha globin and beta globin from one or both parent(s) | Bone deformities in the face, fatigue, growth failure, jaundice, shortness of breath | Blood sample, CBC, hemoglobin electrophoresis, mutational analysis | Blood transfusions, folate supplements, iron supplements, chelation therapy, bone marrow transplant | Pernicious anemia(Megaloblastic anemia, Macrocytic achylic anemia, Congenital pernicious anemia, Juvenile pernicious anemia, Vitamin B12 deficiency) | Lack of vitamin B12, weakened stomach lining (atrophic gastritis), autoimmune deficiency, pregnancy, folic acid deficiency, alcoholism | Diarrhea or constipation, fatigue, lack of energy, light-headedness, loss of appetite, pale skin, lack of concentration, shortness of breath, swollen or red tongue or bleeding gums, confusion, depression, loss of balance, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, gastric polyps | Bone marrow exam, CBC, Reticulocyte count, Schilling test, LDH, MMA test, vitamin B12 level test, bilirubin, cholesterol test, gastrin, Leukocyte alkaline phosphatase, peripheral smear, TIBC | Shot of B12 once per month, B12 supplements, well-balanced diet, folic acid supplements | Idiopathic aplastic anemia | Injury to blood stem cells, pregnancy or lupus, exposure to some toxins or drugs including chemotherapy, PNH blood disorder | Fatigue, pallor (paleness), rapid heart rate, shortness of breath with exercise, weakness, leukopenia (low white cell count),