Red blood cells or erythrocytes have the most difficult task in the entire body. They carry oxygen from your lungs to the heart and the rest of the body. Bone marrow makes the red blood cells. Usually, there is an abundance of erythrocytes available. But there are cases when that is not the case. One of such conditions is Hemolytic anemia. It ensues when red blood cells are dying faster than they are made. This means that there is not enough oxygen for the entire body to function. Hemolytic anemia can be either extrinsic or intrinsic. The extrinsic type is more of an autoimmune one. When a person has it, the spleen traps healthy erythrocytes for no clear reason. It can also be a side-effect of a tumor, a lymphoma or another autoimmune disorder. The intrinsic type ensues when the bone marrow produces bad and defective cells. These cells are unable to operate. Unlike extrinsic hemolytic anemia, the intrinsic one is almost always hereditary.
When someone’s skin is pale, it can either be a sign of a lack of iron or a lack of oxygen. A warmer skin color is usually a sign of good blood flow. This means that oxygen is getting transported faster. Also, there are enough red blood cells to go around. If you have hemolytic anemia, you may start seeing your skin grow paler and paler. This is because the number of your erythrocytes is gradually falling. This shows signs of discoloration. If you notice your skin getting paler for no clear reason, go and visit a doctor.
Erythrocytes have a tough job because they transport oxygen. When hemolytic anemia strikes you, oxygen level goes down. Your body will have less and less energy because cells won’t have enough resources to operate. When you see yourself tired even though you eat and sleep a lot, you may need a doctor. If you ignore this slight fatigue, some worse symptoms may ensue. This may be dangerous as it leaves you with less oxygen as time goes on.
As the body is short on oxygen, it will go into an alert state. Leukocytes, or white blood cells, will enter the bloodstream searching for an infection. This happens as the body programs itself to treat for lack of red blood cells. It takes it as a sign of an infection, not an autoimmune disease. A fever will arise because the body will start combating the lack of resources. Such a symptom may be dangerous because you are already depleted. A fever will make things worse.
The brain is the body part that needs oxygen the most. It will be the first one to feel this sudden lack of resources. Every single synapse is getting powered with oxygen. The oxygen travels through the blood. When power is lacking, the brain starts going into sleep mode. It is unable to perform tasks. Some sub-symptoms are noticeable. These are as follows slurred speech, impaired memory and general mix-up of senses. These never happen without reason and if you experience them, you need help to see what’s going on.
If you feel like you are on the verge to faint, it’s never good news. Every feeling of dizziness means that resources are not reaching to where they’re needed in the body. Hemolytic anemia means that the body is going into sleep mode, and you’re going to feel it. Such a shortage of oxygen in severe cases will make it hard to be conscious. The brain will notice that oxygen is very scarce. It will decide that being awake is wasting too much energy.
Strength is usually defined as the potential to create force. It uses your muscles and tendons. They, like every other body part, need lots of oxygen to operate. Even under normal conditions, let alone when they’re under pressure. Hemolytic anemia doesn’t allow the body to conduct these normal transports. Instead, you might feel an inability to do things you do. Running will be a problem, as well as lifting things off the ground. If you notice a severe inability to perform or a lack of strength, see a doctor immediately.
You didn’t know this, but your urine is the way to get rid of dead blood cells. Usually, such a small number of them passes away that it’s hard to notice them. Add the fact that new ones are being created and a process is a well-oiled machine. When suffering from hemolytic anemia, too many of your red blood cells will die. When they do, they release hemoglobin into the bloodstream. It is further broken into bilirubin. It colors the urine and the eyes much darker than usual.
Yellowing of the skin and the eyes
As mentioned earlier, hemoglobin from the dead erythrocytes breaks down to bilirubin. It’s a yellowish compound that breaks down hems in humans. When the body fills itself with it, pale and white surfaces grow yellow. The skin and the eyes are usually the first to be stricken by this symptom. Yellow eyes are sometimes also an indicator of liver failure. A sign like that is a serious one, and you shouldn’t take it lightly if you encounter it in the mirror.
An increased heart rate
The lungs are the first recipient of the oxygen. It transports it into the heart at normal quantities. But, when there is a shortage of it, things start falling apart. One of the most obvious signs of this is irregular heartbeats. When it senses that oxygen is not found in the body, the heart will go into panic mode. It will start pumping blood at a faster rate to try and revive the organism. In some critical cases, it may even stop because of an overload of effort. Seeing this symptom in time can be a life saver.
This is a common symptom of intrinsic hemolytic anemia. Because it’s autoimmune, it shows signs of your own body working against you. The spleen goes berserk and starts trapping. It destroys all your healthy red blood cells until there are none left. After it keeps doing this for some time, the spleen will grow in size. This may be noticeable during an X-ray, but sometimes it may be too late. The spleen can only take so much strain until it ruptures when overloaded.