Blood Disorders

Blood Disorders and Diseases

The main function of the cardiovascular system, also known as the circulatory system, is to distribute oxygen, nutrients, and waste materials throughout the body by means of a network of veins, arteries, and capillaries. Blood serves as the transport medium, so that all the organs, tissues, and cells receive the materials they need to perform their functions and regulate the body’s health.

Blood is actually a mixture of several components: protein, water, carbohydrates, lipids, nutrients, and many other types of cells. Some common cells that are usually discussed and are present in the blood are red blood cells or erythrocytes, and white blood cells or leukocytes. Red blood cells help carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, with the help of their constituent, hemoglobin. On the other hand, white blood cells defend the body from pathogens and possible infections.

There are instances, however, when disorders in the blood and in the body’s circulation are encountered, due to several reasons. While some of them are not terminal and easily treatable, there are other blood related diseases that are fatal, with no definite cure as of the present.

Blood-disorder is the most common type of disease present in the world. It is present in many forms in human beings and it may go unnoticed in the people without any type of serious and conditional symptoms and causes. Disorders of the blood may be acquired or congenital. When a pregnant mother is afflicted with a blood or circulatory system disorder, chances are that she can transmit the disease to her unborn child.

Common Blood Disorders

There are many types of blood diseases. Listed below are some common diseases of the blood:

Blood Cell Diseases

There are certain blood diseases that are caused due to blood cell disorders.

Red Blood Cell Disorders

Certain blood disorders are caused by the reduced production of red blood cells. Red blood cells in our body do not last forever and are needed to be produced after some time, when the production of these red blood cells stops it causes blood disorders in the body of the human beings and may result in some serious disease. Iron deficiency may be another cause of the blood disorder because it also helps in the production of the red blood cells, it may also happen due to the direct depression of the bone marrow by some drugs. Examples of red blood cell disease include : Anemia, Thalassemia etc.

Anemia Blood Disorders

Anemia is a very common type of blood disorder. Its a condition which is often mistaken for a disease. In fact its the most common form of blood disorders i.e. anemia is present almost in every 3rd or 4th person in the world and many of them don’t know about it for the whole of their lives. A person acquires anemia when he or she has an iron deficiency in the blood, often reducing the levels of hemoglobin and affecting the blood’s ability to circulate oxygen effectively. Anemia can be defined, measured and discussed in various ways including the deficiency of red blood cells, low hemoglobin or low hematocrit. In the most common and the most important sense, anemia is too little hemoglobin. Women are also likely to have anemia whenever they experience heavy menstrual flows. There are some people who develop this condition as an allergic reaction to some medications. One can remedy this problem by supplementing iron in the diet, by eating green leafy vegetables, liver, whole wheat bread, beans, and lean meat. Anemia also causes a lot of fatigue.

Thalassemia

Thalassemia is a genetic blood disorder. Due to the genetic defects, a person suffering from this disease has problems synthesizing one of the globin chains that constitutes hemoglobin, the protein in the red blood cells that carry oxygen to all parts of the body. This causes abnormal hemoglobin molecules to be formed in the body, resulting in the reduction of the oxygen carrying capability of blood. Thus this blood disease symptoms are mainly anemia. This is primarily a type of Mediterranean blood disease as it is particularly prevalent among Mediterranean peoples. Thalassemia is treated with blood transfusions.

White Blood Cell Disorders

Leukopenia And Neutropenia

White blood cells are made up of different types of cells and are responsible for the person’s defenses against the infections. A reduction in the number of white blood cells is called leukopenia and a particular reduction in granulocytes is called neutropenia. The reduction in the number of white cells is very harmful for the person facing this problem as that person will be more open to the infections and the diseases and is more likely to get infected by offering very little resistance to the disease. Examples of white blood cell diseases include:

Blood Platelet Disorders/Blood Coagulation Disorders:

These are also called bleeding disorders.

Thrombosis

Blood in our body is found in the liquid state and normally when a person is injured or has surgery blood thickens up at that point and stops further bleeding of the blood. When the blood gets thick at some point in the body this is called blood clotting. Sometimes the blood clotting happens where it is not needed and instead of giving any advantage it causes problems; this is called thrombosis, one of the blood clotting diseases. This clot is not a good thing for the body and may result in trouble. If the clot breaks up and travels anywhere else in the circulation it is dangerous for the person and this process is called embolus.

Hemophilia

Hemophilia is a rare inherited or genetic blood disease. It is another type of blood clot disorders, in which the blood does not clot normally. People with Hemophilia lack a protein called the clotting factor. There are many types of clotting factor and these together with platelets help the blood clot. The clotting factors help the platelets stick together and thereby stop bleeding. Hence, a person with this blood clotting disease can bleed extensively and for a long time after an injury or accident. The bleeding can also be internal which can lead to further diseases, for example internal bleeding at the joints can cause arthritis while internal bleeding in the brain can be fatal. Hemophilia is mostly common amongst men. It is treated by injecting the missing clotting factor into the bloodstream. Besides being one of the genetic blood disorders or hereditary blood disorders, it can also be acquired.

Blood Pressure Disorders

High blood pressure disease, or hypertension, is experienced by persons who constantly eat fatty and cholesterol-rich foods. Because some of the cholesterol in the body ends up as deposits along the walls of blood vessels, it hinders normal blood flow. This causes the heart to pump extra hard to keep the blood mobilized. Tranquilizers, sedatives, and other blood vessel dilators are used to facilitate blood flow throughout the body and stabilize blood pressure. Some studies have shown that meditative practices help reduce blood pressure levels. For a more detailed explanation including high blood pressure symptoms please visit our section on High Blood Pressure.

When a blood vessel ruptures, a person may experience a nosebleed, which is a common condition to both children and adults. A nosebleed can also occur after a head or facial injury, and should be treated properly. One must apply pressure to the soft part of the nose, and stuffing the nostril with pieces of cotton. Know the basics of other diseases of blood and your alternatives for treating them.

Blood Infections:

In medical terminology, blood infection is known as systemic sepsis. Since blood travels to all parts of the body, this infection can spread everywhere in the body, leading to multiple organ failure and septic shock. Septic shock is life threatening because it a person's blood pressure drops severely and the kidney and lung stop functioning normally. This blood disorders symptoms include fever, weakness and as the disease worsens, a person experiences dizziness decreasing levels of consciousness, breathing difficulty and even cardiac arrest.

Blood infections are not contagious unless there is a blood to blood contact. They are different from blood borne disease like HIV etc.

Rare Blood Disorders:

Some rare blood diseases are

TTP Blood Disorder: TTP Blood Disease (Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura) is a rare blood coagulation disorder.

Factor 5 Blood Disorder/Factor Five Blood Disorder.

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