The most probable form of anemia that Ms. A. is suffering from is iron deficiency anemia (IDA) as a result of menorrhagia and dysmenorrhea. Based on her medical history, the symptoms of her condition usually worsen during her menses. The most suggestive symptom to low levels of iron deficiency is the shortness of breath, low levels of energy, and the inability to acclimatize to high altitudes. These symptoms occur because iron can be regarded as a vital component of red blood cells, which include the cells that transport respiratory gases around the body. Therefore, a woman suffering from menorrhagia losses high levels of red blood cells, hence reduces the number cells available to transport respiratory gases around the body.
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The physician’s assessment further affirms the presence of iron deficiency anemia since the physician was able to identify signs of elevated temperatures, heart rate and respiratory rate, and reduced blood pressure. Further evidence of the presence of iron deficiency anemia is supported by results that emanate from the laboratory examination. Therefore, from the above discussion of Ms. A. condition, iron deficiency anemia stands out as the single most probable form of anemia this patient has.
Iron deficiency anemia
It is the most common anemia in premenopausal women. The condition is characterized by the presence of low levels of hemoglobin, which is the substance that enables red blood cells to transport oxygen to body tissues. Low levels of hemoglobin result from reduced levels of iron within the body. In premenopausal women, cases of menorrhagia can reduce the level of iron stores to levels that can put a woman at an increased rate of suffering from iron deficiency anemia. Diet also contributes to iron deficiency anemia in women, but the presence of menorrhagia complicates the situation further (Huch & Schaefer, 2006).
The vital signs and symptoms that characterize this anemia are pallor, weakness, and fatigue. However, in most cases, the anemia is usually mild, but it is worth noting that, at times, mild anemia causes weakness and fatigue. Patients with moderate to severe anemia are likely to experience shortness of breath, headaches, increased heart rate, and lightheadedness (Huch & Schaefer, 2006).
Treatment and management of IDA
The main objective in the treatment of IDA is to restore hemoglobin levels as well as returning the red cells indices to their normal values. In addition, the treatment also focuses on replenishing the iron stores. In cases where these objectives are not achieved, it is recommended that the physician carries out further evaluation on the patient. When treating an underlying cause, the physician should focus on preventing further iron loss. However, all patients should be put on iron supplements in order to correct anemia and replenish iron stores within the body (Helms & Quan, 2006).
To achieve this, physicians can prescribe 200mg of ferrous sulphate twice a day. This is a cheap and easy way of correcting anemia, as well as replenishing the iron stores. Use of low doses may turn out to be effective and tolerated and may be the best prescription for patients who do not tolerate traditional doses. There are other iron compounds that are also tolerated better than ferrous sulphate; they include ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, and formulations such as iron suspensions (Helms & Quan, 2006).
Use of ascorbic acid at a range of 250-500mg twice in a day may enhance the absorption of iron. The ascorbic acid formulation should be taken together with an iron preparation. It is recommendable to continue taking oral iron for a period of three months even after the correction of the iron deficiency. This allows for the replenishment of the iron stores. In case of intolerance or failure of compliance with oral preparation, parenteral iron is recommended. Intravenous iron sucrose is also effective when administered based on the manufactures instructions (Helms & Quan, 2006).
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