If your body stops producing the required blood cells, you will be highly prone to infections and excess bleeding. The condition is termed aplastic anaemia. A person can develop aplastic anaemia, which is a severe and rare condition at any age. It will either present suddenly or progress over time. It also varies from mild to severe.
There are three plausible treatments for aplastic anaemia-
- Blood Transfusions
- Bone Marrow Transplant (Stem cell)
The bone marrow, which is a spongy thing inside your bones, stops the production of new blood cells, and you develop a rare yet treatable disease called aplastic anaemia. It can sometimes stop producing only one type of cell, but the count of all three - red and white blood cells and platelets is affected in most cases. If your blood count gets seriously low, it can be fatal.
Aplastic anaemia is often seen in people in their late teens or early 20s. Both genders have an equal risk of developing aplastic anaemia. People living in developing countries are more likely to develop the disease. There are two types, namely-
- Acquired aplastic anaemia
- Inherited aplastic anaemia
Your doctor will check which of the two you have. Genetics can cause inherited aplastic anaemia in children and young adults. A person with inherited anaemia is prone to diseases like leukaemia and various cancers, so it is vital to see a specialist from time to time.
Sometimes things like HIV, Epstein-Barr, viruses, specific medications, toxins, radiation or chemotherapy can trigger issues in the immune system. It leads to acquired aplastic anaemia, which is commonly seen in adults.
The three types of blood cells and each has a function to fulfil as follows-
- Oxygen is carried throughout the body by red blood cells.
- White blood cells provide a defence mechanism against infections.
- The platelets prevent and moderate bleeding.
The symptoms are based on which blood cells have a low count, but sometimes all three might be below. Common symptoms based on the cells are-
- Feeling tired
- Shortness of breath
- Paler skin
- Pain in chest
- Irregular heartbeats
- Bruises form quickly, and profuse bleeding
- Frequent nosebleeds
A test called complete blood count is suggested by the doctor when you go in with any of these symptoms. In addition, a bone marrow biopsy might be done to confirm aplastic anaemia.
Stem cells are in charge of producing red and white blood cells and platelets. When these stem cells get damaged, the bone marrow is either empty (aplastic) or has a few cells (hypoplastic). The most common cause is that the immune system attacks your stem cells in the marrow. Several other factors that can lead to aplastic anaemia are as follows-
These treatments are used to kill the cancerous cells in the body. Unfortunately, however, they can sometimes destroy healthy cells, including those in the marrow. As a result, aplastic anaemia becomes the side effect of the therapies.
Aplastic anaemia is associated with toxic substances like pesticides, insecticides and benzene (present in gasoline). However, if the repeated exposure to the disease-causing substances is avoided, your anaemia might improve over time.
Aplastic anaemia can result from the use of some medications. For example, some antibiotics and drugs are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.
In an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks the healthy cells. For example, it can sometimes kill the stem cells present in the bone marrow.
Viral infections can affect the bone marrow and lead to aplastic anaemia. The viruses that have shown a link to aplastic anaemia include hepatitis, Epstein-Barr, cytomegalovirus, parvovirus B19 and HIV.
During the pregnancy, there is a possibility of your immune system attacking your bone marrow.
In many patients, the doctor cannot identify the root cause. It is known as idiopathic aplastic anaemia.
Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria causes the early breakdown of red blood cells and is rare. However, some people with aplastic anaemia might experience it. It works both ways either paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria causes aplastic anaemia, or aplastic anaemia evolves into the condition.
A rare inherited disease that can cause aplastic anaemia is Fanconi’s anaemia. Sometimes children are born with it, and they appear smaller than usual. They may also have congenital disabilities like half-developed limbs. Blood tests are usually done to diagnose the disease.
There are certain risk factors regarding aplastic anaemia. They include high dose chemotherapy or radiation treatments for cancer, exposure to toxins, some drugs used to treat bacterial infection and rheumatoid arthritis, blood or autoimmune disease and very rarely pregnancy.
The tests that help diagnose aplastic anaemia are mentioned below-
There are specific predetermined ranges of levels for red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. If you have aplastic anaemia, the blood labs will show lower levels of all three cells.
- Biopsy of the Bone Marrow
The doctor will use a needle to take some fluid from your bone marrow. It is usually taken from a large bone like the hipbone. Then the sample is observed under a microscope to rule out any other disease related to blood. Also, aplastic anaemia will result in fewer cells than average. Therefore, a biopsy is necessary to confirm aplastic anaemia.
Once the diagnosis of aplastic anaemia is confirmed, your doctor might suggest more tests to identify the cause of it.
Per million, about 5-10 cases of aplastic anaemia are seen. Thus, it is a rare condition. It can be seen in both children and adults. Preventing aplastic anaemia is challenging with hardly any options. Certain things like avoiding exposure to toxic stuff can lower the chances.
Homoeopathy is an alternative treatment used in medicine. The medicines will focus on the healthy part of your bone marrow. They will prompt it to produce a more significant number of cells and reduce the needed transfusions. The medicines also improve your overall health to help you battle any other infections. There are certain bleeding disorders with aplastic anaemia which can be controlled using homoeopathy. They are also effective in stopping the disease from rapidly progressing.
When you know that you have aplastic anaemia, it can negatively impact your immunity and mental state. It works like adding fuel to the fire. Homoeopathic remedies can positively improve your mental being and the mind-body link. Conventional treatments might have many side effects on the body, and homoeopathy can help you curtail those.
The medicines are for long-term use and have a much beneficial effect on your genetic tendency. They can balance out any irregular immunity, which causes tremendous problems. The chances of relapse are significantly less in homoeopathy. However, there is one vital thing to know. When you are battling with a severe condition like aplastic anaemia, using various therapeutic systems in coordination can benefit you significantly. A single line of medication won’t do the magic.
Homoeopathy in itself might not be enough for defeating aplastic anaemia, but it is advantageous and safe when used with traditional therapies. You can achieve perfect management of aplastic anaemia with a mix of conventional and homoeopathic treatments. Also, homoeopathy is not a replacement for treatments like blood transfusions or transplants.
When it comes to effective management of a disease like aplastic anaemia, homoeopathy assumes a more complementary role than an alternative one.