What is Hemolytic Anaemia?

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Mar 14, 2013
Quick Bites

  • The bone marrow is responsible for the production of red blood cells.
  • Hemolytic anemia typically deals with the red blood cells.
  • There are two types of Hemolytic Anaemia.
  • Symptoms include light headedness, fatigue and fever.

Anemia is an abnormally low level of red blood cells. Hemolytic anemia is the general name for any type of anemia that occurs because red blood cells are being destroyed too quickly.

The bone marrow in you is responsible for the production of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets.  Hemolytic anemia concerns with the red blood cells. Red blood cells are disc-shaped cells that contain hemoglobin and carry oxygen in the blood. Under normal circumstances, red blood cells are produced in the bone marrow and released into the bloodstream, where they circulate for 110 to 120 days. At the end of this period, the old red cells normally are removed from the blood by the spleen and liver. In people with hemolytic anemia, red blood cells have an abnormally short life span.

understanding anaemia

Types of Hemolytic Anaemia

There are many types of hemolytic anemia and the condition can be inherited or even acquired. By inherited we mean that the parents passed the gene which is responsible for your condition. Bu acquired of course it means that you were not born with the problem, but in fact you had developed it.

Inherited Hemolytic Anaemia

When talking of inherited hemolytic anaemias we mean that one or more of your genes that are responsible for controlling the production of red blood cells are faulty. This is when you can face complications with haemoglobin, cell membrane and even enzymes for that matter. These keep your red blood cells healthy and fit.

The cells tend to be fragile and can break down when moving through your bloodstream. When this happens, an organ known as spleen remove the cell debris from your bloodstream.

Acquired Hemolytic Anaemia

In this case the red blood cells in your body could be in a normal state, but some other disease factor could cause the body to destroy the red blood cells and then it could remove them from your bloodstream. This destruction of the red blood cells occurs in your bloodstream or what is more commonly known as spleen.

what is Hemolytic Anaemia

Causes of Hemolytic Anaemia

At the start, the immediate cause for this anaemia is the early destruction of red blood cells, which means that red blood cells are destroyed and removed from your bloodstream before their normal lifespan.

Inherited Hemolytic Amaemia

As discussed the red blood cells are faulty, and different types of faulty red blood cell gene from one or both parents cause different types of inherited hemolytic amaemia. In each type the body makes abnormal red blood cells and the problem with the red blood cells may involve haemoglobin, cell membrane or enzymes that maintain a healthy red blood cells. These abnormal cells could be fragile and break down while moving through the bloodstream. These cells could be fragile and can break down when moving through the bloodstream, and when this happens, the spleen may remove the cell debris from your bloodstream.

Acquired Hemolytic Anemias

In this case the body makes normal red blood cells but a disease, a condition, or other factors destroy the cells. Some examples are:

•  Immune disorders
•  Infections
•  Reactions to medicines or blood transfusions
•  Hypersplenism or an enlarged spleen

Some telltale symptoms of anaemia are light headedness, paleness of the skin, fatigue and fever. You must get diagnosed at the earliest for swift treatment.

Read more articles on Hemolytic Anaemia.

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