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For years, researchers have been trying to discover the cause of rumanemia. We previously thought it was caused by gravity not pushing blood to the same places in the body. However, a new study suggests that it may be directly linked to an increase in red blood cell destruction when astronauts enter space.
The new study was published in a recent issue of Natural medicine. According to the study, hemolysis appears to be the primary cause of rumanemia. Hemolysis is when the body does not produce the number of red blood cells it needs. Although it is a problem, scientists believe they may have a way of fighting it.
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What is Romanaemia?
Basically, rumanemia is not really different from your standard cases of anemia found on Earth. Scientists say that when astronauts enter space, their bodies begin to destroy more red blood cells than they did on Earth. This leads to an increase in the level of iron serum in the blood as there are not enough cells to transport it properly. Depending on how it affects the person, they may suffer from mild to more severe levels of anemia.
The most exciting thing about Romanaemia, however, is that it is not really a problem when you are in space. Because your body is weightless, it needs less energy and endurance to do things. But when they are back on Earth, astronauts begin to feel the effects of the increased iron in their blood and the lack of red blood cells to transport it.
While on Earth, the study showed that astronauts produced and destroyed about 2 million red blood cells per second. While in space, however, the astronauts destroyed about 3 million red blood cells per second. As such, their bodies just could not maintain the level of production they needed.
How scientists want to stop it
While rumanemia is a problem, researchers may also have found a possible solution to it. Or at least a way to slow down the effects it has on the body. Scientists want to change the diet of astronauts. They believe that this will allow the body to process more energy, thus creating more red blood cells. If they can smooth out the production and destruction of the red blood cells, astronauts may not suffer from any kind of rumanemia at all when they return to the planet.
Of course, there is probably still some way to go before we have a solidified response to rumanemia. But if the results of this study prove to be the cause, we could be one step closer to making space safer for astronauts.
See the original version of this article at BGR.com