A blood disorder is any condition that affects the health of the blood.
Blood pumps throughout your entire body, so when something is wrong with it, it can impact your overall health. A blood disorder can affect any part of your blood—the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, vessels, marrow and more.
There are many different types of blood disorders, with common ones including:
- Blood clots
- Blood cancers such as leukemia, myeloma and lymphoma
What Causes Blood Disorders?
The main cause of many blood disorders is genetics. However, there are a number of other causes that can include:
- Having other diseases
- Taking certain medications
- Ingesting a diet lacking in certain nutrients
What Are Symptoms of a Blood Disorder?
The symptoms of a blood disorder vary depending on the specific condition, as well as which cell type is affected and how low or high the blood count. Below are symptoms of some of the more common blood disorders:
- Dizziness or weakness
- Sore tongue
- A faster-than-usual heartbeat
- Pale skin, dry skin or easily bruised skin
- Unintended movement in the lower leg (restless legs syndrome)
- Unexplained and excessive bleeding from cuts or injuries, or after surgery or dental work
- Many large or deep bruises
- Unusual bleeding after vaccinations
- Pain, swelling or tightness in your joints
- Blood in your urine or stool
- Nosebleeds without a known cause
- Fever or chills
- Persistent fatigue or weakness
- Frequent or severe infections
- Easy bleeding or bruising
- Losing weight without trying
- Swollen lymph nodes
- An enlarged liver or spleen
- Recurrent nosebleeds
- Tiny red spots in your skin (petechiae)
- Bone pain or tenderness
- Excessive sweating, especially at night
How Are Blood Disorders Diagnosed?
A highly trained team of hematology oncologists—like the ones found at Tampa General Hospital—can perform a comprehensive evaluation in order to properly diagnose your blood disorder.
The exact diagnosis of your blood disorder will determine the right treatment methods. For example, bleeding disorders like hemophilia may call for blood-component therapies such as platelet transfusions or clotting factors, while diseases that involve clotting might require medications that reduce the risk of clots forming.