Understanding Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a serious condition. It is a form of hemolytic anemia that occurs when the immune system attacks the body’s red blood cells. This causes the rapid destruction of the healthy cells. This will cause a decreased amount of hemoglobin, which is the iron-rich substance found in the red blood cells that transports oxygen throughout the body. Therefore, anemia symptoms arise.

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia symptoms can come on suddenly, or may slowly develop over time. The severity and symptoms depend on what causes the disorder. Usually, autoimmune hemolytic anemia is caused by an illness or ailment. Some of these include lymphoma, HIV, ovarian tumor, leukemia and syphilis. All of these illnesses effect the body’s immune system. When the immune system is not up to par, it can cause the attack on the red blood cells.

There are many different symptoms of autoimmune hemolytic anemia. Most are similar to other types of anemia. Fatigue, weakness and decreased energy are very common among autoimmune hemolytic anemia, just like with other types of anemia. The lack of oxygen is what causes the body to overwork and become tired and weak. Headache and lightheadedness are also common symptoms. The lack of oxygen to the brain will cause dizziness and possibly fainting. Some symptoms of autoimmune hemolytic anemia are sometimes overlooked are dark urine, cold skin and problems concentrating.

Treating autoimmune hemolytic anemia can sometimes involve numerous different treatment options. First, you would want to treat the underlying illness that has caused the weakened immune system. Doing so will help prevent the anemia symptoms from coming back. Next, you will need to use some form of treatment to get rid of the symptoms and heal the red blood cells. Corticosteroids are often used for this. They will heal any damage done and also send a message to the immune system to not attack the cells. Sometimes, a blood transfusion is needed. If the anemia is caused by blood loss, this is the best treatment option. This will replace the blood and therefore, replace the red blood cells and hemoglobin.

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a serious condition that can develop at any time. It is important to diagnose it right away to avoid further complications. If you notice any symptoms, you should speak with your doctor right away and start the treatment that best suits your needs.

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