|HIV (anemia to chronic disease)
Feb 3, 2004
dr. bob, what do you mean by HIV (ANEMIA TO CHRONIC DISEASE), which i've seen in one of your answers. i am new to all this and this question may seem naive but does one just get anemic by having a chronic disease of any sort? thanks! i find all your answers insightful and they lead me into all sorts of directions.
Response from Dr. Frascino
No, not all chronic diseases. For instance, if you have a chronic ingrown toenail, that's not going to make you anemic. Since this is an HIV information website, I'll try to explain the basic mechanism related to HIV. The virus, which is, of course, chronic (i.e. present for a long time), causes chronic inflammation, which in turn can suppress some of the functions of our bone marrow. One function of bone marrow is to make red blood cells. Hence, the chronic viral infections leads to chronic inflammation, which in turn leads to decreased production of red blood cells, which ultimately causes anemia. Anemia of chronic disease can be effectively treated with Procrit, a medication that stimulates the bone marrow to make additional new red blood cells. Anemia of chronic disease can occur with chronic kidney disease, cancer, HIV infection, as well as other but not all -- chronic conditions. Hope that helps.
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