Sideroblastic Anemia – Diagnosis
Upon the initial diagnosis, anemia is the result of the tests performed on the CBC or complete blood count for the patient. Starting with mild or moderate, patients with sideroblastic anemia are considered as severe cases of the disorder.
Based on extensive research, the Iron Disorders institution claims that there are 3 ways in which sideroblastic anemia may be acquired:
- Hereditary sideroblastic anemia is caused by a recessive gene which is directly linked to the X-chromosome and is more common to affect men than women. The symptoms begin to develop during the adolescent period, and may continue until adulthood.
- Sideroblastic anemia may also be acquired throughout the lifespan of an individual, usually triggered by excessive consumption of alcoholic beverages such as beer, whiskey, rum, and gin. All of these mentioned drinks contain ethyl alcohol, which when consumed in excessive amounts may lead to an abnormal development in the genes, triggering the undeveloped growth of red blood cells and thus the lack of oxygen and increase of iron deposits in the body. Exposure to excessive amounts of zinc, lead, and other potentially harmful drugs can also cause sideroblastic anemia.
- Idiopathic sideroblastic anemia, when diagnosed, has no known causes. As long as the bone marrow which produces the hemoglobin is agitated, anemia is likely to occur. Depending on the severity, sideroblastic anemia is a possible diagnosis among adults aged under 30, and children aged 13 and below.
Before a patient can be diagnosed with sideroblastic anemia, certain tests should be performed. To check for the characteristics and appearance of the RBC or red blood cells, a blood test is needed. If the condition which is causing the anemia is treated, then it is likely that sideroblastic anemia in patients can be treated as well. If the anemia is diagnosed in its later stages, it is most likely that it can only be controlled by vitamin supplements such as B complex and other supplementary medications.
If the anemia is diagnosed with undetermined causes, a complete blood transfusion may be required. To discharge the excess or iron deposit in the body, prescribed medication may be used to help in the excretion of these iron deposits. A blood test will also enable physicians to determine the amount of iron present in the blood, and in severe cases, a bone marrow biopsy is also performed on the patient.
In patients who have developen sideroblastic anemia (which is rare), a vitamin B-complex called pyridoxine is most beneficial. Although this kind of treatment does not completely cure sideroblastic anemia, it can help control and improve the condition of patients.
With this kind of disorder, patients with sideroblastic anemia have excessive amounts or overload in iron in their system. Although the reason behind this is unclear, iron deficiency can also coexist with sideroblastic anemia. This can be determined with or after several tests on the bone marrow, and the biopsy results may vary, depending on the stage of the anemia, especially if acute myelogeous anemia is present.