What is hemolytic anemia?

Hemolytic anemia is a disorder in which the red blood cells are destroyed too soon.

What causes hemolytic anemia?

  * certain medications
  * infections
  * congenital abnormalities
  * autoimmune disorder

What are the symptoms of hemolytic anemia?

The following are the most common symptoms for hemolytic anemia, however, each individual may experience symptoms differently.

  * fatigue
  * paleness
  * increased heart rate
  * breathlessness
  * yellowish skin (jaundice)
  * dark, tea-colored urine
  * enlarged spleen

The symptoms of hemolytic anemia may resemble other blood disorders or medical problems. Consult your physician for a diagnosis.

How is hemolytic anemia diagnosed?

Hemolytic anemia is usually discovered during a medical examination through a routine blood test. In addition to a complete medical history and physical examination, diagnostic procedures for hemolytic anemia may include additional blood tests and other evaluation procedures, particularly to check for an enlarged spleen or liver.

Treatment for hemolytic anemia:

Specific treatment for hemolytic anemia will be determined by your physician(s) based on:

  * your overall health and medical history
  * extent of the disease
  * your tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  * expectations for the course of the disease
  * your opinion or preference

Hemolytic anemia is difficult to treat, and treatment depends on the cause.

Treatment may include:

  * vitamin and mineral supplements
  * change in diet
  * medication
  * treatment of the causative disease
  * removal of the spleen

Provided by ArmMed Media
Revision date: June 20, 2011
Last revised: by David A. Scott, M.D.