Anemia is a condition, in which the content in blood of the fully functional red cells is reduced.
Anemia develops due to a variety of causes, accompanied by a variety of diseases and is often the only symptom of them. Quantitatively, it is expressed by the level of the hemoglobin concentration, which is an iron-containing pigment of red blood cells, red blood imparts. In the diagnosis of anemia, one should take into account normal fluctuations in hemoglobin concentration according to gender and age.
Mechanisms of anemia, despite the diversity of its specific causes can be attributed to three main types: 1) the red blood cells bone marrow production disorder (erythropoiesis), 2) hemolysis (destruction) or shortening of life of red blood cells, which normally is up to 4 months, and 3) bleeding, acute or chronic. In each case, combinations of any these mechanisms is possible.
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The red blood cells production disorder or deficit of it is usually result of anemia associated with cancers, chronic infections, kidney diseases, endocrine diseases, protein malnutrition. In some cases, a decreased production of erythropoietin – hormone produced by the kidneys, stimulating erythropoiesis, apparently plays a role. It causes anemia and deficiency of certain substances necessary for the formation of red blood cells: iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid, and, in rare cases, mainly in children, a lack of vitamin C and pyridoxine.
When anemia is caused by hemolysis, the cause may be in the red blood cells defects, accelerating their destruction in the blood, such as distortion of the structure of the cells or the hemoglobin molecule or changes in the activity of intracellular enzymes. In other cases, such as transfusion of incompatible blood and hemolytic disease of neonates (erythroblastosis), the red blood cells present in the blood plasma are destroyed by antibodies. Sometimes increased hemolysis of red blood cells may indicate spleen diseases.
Bleeding results in chronic anemia only when it is massive or long. Except for iron in hemoglobin, erythrocytes all components are easily restored. Thus, chronic blood loss causes anemia due to depletion of iron stores in the body, which develops despite the fact that this increases intestinal absorption of iron contained in food. Most bleeding occurs in the uterus (due to menstruation or tumors) and the gastro-intestinal tract (ulcer, tumor hemorrhoids).
Students writing their research proposals on anemia should use free example research paper topics, which will help them understand that the major symptoms of anemia are weakness and pallor. These symptoms reflect a decrease in the concentration of hemoglobin transporting oxygen from the lungs to peripheral tissues. Insufficient supply of oxygen to vital brain centers leads to reflex integration mechanisms to increase the delivery of oxygen to the cells, which, however, is accompanied by shortness of breath and heart palpitations. The presence and severity of symptoms usually correspond to the severity of the disease, but if the hemoglobin concentration decreases gradually, the body can endure even strongly pronounced anemia.
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