All You Need To Know About Type Of Blood Diseases
Blood conditions refer to the malfunctioning of the blood cells due to different causes. There are many types of blood disorders that disturb the functions of blood cells by interfering with the number of proteins, nutrients, and platelets.
Read further to know the blood disorder symptoms and types of blood disorders
Types of blood disorders
The three main components of blood are the Red Blood Cells (RBC), White Blood Cells (WBC), and Platelets. Red blood cells are very tiny disc shaped cells. Their primary function is to carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues and transport carbon dioxide from tissues to the lungs. Each RBC has about 280 million molecules of haemoglobin that is essential for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide to maintain a balance.
White blood cells are of five types, namely neutrophils, monocytes, basophils, eosinophils and lymphocytes. They are the part of the body's immune system that helps fight infection and other diseases. The blood undergoes several pathways with the help of clotting factors to form a blood clot. Platelets or thrombocytes are essential for blood clotting mechanisms. When any of these blood cells are not working properly, it results in the following blood conditions:
1. Red blood cell disorders
a. Iron deficiency Anaemia:
Iron deficiency anaemia occurs when the body breaks down iron faster and when the demand for iron is higher than what is available in the body for absorption.
Megaloblastic anaemia is a type of blood disorder that occurs due to deficiency of folic acid or vitamin B12 or due to impaired metabolism of folic acid. Lack of Vitamin B12 and folic acid hinders the synthesis of DNA which are essential for producing healthy red blood cells.
c. Haemolytic anaemia:
Haemolytic anaemia is caused due to shortened lifespan of red blood cells. This type of blood disease occurs when the breakdown rate of RBCs is faster than the production rate. In this type of blood disorder the bone marrow is unable to make enough red blood cells to replace the destroyed cells.
d. Aplastic anaemia:
Aplastic anaemia is a rare but serious blood disease that occurs due to inadequate production of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in the bone marrow. This type of blood disease is caused due to the damage in the stem cells inside bone marrow.
e. Sickle cell anaemia:
Sickle cell anaemia is a genetic blood disorder where an abnormality in the haemoglobin causes the blood cells to become rigid and sickle-shaped. In this type of blood disease, the red blood cells become sticky and crescent moon-shaped that gets stuck in small blood vessels and blocks the flow of blood and oxygen to different parts of the body. This causes long-term pain, swelling of the extremities, anaemia and increased risk of bacterial infections.
Haemoglobin is the iron-containing protein in the red blood cells that facilitates to carry blood to all the organs, and when it is deficient, it leads to anaemia. Defects in the gene forming haemoglobin result in blood conditions like Thalassemia. This type of blood disease is characterized by less haemoglobin and fewer red blood cells in the body than normal.
- Alpha thalassemia:
Haemoglobin carries two alpha chains from the father and two from the mother. When one or more of these alpha chains do not function efficiently, it results in a condition called alpha thalassemia. The number of chains impaired indicates the severity of this condition. if only one of the alpha chains is damaged, the person does not experience any symptoms and is regarded as a silent carrier.
- Beta thalassemia:
Beta thalassemia is a hereditary disorder that is characterized by reduced haemoglobin production. Haemoglobin has two beta chains, each inherited from a parent, and when these chains undergo genetic changes, it results in beta-thalassemia. When only one beta chain is affected, the condition is referred to as thalassemia minor and if two of them are affected, it is thalassemia major.
2. White blood cell disorders
a. Myelodysplastic syndrome:
Myelodysplastic syndrome is one of the types of blood disorders of the white blood cells, where the bone marrow produces immature blood cells. These immature blood cells often die earlier than normal cells, resulting in lack of healthy blood cells.
Neutropenia is a condition referring to insufficient amount of white blood cells to fight off infections. This occurs when the neutrophils of your white blood cells are too low in number.
3. Platelet disorders
This type of blood disease is characterized by decreased number of platelets due to autoimmune disease.
In this type of blood disorder, the platelets are produced in excess, which results in over bleeding as well as clotting.
(c) Platelet Dysfunction disorders:
Platelet dysfunction disorders are blood conditions where the number of platelets in the blood are sufficient but do not function properly.
4. Genetic Platelet disorders
Inherited platelet disorders occur when the clotting factors or proteins are deficient or impaired due to damage in the DNA. Some of them include:
a. Glanzmann thrombasthenia:
Glanzmann thrombasthenia refers to the impaired functioning of platelets that leads to defects in blood clot formation. In this condition, the platelets are present in the body, but lack proper functioning due to the absence of certain proteins on their surface.
b. Bernard-Soulier syndrome:
Bernard-Soulier syndrome is a rare genetic clotting disorder that is a result of unusually large platelets. It affects the platelets' ability to pass through damaged blood vessels and inhibits its blood clotting function. The platelets that are present lack the proteins on the surface that helps them stick together.
Haemophilia is a genetic disorder characterized by the body’s inability to form blood clots. This results in prolonged bleeding after an injury. There are two types of haemophilia. Haemophilia A results from insufficient clotting factor VIII and Haemophilia B due to lack of clotting factor IX. Haemophilia A is more common.
Men with haemophilia will pass this gene to their daughters and not sons. Women with haemophilia tend to pass this gene to both sons and daughters.
d. Von Willebrand disorder (VWD):
Von Willebrand disorder refers to the problems in a protein called Von Willebrand factor that controls bleeding. This is passed from parent to child due to disturbance in genes, and it equally affects males and females. People with this blood condition usually experience little to no symptoms except during injury or surgery. Some people have bleeding episodes and, in severe cases, have bled into muscles and joints.
Listing Out Some Commonly Asked QnA Section
1. What are the possible signs indicating genetic platelet disorders?
- Gum bleeding
- Nose bleeds
- Bruising easily
- Prolonged period of bleeding even with a minor cut
- Heavy and long menstrual cycles
- Internal bleeding into muscles and joints.
- Red or purple spots on the skin
- Excessive bleeding after injury, surgery and childbirth
2. What are the symptoms of White blood disorder?
- Breathlessness or chest pain
- Frequent infections
- Sore throat
- Sneezing and runny nose
- Stomach problems
- Flushed skin
- Frequent and burning urination
- Redness and pain in the body
3. What are the common red blood disorder symptoms?
- Tiredness or weakness
- Pale or yellowish skin
- Faintness or dizziness
- Increased thirst
- Weak and rapid pulse, rapid breathing
- Shortness of breath
- Lower leg cramps
- Heart-related symptoms (abnormal heart rhythms, heart murmur, enlarged heart, heart failure)
4. Do you know what are the blood infection types?
- Blood infections, also known as sepsis, can be categorized into different types based on the source of infection or the causative microorganisms. The main types of blood infections are bacterial sepsis, fungal sepsis, parasitic sepsis, and polymicrobial sepsis.
Stay aware and stay healthy
Blood is the most important component of your body to carry out essential body functions. Therefore, any blood-related abnormality should not be taken lightly as the consequences could be disastrous. The severity of blood abnormality depends on the type of blood disease. Early detection and treatment could be beneficial to prevent long-term health complications.