Aplastic Anemia – The Symptoms and Potential Causes of Aplastic Anemia
Aplastic anemia is an extremely rare disorder in which the ability of the body’s bone marrow to reproduce blood cells has been damaged. The red blood cells which are produced by the bone marrow help carry the oxygen throughout your body as well removing the carbon dioxide from your cells. The white cells are what help us in preventing or fighting off infections while the blood platelets help us by “clotting” or sticking together to stop bleeding.
In an individual who has aplastic anemia, the stem cells of the bone marrow are damaged to the point where they can no longer produce these healthy cells. In this medical guide on Anemia, you will learn symptoms which may be experienced with aplastic anemia and what sometimes causes this disorder.
The Potential Causes of Aplastic Anemia
There are some cases in which aplastic anemia is inherited, however, this is extremely rare and it is typically acquired from various medical conditions which include cancer treatments that utilize chemotherapy and radiation as a form of treatment which not only kills the cancer cells, but also healthy cells including the stem cells within the bone marrow.
This form of anemia can also be caused when an individual is exposed to certain toxins such as pesticides, benzene, and arsenic, as well as when taking certain antibiotic and rheumatoid arthritis medications. Aplastic anemia has also been acquired in some individuals who have had viral infections such as hepatitis, parvovirus B19, HIV, cytomegalovirus, and Epstein-Barr.
Symptoms which may be caused by Aplastic Anemia
The most common symptom associated with aplastic anemia is feeling consistently weak and tired which is caused by an insufficient amount of red blood cells or hemoglobin within the red blood cells which is responsible for the oxygen being carried to the body. This condition can also cause dizziness, headache, shortness of breath, cold hands and feet.
When the white blood cells become low the body is more susceptible to viral infections such as influenza which tends to last longer and occur more frequently than in individuals with a normal blood count. A low platelet count causes an individual to bleed more easily and typically causes frequent nose bleeds, bleeding of the gums, and bleeding which is hard to stop when injured.