Lupus and Hemolytic Anemia
Blood Disorder connected to Lupus
Hemolytic anemia is a condition of an inadequate number of circulating red blood cells (anemia), caused by premature destruction of red blood cells. There are a number of specific types of hemolytic anemia which are described individually.
Anemia - hemolytic
Causes, incidences, and risk factors
Hemolytic anemia occurs when the bone marrow is unable to compensate for premature destruction of red blood cells by increasing their production. When the marrow is able to compensate, anemia does not occur.
There are many types of hemolytic anemia, which are classified by the location of the defect. The defect may be in the red blood cell itself (intrinsic factor), or outside the red blood cell (extrinsic factor).
Causes of hemolytic anemia include infection, certain medications, autoimmune disorders (such as Lupus), and inherited disorders. There are several different types of anemia.
There is no known prevention for hemolytic anemia.
- Pale color
- Shortness of breath
- Rapid heart rate
- Yellow skin color (jaundice)
- Dark urine
- Enlarged spleen
Signs and tests
These are tests for hemolysis (red blood cell destruction). There are specific tests which identify the specific types of hemolytic anemia. They are performed after hemolysis has been established.
- Elevated indirect bilirubin levels
- Low serum haptoglobin
- Hemoglobin in the urine
- Hemosiderin in the urine
- Increased urine and fecal urobilinogen
- Elevated absolute reticulocyte count
- Low red blood cell count and hemoglobin
- Elevated serum LDH
Treatment depends upon the type and cause of the hemolytic anemia. Folic acid, iron replacement, and corticosteroids may be used. In emergencies, transfusion of blood may be necessary.
Treatment for anemia may include an iron-rich diet. Eating a diet with iron-rich foods can help treat iron-deficiency anemia. Good sources of iron include the following:
- meats - beef, pork, lamb, liver, and other organ meats
- poultry - chicken, duck, turkey, liver (especially dark meat)
- fish - shellfish, including clams, mussels, and oysters, sardines, anchovies
- leafy greens of the cabbage family, such as broccoli, kale, turnip greens, and collards
- legumes, such as lima beans and green peas; dry beans and peas, such as pinto beans, black-eyed peas, and canned baked beans
- yeast leavened whole-wheat bread and rolls
- iron-enriched white bread, pasta, rice, and cereals
Iron supplements may also be used. Iron supplements can be taken over several months to increase iron levels in the blood. Iron supplements can cause irritation of the stomach and discoloration of bowel movements. They should be taken on an empty stomach, or with orange juice, to increase absorption.
The outcome depends upon the type of hemolytic anemia.
The complications vary with the specific type of hemolytic anemia. Severe anemia can cause cardiovascular collapse. Severe anemia can aggravate pre-existing heart disease, lung disease, or cerebrovascular disease.
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of hemolytic anemia develop.
Information came from the Yahoo Health pages: For more information on various health topics:
For more information on anemia and various other health topics visit:
Female Health Source
Female Health Source: Anemia
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