What is Blood Disorder?
Blood disorders are conditions that affect the blood’s ability to function properly. Blood disorders are divided into several types with different symptoms. However, the most common symptoms of blood disorders include unexplained fatigue and weight loss for no apparent reasons.
Most cases of blood disorders can reduce the number of cells, protein, platelets, and nutrients in the blood and affect their functions. Many blood disorders are caused by certain gene mutations that have the potential to run in families. Some underlying medical conditions, medications, and lifestyle are other factors that contribute to blood disorders.
Consult with a hematologist of your choice by using Smarter Health’s service to get the right treatment and find the best solution.
Causes of Blood Disorders
There are many factors that may cause blood disorders. The following are types of blood disorders that cause a decrease in blood components and affect their main function:
- Anemia, if the disorder involves red blood cells.
- Leukemia, if the disorder affects white blood cells.
- Thrombocytopenia, if the disorder occurs due to low blood platelet count.
In contrast, types of blood disorders that increase blood components include:
- Erythrocytosis, if the disorder involves red blood cells.
- Leukocytosis, if the disorder affects white blood cells.
- Thrombocythemia or thrombocytosis, if the disorder occurs due to low blood platelet count.
When to See A Doctor for Blood Disorder
Your doctor may also perform a bone marrow biopsy to identify any abnormal cells in your marrow. This procedure involves removing a small amount of bone marrow for testing.
Your doctor may diagnose leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma through:
- Urine test.
- Blood test.
- Bone marrow biopsy.
- Complete medical records.
- Comprehensive medical exam.
- Imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, PET scans, MRIs, and ultrasounds.
- Lumbar puncture (LP) — your doctor will collect spinal fluid for the exam.
Symptoms of Blood Disorders
Symptoms of blood disorders that appear will vary from person to person, depending on the underlying disease. Some of the symptoms of blood disorders are:
- Itchy skin.
- Pale skin.
- Chest pain.
- Shortness of breath.
- Bleeding gums.
- Night sweats.
- Nausea and stomachache
- Loss of appetite.
- Unusual bruising.
- Tiredness and weakness
- Confusion (difficulty focusing).
- Weight loss for no apparent reason
- Excessive thirst and increased urination
- Small red spots on your skin from damaged blood vessels
Treatment for Blood Disorders
Treatment plans will depend on the cause of your blood disorder, including your age and your overall health status. Your doctor may use a combination of treatments to help correct your blood cell disorder.
Several pharmacotherapy options include medications such as Nplate (romiplostim), which stimulates the bone marrow to produce more platelets if you have a platelet disorder.
For white blood cell disorders, antibiotics can help fight infection. Dietary supplements such as iron and vitamins B9 (folate) or B12 (cobalamin) can help treat anemia due to malnutrition.
Bone marrow transplants may repair or replace damaged bone marrow. These involve the removal of stem cells — usually from a donor to your body. The objective is to help the bone marrow produce normal blood cells.
Apart from bone marrow transplants, a blood transfusion is an alternative option to help your body replace blood cells that are lost or damaged. During a blood transfusion procedure, you will receive an infusion of healthy blood from a donor.
Both bone marrow transplant and blood transfusion require specific criteria in order to have successful and optimal results. Bone marrow donors should match or be as close to your genetic profile as possible. Meanwhile, blood transfusions require donors with compatible blood type.
Consult with your doctor to find out the treatment method that best suits your condition.
Treatment Costs for Blood Disorder
Treatment cost for blood disorder treatment may vary. Medication treatments cost lower than surgery. However, bone marrow transplants and blood transfusions may cost more.
The estimated cost may also depend on the series of tests performed, the hospitalization costs, and the consultation fees.
For more details regarding the treatment cost for blood disorders, contact Smarter Health.
Prevention of Blood Disorders
There are many causes of blood disorders, such as the underlying disease and genetic heredity. Congenital blood disorders are difficult to prevent, but it is possible.
You can prevent blood disorders by maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Consult your doctor regarding the right diet plan. You may include vegetables, fruits, nuts, dairy products, and other types of healthy foods into your diet.
You are also recommended to perform regular exercise and physical activity every day. That way, you can prevent blood disorders and maintain your overall health.
Home Remedies for Blood Disorders
The following are home-care treatments to lower the risk of complications, including:
- Eat high calcium foods. Calcium foods can be found in milk, eggs, spinach, etc. You should consume vitamin D to protect yourself from blood disorders. You can get vitamin D from morning sunlight exposure –simply spend at least 10 minutes.
- Eat bananas. Bananas, sweet potatoes, lentils, and beets can reduce symptoms of blood disorders. They contain folic acid which can help produce more red blood cells. You only need to eat two large bananas every day. Be sure to consult your doctor regarding your diet plan.
- Drink tulsi leaf juice. Tulsi or holy basil is very nutritious for your health. This herb is often associated with many health benefits, such as reducing stress, depression and anxiety, and is good for diabetics.
- Drink wheatgrass juice. Wheatgrass is a grass grown from wheat. This has many benefits, including as a natural treatment for treating blood disorders.
Early diagnosis and treatment is the best way to ensure that you live a healthy life without blood disorders. The side effects after treatment may vary from person to person. Consult your doctor to find the right treatment for you.
Joining a community or asking your counselor can help you in dealing with any emotional stress related to blood disorders.
Have questions about blood disorders? Write in the comment section below or consult a hematologist using Smarter Health’s teleconsultation service. With Smarter Health, you have easier access to public health services in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.