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Blood Disorders

What Are Blood Disorders?

Blood disorders are conditions that affect different components of the blood, including the: 

  • Plasma – The liquid part of blood
  • Platelets – The part of the blood that helps it clot
  • Red blood cells – The cells responsible for transporting oxygen to your body’s tissues
  • White blood cells – The cells that fight infections

These disorders can include:

  • Anemias – Conditions that affect the red blood cells
  • Deep venous thrombosis – When a blood clot occurs in one of the deep veins, often in the leg
  • Disseminated intravascular coagulation – A clotting disorder, and in rare cases a bleeding disorder, associated with inappropriate activation of coagulation proteins and platelets
  • Essential thrombocytosis – A rare condition in which the body overproduces platelets
  • Granulomatous disease – An inherited immunodeficiency that increases the risk of infections
  • Hemochromatosis – A dangerous condition in which the body has too much iron in the blood
  • Hemoglobin Disorders- An inherited condition where the body produces an abnormal form of hemoglobin, a protein in the red cells that transports oxygen.
  • Hemophilia – Bleeding disorders in which the blood doesn’t clot properly, leading to excessive bleeding
  • Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia – An immune complication caused by heparin therapy to prevent blood clots
  • Hypercoagulable state – A condition that increases the risk of blood clots
  • Immune thrombocytopenia (ITP) – A bleeding disorder in which the immune system attacks platelets
  • Leukemia – Cancer of the body’s blood-forming tissues, such as the lymphatic system and bone marrow
  • Lymphoma – Cancer of the body’s lymphatic system
  • Malaria – A mosquito-borne blood disease
  • Multiple myeloma – Cancer of the plasma cells
  • Myelodysplastic syndromes – A set of disorders caused by abnormal blood cells
  • Polycythemia vera – A rare, slow-growing blood cancer that causes the bone marrow to produce too many red blood cells
  • Thalassemia – An inherited condition where the body produces an abnormal form of or not enough hemoglobin, a protein in the red blood cells that transports oxygen
  • Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura – A rare disorder in which blood clots develop in small blood vessels; associated with anemia
  • Thrombocytopenia – A condition where you have low blood platelets, which are responsible for helping your blood clot
  • Von Willebrand disease – A bleeding disorder caused by low levels of or abnormal von Willebrand factor clotting protein

Symptoms

The symptoms of blood disorders vary depending on the type of condition you have. They can include:

  • Blood blisters in the mouth
  • Blood clot, often in the leg, which can lead to swelling, warmth or redness at the clot location
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Excessive bruising
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Pale skin
  • Petechiae (pinpoint red dots on the skin)
  • Pica (wanting to eat ice, clay or dirt, which can signal an iron deficiency)
  • Recurrent fever and infections
  • Red complexion
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Thickening of the blood
  • Weakness

Treatment Options

Treatment for blood disorders varies depending on the type of condition you have. Treatment methods can include:

  • Blood transfusions – Where donor blood is circulated intravenously throughout your body to give the body needed blood cells or platelets
  • Blood-thinning medications – Medicines that help prevent blood clots
  • Bone marrow transplant – Transplanting healthy donor bone marrow in people with blood cancers
  • Chemotherapy – Medications given intravenously (by IV) or orally (by mouth) to treat blood cancers
  • Immune system-suppressing medications – Medications that stop the body from destroying its own cells
  • Radiation therapy – Treatment that uses radiation to destroy cancer cells in people with blood cancers
  • Synthetic hormone injections – Stimulate blood cell production in the body
  • Vitamin B12 supplements – Supplements given orally (by mouth) or intravenously (by an IV) to boost the body’s vitamin B12 supply

Ready for an Appointment?

If you're experiencing signs or symptoms of a blood disorder, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED (800-836-7536) today.

Learn more about our doctors and care team who diagnose and treat blood disorders.