Types of blood disorders

Blood Disorders – Everything You Need to Know!

The various types of blood disorders can range from mild to severe and impact the condition of your blood. These disorders can lead to unexplained fatigue and weight loss, two common symptoms.

A majority of blood disorders can be attributed to mutations in parts of specific genes that have been passed down in families, which most likely decrease the amount or function of certain cells, proteins and other nutrients.

What is a blood disorder?

A blood disorder is any condition that impacts one or more aspects of the blood, usually interfering with its ability to operate properly. The name of a disorder often relates to the part or parts of the bloodstream that are impacted.

There are different types of blood disorders that lead to a decreased number or function of blood components. They are categorized as follows:

  • Anemia is a condition that can affect an individual’s blood cells. If so, then this could be characterized as having anemia.

  • Leukopenia – if the disorder affects white blood cells

  • Thrombocytopenia – if the disorder concerns platelets

Categories of blood disorders that increase blood components are:

  • Erythrocytosis is the medical term for increased production of red blood cells so if the disorder involves this, they should use it.

  • Leukocytosis is a condition marked by an abnormally high level of leukocytes (white blood cells).

  • Thrombocythemia or thrombocytosis – if the disorder concerns platelets.

Types of white blood cell disorders

White blood cells help the body fight infection. They all begin life in the bone marrow and develop into different types of cells, each having a different immune purpose.

The major types are:

  • Neutrophils are white blood cells that destroy bacteria and viruses.

  • Lymphocytes are one of the four types of blood cells in the human body and they protect the body against viruses.

  • Monocytes or macrophages are cells that eat dead or inactive bacteria, viruses, and fungus.

  • Basophils and eosinophils are part of the immune system that protects the body from allergic reactions and helps in fighting parasites.

While not all types of white blood cells are impacted by this type of disorder, the neutrophils and lymphocytes get affected the most. This is different from other disorders that only affect one or two specific types:​.

Most white blood cell cancers are either tumors or an over-production of cells.

With proliferative disorders, the number of white blood cells in your bloodstream rapidly increases. This can be caused by an infection or sometimes cancerous tumors in the bone marrow.

Anaemia, on the other hand, is due to a reduction in white blood cell count. It usually occurs because of:

  • illness

  • infection

  • toxin exposure

  • certain medications, such as corticosteroids or chemotherapy

  • genetic mutations

There are three major types of blood cancer that affect white blood cells:

Lymphoma

There are two major types of lymphoma: Hodgkin’s and Non-Hodgkin. Lymphoma occurs when lymphocytes rapidly proliferate and change.

The American Cancer Society says that Non-Hodgkin lymphoma is one of the more common types of cancer in the US, responsible for about 4% of all cancer types. A study estimates that 74,680 new diagnoses will be made this year in the U.S. and 70% of people with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma live more than 5 years after their diagnosis.

Hodgkin’s lymphoma is much less common than non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. It affects around 5,000 people in the US per year, according to the American Cancer Society.

Leukemias

Leukemias are blood cancer that will develop white cells in the bone marrow, which will then affect the production of red blood cells and platelets. Acute leukemias can develop quickly while chronic ones occur gradually over time.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma society estimate that 60,300 people will be diagnosed with leukemia in 2019. Between 2007 and 2017, 64% of Americans diagnosed with leukemia managed to live for more than 5 years.

Myelomas

Myeloma is a cancer that affects the bone marrow and causes abnormal plasma cells to grow and form tumor-like masses. It’s most commonly found in the later stages of disease, which is called multiple myeloma. These abnormal plasma cells interfere with the development and function of other blood cells.”

From 2008-2014, around 50.7% of people with myeloma lived for at least 5 years after being diagnosed, according to the National Cancer Institute. Myelomas are rare in 2020 and represent 1.8% of all different types of cancerous tumors.

Treatment and diagnosis

A doctor most often diagnoses leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma with one of these tests:

  • A physical exam and the patient’s complete medical history

  • Blood tests

  • Urine tests

  • A bone marrow aspiration and biopsy is a procedure for removing bone marrow from the bone, testing it, and returning it.

  • Lumbar Punctures are commonly used to collect samples of spinal fluid (conducted by doctors) in order to detect any abnormalities or diseases.

  • Imaging tests, such as X-ray, CT, or PET scans, MRI, and ultrasound

Doctors usually diagnose and treat people with symptoms of aggressive or active blood cancers by using some mix of:

  • Chemotherapy

  • Radiation therapy

  • Surgery

  • Targeted drug therapies, or medications that work in conjunction with chemotherapy to either increase its effectiveness or target parts of cancer cells that chemo does not, are being used more than ever.

  • Stem cell transplants are becoming more and more prevalent in medical clinics. It involves infusions containing marrow cells that can form blood cells to replace the destroyed ones.

There are many types of red blood cell disorders that affect the human body. These disorders can cause varying symptoms and some may not show obvious signs and risks.

Anemias are among the most common blood disorders out there. The American Society of Hematology notes that over 3 million Americans are affected by these anemias every year.

The most common types are:

  • Some types of anemia, namely iron deficiency are caused by a lack of available iron in the body or difficulty absorbing the mineral.

  • Pregnancy-induced anemia is common during pregnancy and happens when the body requires more red blood cells than normal.

  • Vitamin-deficiency anemias are often caused by a vitamin B-12 or folate deficiency.

  • Other types of hemolytic anemia, such as non-inherited hemolytic anemias – where red blood cells are broken and destroyed in the bloodstream by injury, illness or medication – have been linked to infections by certain parasites.

  • Hemolytic anemias — when red blood cells break down or get destroyed quicker than the body can produce new ones.

  • Aplastic anemia is when the bone marrow stops producing enough blood cells.

Treatment and diagnosis

Anemia can be caused by other existing conditions, so when it is not well-defined, physicians will run tests.

  • Conduct a physical examination

  • Go through your family medical history and identify potential treatments.

  • To complete blood counts, for a reticulocyte count, and for a peripheral blood smear

  • The bone marrow aspiration and biopsy is used to collect a sample of bone marrow from the iliac crest, sacrum, or lower back.

 

The treatment for phasmophobia largely depends on the cause but usually includes:

  • Blood transfusions

  • Dietary changes

  • Surgery

  • Medications that stimulate bone marrow and red blood cell production have been gaining more recognition in recent years.

Here are some common types of platelet cell disorders.

Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a genetic condition caused by the lack of or defective clotting factors in someone’s blood. This often means that people with hemophilia bleed longer or excessively, both externally and internally, than others without the condition.

Hemophilia may be inherited from a person’s parents, but the National Hemophilia Foundation estimate that one third of cases develop spontaneously. Hemophilia is quite rare, affecting approximately 1 in 5,000 children born.

Von Willebrand disease

There’s a rare immune disorder caused by a lack of Von Willebrand Factor in the body, which is necessary for clotting. Most cases are not severe, but patients may require treatment if they sustain an injury or need surgery. There are many different types of platelet disorders, one of which is the excess production and release of platelets from the bone marrow to the bloodstream. This abundance of platelets can lead to an impairment in normal blood clotting.

Treatment and diagnosis

In order to diagnose various platelet conditions, most doctors will test:

  • Blood tests

  • Physical exam

  • Review medical history

To treat blood clotting disorders, it is standard practice for doctors to prescribe a course of replacement therapy to give patients the specific coagulation factors they are lacking.

Additional therapies include:

  • Desmopressin is a synthetic hormone that promotes the release of von Willebrand factor and factor VIII.

  • Antifibrinolytic drugs can help you prevent blood clots from breaking down

  • birth control medications are occasionally used to reduce heavy menstrual cycles

Additional treatment options include:

  • Blood transfusions

  • Corticosteroids may be useful in preventing the destruction of platelets.

  • Immunoglobulins could block the immune system so that it wouldn’t protect you anymore

  • Surgery to remove the spleen is an option in more severe cases.

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Symptoms of a blood disorder

If you’re experiencing symptoms it’s important to know that they depend on what part of the body is affected, how severe the condition is and just how far it’s spread.

Most people with a significant blood disorder tend to feel unwell with no obvious cause.

White blood cell disorders signs include:

  • Reoccurring infections

  • An injury that does not heal or heals very slowly

  • Unexplained fatigue or exhaustion.

  • Weight loss

Symptoms of red blood cell disorders include:

  • Unexplained fatigue or exhaustion.

  • Shortness of breath

  • Muscle weakness

  • Light-headedness or dizziness

  • Rapid heartbeat

  • One of the most common short-term effects is difficulty concentrating and remembering things.

Signs of platelet and clotting disorders include:

  • The body sometimes fails to form clots or stop blood flow at certain wounds

  • Injuries that are slow to heal and reopen

  • Unexplained bruising or chapping skin

  • Bleeding from the nose, gums, gastrointestinal system or urogenital system.

Conclusion

Various symptoms are possible depending on the type of blood disorder a person has, but they usually include general feelings of unwellness without an apparent cause, exhaustion that is unexplained for the person’s workload, and unexplained weight loss.

Please call Superior Compounding Pharmacy in Plymouth Michigan to speak with one of our licensed pharmacists today at 734-404-6065. We can help answer any medication questions that you may have.