Anemia means lack of blood , whether lack of all constituents or only of hemoglobin, or red blood cells .the volume of fluid blood may be normal. Primary anemia appears to be an independent disease, secondary anemias are due to some other disease condition in the body.
Once the cause has gone to work, the actual anemia can be produced by hemorrhage and loss of blood, by deficiency of blood formation or by destruction of blood already formed.
The causes of primary anemias are still unknown. Pernicious anemia is a primary anemia which occurs in young adults. The victim experiences a gradual but increasing weakness, his skin turns a lemon yellow color from lack of oxygen, he runs a temperature and feels numbness in his limbs. He may not lose any weight, but his red blood cells are greatly reduced in a number and deformed, the spleen becomes greatly enlarged.
Pernicious anemia is no longer considered an incurable condition, now that two American doctors , Minot and Murphy, have discovered that beef liver will cure it. Concentrated liver extracts are given by injection and by mouth, also beef liver can be fed to the patient at the same time
As in all forms of anemia , the patient must have rest, fresh air and sunshine, and an easily digestible and very nutritious diet. Feeding of bone marrow , beef ,juice , sweetbread, lamb, kidney and beef heart is valuable in all forms of anemia.
Scraped raw beef and raw beef juice are good if acceptable to the patient. For bone marrows, pat bone dry, press flour or dry bread into marrow on each side of bone, cook one hour in slowly boiling water.
In addition to there regular meals , the anemic patient should have small feedings between meals, an eggnog , scraped beef or cooked bone marrow on toast, lettuce and fruit salad, beef juice and orange juice or an egg stirred into a glass of orange juice.
Secondary anemia always has a determinable underlying cause excessive loss of blood from any part of the body, wether at one time or by frequent loss of small amounts. Bleeding from wounds , from the nose , from fissures or from hemorrhoids in the rectum, excessive loss of blood during menstruation, also poor diets, reducing diets, insufficient food and lack of fresh air and sunshine may cause severe anemia
Infection in any part of the body may be the cause of anemia, infected teeth, intestinal worms, infectious disease and tumors. Certain occupations such as working with poisonous metals or chemicals as lead, arsenic, mercury or benzene, and the tasking of certain drugs as the coal tar derivatives like aspirin, acetanilide, phenacetin, sulfa and barbiturates will often cause severe anemias.
We will now discuss sign by which you may recognize or suspect anemias. Look at the inside of your lower eyelids, see if it is not a healthy red, but whitish like the skin. Look at your lips and gums, see if they are not a healthy pink, but pale or bluish looking.
Are your ears always of a dull white shade? Do they hardly ever look pink? Is the skin of your face the same color? Possibly you suffer from lack of appetite, general weakness, dizziness, poor vision, headaches? All or a few of these symptoms, especially pallor of the inside of the lids,of the lips,gums and of the ears,should make you set about giving attention to your anemia
Treatment of secondary anemia consists of finding the cause and removing it. Infection of any part of the body must be removed promptly, cured with penicillin, if possible. Anemia from sudden great loss of blood and other servere anemias required blood transfusion. The rest of the treatment is outlined under pernicious anemia.