Aplastic anemia is both a rare and serious condition that occurs when the body stops producing enough blood cells. Due to the scarcity of both red and white blood cells and platelets, an affected person may experience extreme fatigue, be more prone to infections, and even bleed uncontrollably. While pregnancy, the constant exposure to toxic chemicals, undergoing radiation or chemotherapy treatments, and the use of certain medications and antibiotics serve as risk factors for some, oftentimes the cause of aplastic anemia is unable to be identified. While non-progressive, mild versions of aplastic anemia may not require any treatment, this isn’t true for more severe cases. Here are a few ways to treat aplastic anemia.
While blood transfusions are a primary option used to treat aplastic anemia, it is important to realize they do not serve as a cure, and will only relieve symptoms. During this procedure, patients receive parts of blood from a compatible donor. Transfusions for this condition raise the count of red blood cells and platelets. While patients can get as many transfusions as the body can handle, over time, their body may develop antibodies to transfused blood cells. This, in turn, can lessen the effects of the transfusion.
Those who plan to frequent this treatment option may consider taking an immunosuppressant to lower their body’s immune response and avoid this complication. The body may also accumulate access levels of iron via red blood cell transfusions. This overload can cause damage to vital organs if not handled early enough, though there are medications designed to rid the body of the excess iron.
Continue reading to learn about a transplant that can help with aplastic anemia.