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Myths about Anemia

Anemia is the result of fall in the number of red blood cells in the body. There are certain popular myths that are believed regarding it, as stated below.

People with hemoglobin disorders are anemic, so they just need iron in their dietThe myth is partly true, as anemia is a symptom of haemoglobin disorder. But anemia can be due to other causes as well, like sickle cell anemia or beta thalassaemia caused by a genetic disorder. Even vitamin deficiency may also lead to anemia. In certain cases, excess iron in the system needs to flushed out for the patient’s health, and the process may be really painful. In certain cases, the only way to deal with the iron deficiency is a blood transfusion.Anemic women will never be able to conceiveProper medication and treatment, along with a proper diet can make anemic woman healthy in most cases. Only women suffering from anemia as a result of genetic disorders need to consult a doctor regarding planning a family. Otherwise, there is no problem in becoming pregnant. In third world countries, many women are anemic resulting from an improper diet. But, health drives are changing the scenario, and it’s better to find the root cause of anemia, treat and consult a doctor before planning a family.You need a blood transfusion if your haemoglobin count is lowMost hematologists avoid and try to refrain from blood transfusion. Transfusion is kept as a last resort, and in chronic cases, or in cases of huge blood loss. Most medical practitioners try to restore normal conditions or healthy haemoglobin count through proper diet and medicines.People living in warm climates rarely have anemic tendenciesPeople living in warm or cold climates are equally exposed to the risk of anemia. Though cold climate or winter lessens RBC (Red Blood Corpuscles) slightly, but they do not pose a significant threat of anemia, as it is mainly caused by the underlying causes like genetic disorder or insufficient diet.One can buy patent medicines and medicate oneself for anemiaAnemia may be a result of many causes, iron deficiency is only one of them. In fact, anemia may be only a symptom of some other disease, e.g. patients of multiple myeloma suffer from acute anemia. In cases like this, self medication may only cause further complications and worsen conditions. It is always better to take medicines only after consulting a physician and proper diagnosis.One can look at the color of a person’s skin and determine whether anemia is present or notAn oversimplified statement, as people tend to link all pale looking people as anemic. Though many anemic people have a pale complexion, but many healthy people may have pale complexion as well. It’s at times tough to differentiate the pallor of anemia from the sallow complexion of person who remain mostly indoors. The main thing that matters is the haemoglobin count and not the complexion of the skin. The link between complexion and anemia is a conjecture.Vitamin B12 deficient people are anemicIt is a common myth that patients are either deficient in iron or vitamin B12 in their diet if they are suffering from anemia. But as discussed earlier, patients suffering from severe vitamin B12 deficiency and damaged CNS (Central Nervous System) as a result may not necessarily have anemia. Normal conditions regarding haemoglobin have been found in cases of severe B12 deficient patients. It`s a medically proven fact that B12 is not related to anemia in all cases.I’m not sick and neither is my partner, so our children can’t inherit a disorderPeople who are carriers of sickle cell anemia or thalassaemia do not show any symptoms of the disease. They look healthy but their offspring may suffer from the disorder. But, there are chances that the offspring may be carriers as well. The only way to find out about being a carrier is by a test. This is applicable for genetically induced anemia only.We’re both carriers, so we have a 1 in 4 chance of having a child with the disorder. This means that if I have four children, one of them will be sickThis is a simplified and wrong notion derived from the laws of heredity. According to this law and mathematical probability, if both the parents are carriers, then there is a 25% chance of the child inheriting the disease. So, the fact remains that it does not matter how many children you have, but each baby faces a 25% probability of inheriting the disease. So, it might happen that 4 out of 4 children suffer from the disease, or all the children might be healthy as well. This only is applicable for the anemia caused by genetic anomalies.You can catch sickle cell or thalassaemia from infected blood, like HIV or hepatitisSickle cell anemia or thalassaemia are hereditary diseases, i.e. they are passed on from parents to offspring. In no way are these disorders contagious or infectious. Hence, they cannot be acquired like HIV or even the common cold.

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