Health A-Z

What You Need to Know about Blood Cell Disorders

What You Need to Know about Blood Cell Disorders


(Source: https://pixabay.com/photos/blood-test-tube-download-lab-test-1761832/)

Blood cell disorders are conditions where your white or red blood cells or platelets have a problem. It is crucial to consult an expert in the UAE because blood cell disorders are easily misunderstood. A blood disorder can affect 1 or more types of cells. Blood cell disorders are caused by various factors, such as bone marrow damage, viral infections, chemical exposure, treatments like chemotherapy, cancer, gene mutation, complications during pregnancy, heredity, etc.

Symptoms of Blood Cell Disorders

Blood cell symptoms vary depending on the type. Common symptoms of white blood cells include;

·       Fatigue

·       Chronic infections

·       A general feeling of being sick/unwell

·       Unexplained weight loss.

Common symptoms of red blood cell disorder include;

·       Shortness of breath

·       Fatigue

·       Muscle weakness

·       A fast heartbeat

·       Trouble paying attention because of lack of oxygen in the brain.

Common symptoms of platelet disorder include;

·       Skin that bruises easily

·       Sores or cuts that are slow to heal or don’t heal

·       Unexplained bleeding of the gums or nose bleeding

·       Blood that does not clot after an injury.

What are Red Blood Cell Disorders?


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Red blood cell disorders describe conditions that affect either the function or the number of red blood cells. Red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body and carry carbon dioxide to the lungs to be exhaled. There are many types of red blood cell disorders and they are classified based on the kind of structure they affect. They include;

Anemias

Anemia occurs when you have an iron deficiency. Your body needs iron to produce hemoglobin, to help red blood cells to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Types of anemia include;

·       Iron deficiency anemia – Occurs when your body does not have enough iron. You might experience shortness of breath and fatigue because your red blood cells are not transporting enough oxygen to the lungs. You can talk to the best family medicine specialists Dubai professionals to see whether you can change your diet or take iron supplements.

·       Aplastic anemia – This is a rare but severe condition where your bone marrow stops producing enough blood cells. It can occur abruptly or gradually and at any age. It causes fatigue and weakens your body’s ability to fight infections. It can also cause uncontrolled bleeding.

·       Pernicious anemia – This is an autoimmune condition where your body cannot absorb enough amounts of vitamin B12. It is caused by a low number of red blood cells. Although it was untreatable in the past, today you can get B12 injections to cure it.

·       Sickle cell anemia – Sickle cell anemia is a type of sickle cell disease where your blood cells are misshapen and die too early. It is caused by a genetic mutation that causes the red blood cells to have abnormal hemoglobin molecules, which causes them to become rigid and curved. The sickle-shaped red blood cells cannot effectively transport oxygen and they can also get lodged in your blood vessels, obstructing blood flow.

·       Autoimmune hemolytic anemia (AHA) - This condition causes your immune system to destroy your red blood cells faster than your body can produce new cells. The result is you have very few red blood cells.

Polycythemia vera

Polycythemia vera is a type of blood cancer caused by a gene mutation that causes your bone marrow to produce too many red blood cells. Too many red blood cells thicken your blood and cause it to flow slowly creating a risk of blood clots that can cause stroke or heart attacks. Although there is no cure, you can get treatment in the form of phlebotomy (the removal of blood from your veins) and medication.

Thalassemia

This is an inherited group of blood disorders caused by genetic mutations that prevent the normal production of hemoglobin. Without enough hemoglobin in the red blood cells, they cannot transport oxygen throughout the body. Without oxygen, organs cannot function effectively.

White Blood Cell Disorders

White blood cells help your body fight against infections and foreign substances. White blood cell disorder happens when you have too many or very few white blood cells. White blood cell disorders can affect your body’s immune response and ability to fight diseases. These disorders include;

Leukemia

Leukemia is a cancer of the blood cells where your white blood cells don’t function properly or divide quickly and crowd out healthy cells. White blood cells are vital for your immune system. They are produced in the bone marrow but certain types are also produced in the lymph nodes, thymus gland, and spleen. Once formed, white blood cells travel through the bloodstream and lymphatic vessels to fight against infections.

Lymphoma

Lymphoma is the general term used for cancer that develops in the lymphatic system. Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma are the 2 types of lymphoma. There are more than 70 types of lymphoma classified under these 2. Lymphoma can affect any part of the lymphatic system including lymph nodes, thymus, bone marrow, tonsils, and spleen.

Myelodysplastic Syndrome (MDS)

This condition affects the white blood cells in the bone marrow. It causes your body to produce too many immature cells that multiply and crowd out healthy and mature cells. Myelodysplastic syndrome can progress slowly or fast and can lead to leukemia.

Platelet Disorders

Blood plates respond first when you have an injury or a cut. They fill the injured site and create a plug to stop bleeding and blood loss. Platelet disorder is caused by various abnormalities, for instance, having very few platelets which is dangerous because even a small injury can lead to excessive bleeding. Too many platelets can cause blood clots which can block arteries leading to heart attacks or strokes. Platelets that do not clot properly can lead to excessive blood loss. Platelets that don’t clot properly are deformed.

 

Although blood cell disorders affect the functioning of your blood cells, you can manage the conditions through various treatment options. The treatment plan is based on your age, cause of the illness, and overall health. It is crucial to consult qualified health personnel like the best family medicine specialists Dubai clinics.

 

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