Last updated date: 09-Jun-2023
Originally Written in English
Blood disease is a disorder that interferes with the blood's capacity to function properly. There are several types, and the symptoms vary depending on each form. However, unexplained tiredness and weight loss are two common signs.
Most blood diseases reduce or interfere with the quantity and function of cells, platelets, proteins, and nutrients in the blood. A number of these problems occur due to abnormalities in certain gene sections that can pass down across generations. Blood problems can also be caused by a variety of medical illnesses, drugs, and lifestyle factors.
Types of Blood Disease
Hematologists often diagnose and treat a variety of blood diseases. Some are benign (non-cancerous), while others are cancers of the blood. One or more of the three main types of blood cells that may be involved; red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. They can also include clotting proteins in the blood. However, not every blood issue necessitates medical attention.
The following are the most common blood diseases;
- Red blood cell diseases
The red blood cells in the body are affected by red blood cell diseases. These are blood cells that transport oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. In addition, these disorders can affect both children and adults and come in a number of forms.
Examples of red blood cells diseases are;
One common form of red blood cell disease is anemia. This condition is typically caused by a deficiency of the mineral iron in a person’s blood. Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin. This is a protein that helps red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to other body parts.
Anemia comes in a variety of forms, such as;
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Aplastic anemia
- Pernicious anemia
- Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
- Sickle cell anemia
This refers to a set of blood diseases that are passed down through the generations. Genetic mutations that impair the normal manufacture of hemoglobin cause these diseases. Oxygen does not reach all body parts when red blood cells don’t have sufficient hemoglobin. Organs are unable to operate properly as a result.
These conditions can lead to:
- Abnormalities of the bones
- Spleen enlargement
- Heart issues
- Delayed development and growth in children
A gene mutation causes polycythemia, a thick blood disease, which is a form of blood cancer. Normally, the bone marrow produces a lot of red blood cells in people with polycythemia. Blood thickens and moves more slowly; as a result, putting one at risk for blood clots. This can lead to heart attacks or even strokes.
- White blood cell diseases
Leukocytes (white blood cells) aid in the body's defense against illness and foreign matter. White blood cell abnormalities can impair your immune system and your ability to fight illness. Both adults and children might be affected by these illnesses.
Examples of while blood diseases are;
Leukemia is a form of blood cancer that occurs when malignant white blood cells grow in the bone marrow of the body. Acute or chronic leukemia is both possible. However, chronic leukemia progresses more gradually than acute leukemia.
Lymphoma is a type of blood cancer that affects the lymphatic system. The white blood cells are changing and growing uncontrollably. The two most common kinds of lymphoma are Hodgkin's lymphoma and non-lymphoma.
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS):
Myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) is a disease that affects the bone marrow's white blood cells. The body creates an excessive number of blasts (immature cells). The blasts grow in number, crowding out healthy and mature cells. The progression of the myelodysplastic syndrome can be slow or rapid. It can progress to leukemia in some cases.
- Platelets diseases
When you experience a cut or other injury, blood platelets are usually the first to respond. They congregate at the wounded site, forming a temporary stopper to prevent blood loss. The blood may show one of three abnormalities if you have a platelet disorder; insufficient platelets, too many platelets, and those that do not clot accordingly.
Platelet abnormalities are generally genetic, meaning they are passed down from generation to generation. Examples of these disorders are;
Hemophilia: This is the most well-known blood clotting condition that mostly affects men. Too much and prolonged bleeding is the most dangerous complication associated with hemophilia. This form of bleeding may occur within or out of your body.
Von Willebrand disease: This is the most prevalent inheritable bleeding problem. It's caused by a lack of von Willebrand factor, a protein that aids in blood clotting.
Primary thrombocythemia: Primary thrombocythemia is a very uncommon thin blood disease that causes excessive blood clotting. You're more likely to get a stroke or a heart attack as a result of this. When the bone marrow generates too many platelets, this condition arises.
Acquired platelet function disease: Platelet function can be impaired by some medicines and health conditions. Make sure to discuss all of your prescriptions with your doctor, including any over-the-counter meds you pick.
Signs and Symptoms of Blood Disease
The degree and extent of the illness, as well as the section of the blood or organs that are affected, determine the symptoms. The majority of patients with serious blood diseases, on the other hand, have a general sense of being ill for no obvious reason.
The following are symptoms of white blood cell disorders:
- Regular infections
- Wounds that don't heal or heal slowly
- Weight loss
The following are symptoms of red blood cell disorders;
- Breathing problems
- Light-headedness or dizziness
- A fast heartbeat
- Muscle weakness
- Difficulties remembering and concentrating
The following are symptoms of platelet and clotting disorders:
- Having trouble forming blood clots or regulating bleeding at wounds
- Injuries that take a long time to heal or reopen
- Bruising that isn't explained or skin that bruises easily
- Bleeding from the mouth, nose, gastrointestinal system, and sometimes the urogenital system
Blood disease diagnosis
To diagnose the common and rarest blood disease, the doctor can conduct a complete blood count (CBC) to determine how many of every form of blood cell the patient has. He or she can also recommend a bone marrow biopsy to see if any abnormal cells are growing in the marrow. A little sample of bone marrow will be extracted for further testing.
Blood Disease Treatment Options
The type of treatment for the common and rare blood disease you receive is determined by the source of the disease, age, and overall health. To help address your blood cell issue, the hematologist may employ a combination of treatments such as;
With a platelet disease, pharmacological options are drugs like Nplate (romiplostim). This helps stimulate the bone marrow to create more platelets.
On the other hand, antibiotics that help fight infection can be used to treat white blood cell diseases. Anemia caused by dietary deficiencies can be treated with dietary supplements like iron and vitamin B-9 or vitamin B-12.
- Surgical procedure
Bone marrow transplants can help to restore or replace marrow that has been destroyed. These procedures entail transplanting stem cells to the body, normally from a donor, in order to assist your bone marrow in creating standard blood cells.
Another alternative for replacing lost or damaged blood cells is a blood transfusion. You will get an infusion of healthy blood normally from a donor during a blood transfusion.
Both techniques must meet specified criteria to be successful. Also, bone marrow donors should have a genetic profile that matches or is as similar to yours as possible. A suitable blood type is necessary for blood transfusions.
Blood cell malignancies that have not yet shown symptoms may not necessitate treatment beyond observation. Doctors normally use a combination of treatments to treat persons with aggressive or active blood malignancies. They include;
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted drug therapy; refers to drugs that help chemotherapy drugs work better or that destroy components of cancerous cells that chemotherapy medicines don't.
- Stem cell transplants; infusions of bone marrow cells capable of producing blood cells are used to repair damaged cells.
Blood Disease Outlook
Because there are so many different types of blood abnormalities, an experience with one of them may be very different from someone else's. The best way to ensure that you lead a healthy and full life with a blood disease is to get diagnosed and treated early.
Treatment side effects differ based on the individual. To determine the best treatment for you, conduct some research and talk to your doctor. Also, joining a support group or finding a counselor to help you cope with any emotional stress related to your blood disorder is beneficial.
Many blood diseases can damage white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets, among other blood components. Symptoms can vary depending on the form of blood disease a person has. However, the most common include feeling unwell for no apparent reason, unexplained tiredness, and weight loss.
Treatments of blood disease vary based on the kind and severity of the illness. Nonetheless, chemotherapy or radiation therapy is frequently used.