Sideroblastic anemia is a type of anemia in which the sideroblasts (abnormal red blood cells) in the bone marrow are increased . Sideroblasts are a type of red blood cells with unusual characteristics that are formed by the accumulation of iron granules.
The symptoms are usually the same as those produced by any other type of anemia. They highlight weakness, a feeling of fatigue after minimal efforts, dizziness, headache, difficulty breathing and falling asleep.
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How can it be diagnosed?
Diagnosis is made by looking at a sample of the bone marrow under a microscope.
Sideroblastic anemias are classified as inherited and acquired.
- Hereditary: It usually affects the male sex more and is linked to mutations on the X chromosome.
- Acquired: It is the most common cause and is usually associated with the intake of alcohol or some medications, lead intake, genital infections, some types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, arthritis, osteomyelitis and lupus.
Some types of diet, such as those low in copper, can lead to cases of sideroblastic anemia. The same happens in certain cases of pregnancies in patients with a history of lupus. Heredity and the use of some drugs may play a role. In the latter case, by suspending its use, the answer could be favorable.
- To address this type of anemia, it is necessary to attack the underlying cause.
- Some forms of the disease respond positively to short-term treatment with B vitamins.
- For people with inherited sideroblastic anemia or myelodysplastic syndrome, bone marrow transplantation is an option.
- If sideroblastic anemia is caused by exposure to toxins, moving away from the source of contamination can be a decisive measure to overcome it.
- People whose sideroblastic anemia causes liver damage can receive liver transplants and thereby overcome the disease.
- Many people with sideroblastic anemia, either acquired or congenital, frequently require blood transfusions.
- The treatment par excellence for this type of anemia is Pyridoxine (vitamin B6) in doses of 50 to 200 mg per day (sometimes it is indicated together with folic acid). Bone marrow transplantation can be a last resort in very serious cases.
Causes and consequences of suffering from it
The causes for which anemia occurs are multiple and are not yet well defined. They are known to cause an increase in the body’s iron deposits (hemosiderosis) and hypochromic anemia.
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How does it affect children, youth and adults?
Sideroblastic anemia usually attacks males in particular throughout life. In cases of greater health compromise in children during early childhood, it can cause kidney and pancreatic failure, and diarrhea, which do not offer encouraging prospects.
But if it is diagnosed in time, the prospects may be better, although it may be necessary to perform periodic transfusions and the prescription of medications.
Effects and consequences during pregnancy
If the existence of this type of anemia is suspected, systematic evaluation of hemoglobin and hematocrit will be essential, periodically, every 6 to 12 weeks.
Natural and nutritional treatments
In general, foods rich in copper can be beneficial for those who suffer from this type of anemia , including nuts, some seeds and dehydrated fruits. Foods that also promote cardiovascular health: almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, raisins, pistachios, sunflower, opium seeds and sunflower (pipes). Legumes in general and chickpeas, in particular, lentils, beans, lima beans, peas and soybeans.
Differences between sideroblastic and megaloblastic anemia
Sideroblastic anemias are a diverse group of disorders characterized by abnormal iron metabolism in red blood cells. Sideroblastic anemia can be inherited (X-linked) or acquired, secondary to exposure to toxins (such as lead, alcohol) or drugs.
It can also be seen in association with some types of cancer, endocrine or inflammatory diseases. In the elderly, a form with no known cause is seen that is usually a manifestation of a myelodysplastic syndrome.
Risks to consider
Since hemoglobin concentrations are almost always below 7 g / dL in sideroblastic aemias, but white blood cell and platelet counts are generally within expected values, it is necessary to accurately determine that it is sideroblastic anemia.
Articles on other types of anemia
We leave you a list with the articles of the other types of anemia that we have created, to make it easier to find information:
- Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments and Diagnoses
- Macrocytic Anemia: Medical and Natural Treatments, Causes and Diagnosis
- Hemolytic Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments and Diagnoses
- Iron Deficiency Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments, And Diagnoses
- Sickle Cell Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments, and Diagnoses
- Fanconi Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments, And Diagnoses
- Aplastic Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments, And Diagnoses
- Sideroblastic Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments, and Diagnoses
- Pernicious Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments, And Diagnoses
- Normocytic Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments, and Diagnoses
- Small Cell Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments, And Diagnoses
- Megaloblastic Anemia: Risks, Causes, Treatments, And Diagnoses
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