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What is the cause of chronic anaemia?

Q: My aunt is 40 years old and has been suffering from anaemia since her childhood. At present her haemoglobin is 4.3. She is quite weak and suffers from severe body ache. I have a doubt whether she has the sickle cell anaemia. She underwent many tests and consumes many medicines but to no avail. Please advise.

A:Anaemia from childhood usually indicates a hereditary/congenital cause. There could be a large number of causes for that including hereditary spherocytosis, non-spherocytic haemolytic anaemia like enzyme deficiencies, thalassaemia/ haemoglobinopathies, paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria, etc. Your aunt requires a thorough clinical evaluation followed by appropriately investigations to find the cause, as the treatment will depend on that. Please consult a haematologist who will be able to help.

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