Hemolytic anemia is characterized by the destruction of erythrocytes in human blood. This concept includes many pathologies of various origins. Under normal conditions, the erythrocyte in the blood of a person lives from one hundred to one hundred and twenty-twenty days. In the presence of hemolytic anemia, the period of his life is greatly reduced, to about ten days. During the decay of erythrocytes on a large scale, bilirubin is formed. The amount of bilirubin in hemolytic anemia is poisonous for the whole organism.
Hemolytic anemia is of an acquired character or an innate nature.
Acquired anemia is associated with immune mechanisms, poisoning with chemicals (this includes various poisons, heavy metals and acids), vitamin E vitamin deficiency and hypovitaminosis, with infectious diseases and with physical overload after heart surgery.
Congenital hemolytic anemia is associated with such diseases as ovalocytosis, dentocytosis, spherocytosis. Similarly, hemolytic anemia can develop and be considered congenital with enzymatic inferiority and dysfunction of metabolic processes in erythrocytes or broken structure of hemoglobin molecules.
Hemolytic anemia congenital may manifest itself in different ways. All symptoms depend on the severity of the disease and its type. Since birth, hemolytic anemia may not manifest at all, and the symptoms will appear only in adolescence. Periodically, the patient has dizziness, general weakness of the body, decreased performance and completely unmotivated spasmodic ups and downs of body temperature. Periods of exacerbation of the disease are followed by periods of improvement in general condition. At later stages of hemolytic anemia, yellowing of the skin and mucous membrane can be observed.
During the examination, the doctor can detect an increase in the spleen and liver of the patient. These are obvious signs of hemolytic anemia.
At the older age, hemolytic anemia is manifested by the clogging of small vessels with "glued" red blood cells and trophic ulcers that do not survive long periods of time, which appear mainly on the lower limbs of the patient.
Acquired types of hemolytic anemia are both acute and chronic. In acute disease, the patient has sudden attacks of weakness, dyspnea, and rapid heartbeat. The skin appears yellow, the patient is febrile. In the same way, the liver and spleen are enlarged in size. If the hemolytic anemia occurs in a chronic form, all of these symptoms occur in increasing order for a fairly long time.
To diagnose hemolytic anemia, a general blood test is appointed, which shows signs of anemia and irregularities in the forms and sizes of red blood cells. It happens that with hemolytic anemia, the number of leukocytes in the patient's blood also sharply increases, while in erythrocytes the rate of their subsidence drastically decreases. The number and functionality of platelets in hemolytic anemia almost always remains normal.
Further, a biochemical blood test is appointed, which indicates an increase in the amount of bilirubin. Also, bilirubin can be found in the urine and feces of the patient, by conducting appropriate studies. And to confirm the diagnosis, the hematologist prescribes a laboratory examination of the patient's bone marrow - a puncture, where in the presence of hemolytic anemia, you can clearly see active growth processes.
Hemolytic anemia has no special prerequisites that could be prevented. Therefore, the main and only preventive method of this disease is the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. And if there is a predisposition to an anemia of a hereditary nature, it is necessary to categorically reject all bad habits.
All methods of treatment of hemolytic anemia are determined by a variety of the disease. For example, if anemia is caused by malarial infectious agents, then drugs with antimalarial action are used for treatment. If hemolytic anemia is caused by poisonous substances, it is treated with detoxification therapy, and an antidote is administered.
Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is treated with hormonal drugs of the adrenal cortex, which are designed to suppress immune processes in the body.
If hereditary hemolytic anemia of a variety of microspherocytosis is detected and diagnosed, treatment is performed exclusively by a surgical method - an operation is performed to remove the spleen. But, the operation is prescribed only after an ineffective and prolonged treatment with medications. During acute and frequent attacks of hemolytic anemia blood transfusion is prescribed, with a thorough check of donor blood.