APLASTIC ANEMIA

Aplastic anemia is a blood disorder in which the body’s bone marrow doesn’t produce enough new red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Bone marrows are the soft tissue in the center of bones and that are responsible for making blood cells.

Your blood is composed of three general types of blood cells in a liquid called blood plasma.

  • Red blood cells– They carry fresh oxygen to the body’s cells and take carbon dioxide away from cells (and to the lungs to be exhaled).
  • White blood cells- They help fight infections and foreign invaders. Platelets are disk-shaped cell fragments that help form blood clots to stop bleeding.

These blood cells each have their own lifespan and die naturally, to be replaced by new blood cells formed in bone marrow. Without this replacement process, health issues involving the heart and lungs, bleeding, and infection can develop.

Symptoms of Aplastic anemia can include:

  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Skin Rashes
  • Low Cell Count of the Red (Anemia) and White Cells (Neutropenia) as well as Platelets (Thrombocytopenia)

Other symptoms include:

  • Pale Skin
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Rapid Heart Rate
  • Cold Feeling in your Hands and Feet
  • Shortness of Breath and Chest Pain
  • Dizziness, especially after Standing Up from a Sitting or Lying Position

Over time, severe heart issues may develop, such as:

  • Arrhythmia(Irregular Heart Beat)
  • Angina
  • Enlarged Heart
  • Heart failure

Neutropenia can cause higher rates of infection, fever, and flu-like illnesses that are difficult to get over.

Thrombocytopenia may cause:

  • Easy Bruising and Bleeding
  • Bleeding That’s Difficult to Stop
  • Nosebleeds, Bleeding Gums, Bloody Stool, or Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
  • Tiny Red Dots on the Skin

DIAGNOSIS

To help diagnose Aplastic anemia, your doctor might perform:

  • Blood tests- It can detect low blood cell counts and the possibility of aplastic anemia. However, these tools cannot diagnose the disorder.
  • Bone marrow biopsy- A special needle removes a small piece of bone marrow and bone, along with blood, for examination under a microscope. This will give a clearer diagnosis of the disease.

 

TREATMENT

Treatment is usually necessary if severe cases of aplastic anemia are getting worse or causing life-threatening symptoms.

There are a few options for treatment, including:

  • Drugs that stimulate bone marrow, suppress the immune system, or prevent and treat infections
  • Blood transfusions to restore blood cell counts to normal levels
  • Blood and bone marrow stem cell transplants

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