Anaemia is a blood disorder wherein there is a decrease in the number of red blood cells in a human body. There are several types of anaemias out of which normocytic normochromic anemias is one of them. Normocytic normochromic anaemia is one of the most common forms of anemia which is usually found along with other chronic diseases. A mild normocytic normochromic anemia is a common occurrence found as a consequence of other diseases such as anemia due to chronic disorders or other disorders which include renal failure, acute blood loss, etc. Thus, mostly normocytic normochromic anaemia is a case of anemia that occurs due to other prolonged disease conditions.
Normocytic Normochromic Anemia Causes
As given above, normocytic normochromic anemia is a type of anemia that tends to accompany certain chronic diseases. The symptoms of normochromic anemia is similar to regular anemia and hence it is diagnosed by regular blood tests. For treating the normochromic anemia the focus is on solving first the cause of the chronic disease and then providing the normal treatments for curing anemia. While diagnosing for the case of normochromic anemia the normochromic red blood cells appear to be normal in shape and size under the microscope with no characteristic difference as in the case of sickle cell anemia.
Normocytic anemia can be congenital in some cases i.e. a child is born with the condition of normocytic anemia. Sometimes the disease can be a result of complications arising due to certain medications as well. But most often, as mentioned above, normocytic anemia is caused as a result of other chronic diseases. Because of this, it is also known as the anemia chronic disease or anemia of inflammation. Also, one of the harmful effects of normocytic anemia on the body can be inflammation in certain parts of the body or the entire body which is also a contributing factor to it being known as anemia of inflammation. The inflammation can cause the downgrade of the body’s immune system and also result in a reduction of red blood cell production or production of weaker red blood cells that die fast and cannot be replenished in a timely manner.
Normocytic hypochromic anemia is another type of anemia in which the red blood cells have a distinct green tinge. The normocytic hypochromic anemia has similar symptoms to normal anemia like lack of energy, shortness of breath, headaches, etc. which is also observed in other forms of anemia. In the case of normocytic hypochromic anemia the central region of the red blood cells appears to be increased in size as compared to the normal red blood cells. The most common causes for this type of anemia are the deficiency in iron content and thalassemia.
Microcytic normochromic anemia is another type of anemia caused due to prolonged chronic diseases. Microcytic normochromic anemia is so named because of the size of the red blood cells in the diseases. This size is the vital difference between microcytic normochromic anemia and normocytic normochromic anemia. In a predominantly normocytic normochromic case, there is no visible change in the size and shape of the red blood cells whereas in the microcytic normochromic anemia the red blood cells are smaller in size as compared to the normal red blood cells. The similarity in both cases is that both of them are the result of severe chronic diseases and continuous inflammation of the body.
The diseases that are mostly and very closely associated with the normocytic and microcytic normochromic anemia are - cancer, infections, chronic kidney diseases, heart failure, obesity, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, vasculitis (i.e. inflammation of the blood vessels), sarcoidosis (i.e. the inflammatory diseases affecting the lungs the lymph system), inflammatory bowel disease, and bone marrow disorders. Malnutrition is another severe cause of normochromic anemia. In some cases, pregnancy is also an added risk factor for the cause of normochromic anemia.
Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment of Normocytic Normochromic Anemia
The symptoms of normocytic anemia are very slow to develop, The common symptoms of this or any form of anemia as stated above are feelings of fatigue and tiredness, and a pale complexion. The disease can also cause you to feel dizzy or lightheaded, have breath shortness, feel weak, etc. One important point to note is that since normocytic normochromic anemia is usually a result of chronic disease, the symptoms that indicate this can be easily neglected. Hence, a medical diagnosis of the condition along with treatment of other prolonged diseases can shed light on this matter, in case a patient is suffering from any of the above-mentioned types of anemia.
To diagnose any kind of anemia a routine blood test is compulsory. A routine complete blood count (CBC) can bring to light the condition of the red blood cells and will help in identifying if a patient is suffering from any form of anemia or not. A CBC test provides a detailed report of the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelet levels, and other markers of blood health. This test can be a part of the regular check-up or whenever there is abnormal bleeding even on a small bruise which is definitely one of the symptoms of anemia. Once anemia has been detected further testing can be done and is required for specific determination of the kind of anemia before any treatment can be provided.
For most normocytic or microcytic normochromic anemia, it is necessary to first cure the chronic disease. Along with the identification of the primary cause of the disease and its treatment, subsequent and simultaneous treatment of the anemia can be done. General treatments involve anti-inflammatory medications in case of diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, strong antibiotics in case of bacterial infections, shots of Epogen in severe cases to boost the production of red blood cells, and in some cases blood transfusions, etc.