Acquired hemolytic anemia is the kind of anemia individuals are not born with but have acquired either by a disease or other trigger. Anemia destroys the oxygen-carrying red blood cells faster than the bone marrow can replace them. Typically, red blood cells are meant to last as many as 120 days in the system, but when you are anemic, these red blood cells may only last for a few days. When either the supply or quality of those red blood cells is compromised by anemia, we may find ourselves short of breath or tired from muscle fatigue when performing a physical activity because we can’t get enough oxygen. The causes of acquired hemolytic anemia may be temporary and curable when a doctor can identify and treat the cause. Discover some of the common causes of this disease now.
Through a Coombs test, clinicians can accurately determine if your red blood cells carry the chemicals that cue the spleen to incorrectly recognize them as the 'enemy,' thus subjecting them to autoimmune destruction. Acquired hemolytic anemia can occur because of cancer, specifically chronic lymphocytic leukemia and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Symptoms include weakness, fatigue, itching, abdominal pain, weight loss, and night sweats. Upon physical examination, diagnosticians may appreciate an enlarged spleen in the patient with leukemia or lymphoma.
As the disease progresses, cancerous cells may invade the lymph nodes, the intestinal tract, lungs, and kidneys. These symptoms may be complicated by the signs of anemia, which include fatigue, rapid heart rate, chest pain, dizziness, pale color, shortness of breath, chills, backache, and dark urine. With any of these debilitating symptoms, it is wise to be examined by a physician and a hematologist to detect and catch these conditions to receive treatment sooner rather than later.
Continue to learn about another common cause of acquired hemolytic anemia.