What is Chronic Anemia, causes and how to treat

Chronic Anemia, also called Chronic Disease Anemia or ADC, is a type of anemia that arises as a consequence of chronic diseases that interfere with the process of blood cell formation, such as neoplasms, infections by fungi, viruses or bacteria, and autoimmune diseases, mainly Rheumatoid Arthritis.

Due to diseases of slow and progressive evolution, there may be changes in the process of formation of red blood cells and iron metabolism, which results in anemia, being more frequent in hospitalized patients over 65 years of age.

Main causes

The main causes of Chronic Disease Anemia are slow-progressing diseases that cause progressive inflammation, such as:

  • Chronic infections, such as pneumonia and tuberculosis;
  • Myocarditis;
  • Endocarditis;
  • Bronchiectasis;
  • Lung abscess;
  • Meningitis;
  • HIV virus infection;
  • Autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus;
  • Crohn’s disease;
  • Sarcoidosis;
  • Lymphoma;
  • Multiple Myeloma;
  • Cancer;
  • Kidney disease.

In these situations, it is common that due to the disease, red blood cells start to circulate in the blood for less time, changes in iron metabolism and hemoglobin formation or bone marrow is not effective with regard to the production of new red blood cells, which results in anemia.

It is important that people diagnosed with any type of chronic disease be periodically monitored by the doctor, through physical and laboratory tests, in order to verify the response to treatment and the occurrence of consequences, such as anemia, for example.

Treatment of Chronic Anemia

Usually, no specific treatment is established for Chronic Anemia, but for the disease responsible for this change. However, when anemia is very severe, the doctor may recommend the administration of erythropoietin, which is the hormone responsible for stimulating the production of red blood cells, or iron supplementation according to the result of the blood count and the measurement of serum iron and transferrin. , for example. Understand what transferrin is and what the result means.

How to identify

The diagnosis of Chronic Anemia is made based on the result of the blood count and the measurement of iron in the blood, ferritin and transferrin, this is because the symptoms presented by the patients are usually related to the underlying disease and not to the anemia itself.

Thus, for the diagnosis of ADC to be made, the doctor analyzes the result of the hemogram, being able to verify the decrease in the amount of hemoglobin, varied size of red blood cells and morphological changes, in addition to the result of the concentration of iron in the blood, which in most cases is decreased and the transferrin saturation index, which is also low in this type of anemia. Learn how to interpret the blood count.

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