A disorder where the body produces substances that destroy about 40% of the red blood cells in the body -Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

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Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is an immune disorder where the body produces substances that destroy about 40% of the blood in the body which is the red blood cells. The body needs red blood cells to provide oxygen for body tissues. When there are insufficient red blood cells in the body, the condition is known as anemic.

Blood cells are basically made up of red blood cells which are responsible for conveying oxygen to all parts of the body, the white blood cells function is to combat infections in the body while the platelets contain or prevent bleeding within the body. In situations where the antibodies attach to the red blood cells are not recognized by the body, they are seen as foreign substances and get destroyed resulting in anemia.

Causes
The following are some of the causes: thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, respiratory viruses, lupus, prolong kidney disease, cancer and other conditions that weaken the immune system. In many cases, the antibodies and anemia go away once the infections have resolved.

Symptoms
The common symptoms are: breathing difficulty, fatigue or tiredness, dark urine, pale appearance, excessive heartbeat, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, yellow skin, muscular pains and so on.

Diagnosis
It can be diagnosed using a number of blood and urine tests including: Direct Coombs test to check for antibodies that are stuck to the patient’s red blood cells. Indirect Coombs test to check for any free-flowing antibodies present in the body that are against certain red blood cells. Hemoglobin test to show details of its content in the urine Red blood cell count (RBC): to determine how many red blood cells are in the body Serum hemoglobin: to determine the level of free hemoglobin in the liquid part of the blood. Reticulocyte: to measure the amount of immature red blood cells.
Serum bilirubin levels: to find the level of pigment found in bile which is produced by the liver. Serum haptoglobin: to determine how fast the red blood cells are being destroyed Cold agglutinins test: to determine the cause of the clumping of the red blood cells.

Treatment
Firstly, the cause of the infections or diseases must be treated through medications. Surgery (particularly removal of spleen) may be required if the drugs proved ineffective. The spleen is responsible for removing abnormal red blood cells from the bloodstream, including those with antibodies attached. By removing the spleen, those red blood cells can be preserved, helping to prevent anemia. Blood transfusion is another treatment option where the patient’s blood will be withdrawn and replaced with a fresh blood.

Immunosuppressive therapy is another treatment option used for severe cases. Steps to reduce the risk Stay away from cold, maintain and live in a warm environment or putting on a warm cloth, avoid contact with people with the infections, washing of hands with soap after visiting toilet and getting vaccinated as recommended.



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