Anemia Hemolytic Anemia

What is hemolytic anemia?

What it is

Hemolytic anemia is a blood condition that occurs when your red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be replaced. Hemolytic anemia can develop quickly or slowly, and it can be mild or serious.

What are the symptoms of hemolytic anemia?


Your symptoms may include tiredness, dizziness, weakness, and a spleen or liver that is larger than normal.

How is hemolytic anemia diagnosed?


To diagnose hemolytic anemia, your doctor will do a physical exam and order blood tests. Additional tests may include a urine test, a bone marrow test, or genetic tests.

What causes hemolytic anemia?


Red blood cells develop in the bone marrow, which is the sponge-like tissue inside your bones. Your body normally destroys old or faulty red blood cells in the spleen or other parts of your body through a process called  hemolysis . Hemolytic anemia occurs when you have a low number of red blood cells due to too much hemolysis in the body.

Certain conditions can cause hemolysis to happen too fast or too often, including the following:

How is hemolytic anemia treated?


If you have mild hemolytic anemia, you may not have any symptoms or need treatment. For others, hemolytic anemia can often be treated or managed. Treatments may include the following:

  • Blood transfusions 
  • Medicines
  • Surgery to remove your spleen
  • Blood and bone marrow transplants

If your hemolytic anemia is caused by medicines or another health condition, your doctor may change your treatment to manage or stop hemolytic anemia.

What happens if hemolytic anemia is not treated?

What happens if not treated

People who have mild hemolytic anemia may not need treatment. Serious hemolytic anemia that is not treated or managed can cause irregular heart rhythms, a heart that is larger than normal, and heart failure if anemia gets severe

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