There are different types of Anemia. Anemia in its simplest form is a Red Cell Count, Hemoglobin (Hgb), that is lower than the “clinical normal” range.
Anemia types fall under the 4 major categories list below. They are categorized by identifiable clinical testable, and comparable factors. They compare RBC (red Blood Cells count) /Hgb level to Reticulocyte Counts. Along with Iron and B12 levels. There are 4 possible combinations (Categories) of those 4 comparable measurements.
There is a long list of more specific Anemia titles that are subcategories of the main four groups. Once the 4 Comparisions are made to categorize the Anemia. There is additional extensive testing based on those 4 categories, that direct doctors where to explore even more.
It is possible that patients dealing with anemia, may be impacted by more than one category. Since some deficiencies can intertwine problems that need sorted out.
The common denominator in the name Anemia, is the fact there is a decline in a patients Red Blood Cells. A declining Red Blood Cell count. Where the patients Red Blood Count has dropped lower than the “Normal” range.
The “normal” range varies slightly based on age and gender. Most Lab results specify your specific count, as well as the range, and whether your count is in the normal range, or outside the normal range.
What differentiates the 4 categories from each other is the cause of the decline, or what the body may or may not be doing attempting to compensate for the abnormal decline in Red Blood Cells.
Multiple approaches to treatment might be necessary if a patient is experiencing multiple causes and effects.
For an example. A CAD would fall under Hemolytic Anemia. With their Red Count low or dropping due to Red Cell destruction. With the body Retic’ing faster trying to compensate and produce more Red Cells.
The CADs low Hgb + faster Retic rate (Hemolytic Anemia Category) could over tax the bodies level of Iron or perhaps B12….even both. Slowing down the Retic Rate necessary to compensate for the Hemolytic type triggered by a cold exposure, or a lowered Red Blood Cell count.
Multiple approaches to treatment(s) and or supplements may be necessary. All supported by clinical testing, diagnosis, co-morbidity disease identification/ treatment, and monitoring test results on a frequent and continued basis.
The 4 Categories of Anemia
Aplastic – Red Cell Count is low, plus Retic / Reticulocyte Count is low. Iron, Iron Stores and B12 test normal. Could indicate the Bone Marrow is not producing Red Blood Cells at a normal rate.
Iron Deficiency – Red Cell Count is low plus Retic / Reticulocyte Count is low. B12 tests normal, Iron/Iron stores test low. Could indicate the body doesn’t have enough Iron to make Red Blood Cells.
Pernicious – Red Cell Count is low plus Retic / Reticulocyte Count is low. Iron tests normal. B12 tests low. Could indicate the body doesn’t have enough Vitamin B12 to produce new Red Blood Cells fast enough.
Hemolytic – Red Cell Count is low plus Retic / Reticulocyte Count is high. Something is destroying Red Blood cells ahead of their normal 3 to 4 month life span. The Bone Marrow is working overtime attempting to replace them. Note: This could also point to blood loss from internal bleeding.
CADs fall into this category. Since the destruction of the Red Blood Cells is triggered by the Immune system, CAD is more specifically categorized as Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia.