Anemia of Chronic Disease

Anemia of chronic disease develops as a result of a long-term infection or an inflammatory disease.  Certain chronic diseases and inflammatory conditions cause several changes in the blood production system.  These include a shortened life spam of the blood cell and a decrease in the amount of iron available to make red blood cells.  A low to moderate chronic anemia results.

Conditions associated with anemia of chronic disease include:

  • Osteomyelitis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Chronic Bacterial Endocarditis
  • Rheumatic Fever
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis

How Is Anemia Of Chronic Disease Diagnosed?

A simple blood test and health history is used to diagnose anemia of chronic disease.  Patients should tell the physician all symptoms they are having.  Additional test such as a bone marrow aspiration and biopsy may be done to rule out other conditions.   A colonoscopy may be done to rule out blood loss from the colon.

What Are Symptoms Of Anemia Of Chronic Disease?

Anemia of chronic disease develops slowly and is often mild so there are no symptoms.  When there are symptoms, they vary but may include paleness of the skin, lack of energy, headache, shortness of breath, dizziness, and heart palpitations.

How Is Anemia Of Chronic Disease Treated?

This type of anemia often responds to treatment of the primary disease.  Medications can also be used to treat the anemia.  Blood transfusions are rarely necessary.