Difficulty In Breathing, Fatigue Can Be Symptoms Of This Blood Disorder

Myelodysplastic syndrome is a serious blood disorder which can have life-threatening consequences. Read to know symptoms and cause of this syndrome.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: Sep 04, 2021Updated at: Sep 04, 2021
Difficulty In Breathing, Fatigue Can Be Symptoms Of This Blood Disorder

Blood disorders can be very troublesome and harmful to health. It can cause multiple problems at once which can lead to serious complications. Blood disorders can hard to treat and require immediate medical attention in most of the cases. One such condition is of myelodysplastic syndrome. This is a blood disorder in which the blood cells are not able to function properly that leads to many health problems. This syndrome can cause spongy material inside your bones where the blood cells are present resulting to certain types of transfusions and bone marrow disorders. Today we will understand about myelodysplastic syndrome in detail and know about its causes, symptoms and complications.

What Is Myelodysplastic Syndrome?

According to Dr. Sneha Pandit, Senior Haematologist at Ivory Hospital, Greater Noida, myelodysplastic syndrome is a group of blood disorder that is caused in blood cells. This blood disorder can make the cells insufficient to do their work because of which there can be problem with other bodily functions as well. It affects the blood cells present in the bone marrow and other bones of your body and makes them soggy by attacking the healthy blood cells which can make you disabled. This can happen if the treatment is not available on time and the blood transfusion does not happen. Stem cell transplant is the only treatment option for this syndrome and the donor should be healthy and willing to donate his stem cells to treat bone marrow.

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Symptoms of Myelodysplastic Syndrome

People who suffer from this blood disorder do not experience symptoms in the initial phase. It is when the disorder gets serious and spread to a area, people get symptoms of myelodysplastic syndrome. The usual symptoms are-

  • Fatigue 
  • Shortness of breath
  • Paleness on skin because of reduction in red blood cells
  • Red spots just beneath your skin (mostly where bleeding occurs)
  • Frequent and tendency of infection because of lower white blood cells in the body
  • Usual or frequent bleeding that is because of low blood platelet count

What Causes Myelodysplastic Blood Disorder?

Bone marrow is responsible to make healthy new blood cells that get matured over time. This blood syndrome disrupts this process and does not let new production of blood cells in the body. This makes the count of cells low and functions slowly. It also results in many frequent infections due to lack of white blood cells in the body. Blood cells are not able to mature and die just after entering the blood stream. 

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This increases over time and it reaches a condition where there are more defective cells than healthy cells leading to problems such as fatigue, anaemia, infection, blood clotting, leukopenia etc. In majority of condition the exact cause behind this remains unknown. On rare occasions it was observed that it can also happen because of cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy etc.

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Types of Myelodysplastic Syndrome

According to World Health Organisation, myelodysplastic syndrome can be divided into sub-categories based on the types of blood cells it damages. It can be red blood cells, white blood cells or platelets.

1. Single-lineage dysplasia- In this condition, only one type of blood cells gets affected. Myelodysplastic syndrome with single lineage dysplasia targets any of the three cells. This leads to abnormal appearance of that cells when observed under the microscope.

2. Multilineage dysplasia- This involves affecting two or three types of cells present in the bone marrow. Both of them will look abnormal under microscope.

3. Ring Sideroblasts- This type of myelodysplastic syndrome involves a very low number of one or more types of blood cells. In ring sideroblasts, existing red blood cells present in the bone marrow contain rings of iron.

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4. Myelodysplastic syndrome with isolated del(5q) chromosome abnormality- People who get this type of syndrome have low number of red blood cells in the body. This affects their DNA mutation as well.

5. Myelodysplastic syndrome with excess blasts- In excess blasts basically any three of the blood cells types can be low. This depends on the immaturity of the blood cells, only the mature ones are found in the blood cells rest most of them are affected by this syndrome.

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Complications Involved In Myelodysplastic Syndrome

You can have reduced number of red blood cells in the body that can cause anemia. This disease can make you tired very quickly.

Recurrent infections are caused because of decrease in amount of white blood cells in the body. This lack of white blood cells can become an invitation for many diseases and infections in the body which may further complicate your health system.

Excessive Bleeding can happen if there are not sufficient platelets left in the body to stop your blood from bleeding. You can faint in this situation and injure yourself.

It also increases the risk of cancer because myelodysplastic syndrome eventually develops cancer in the bone marrow that affects the blood cells adversely. This can cause life-threatening consequences. 

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