Treatment of blood dyscrasia, where the mixture of components in the blood is abnormal, requires determining and addressing the cause of the condition. Patients can have a variety of hematological disorders including unusual levels of white or red blood cells, abnormal clotting factors, and overall low blood volume. The options for treatment may involve medication, dietary changes, and transfusions or phlebotomy. It may be necessary to see a hematologist, a doctor who specializes in the management of blood disorders.
Patients with blood dyscrasia can experience symptoms like pale skin, fainting, and dizziness. In a routine blood panel, it may be possible to identify issues like high or low concentrations of blood components. Technicians can also test for disorders that change the structure and activity of clotting factors and other parts of the blood. It is important to determine the precise nature of the disorder, because this is the first step in developing a treatment plan.
Once the specifics of the case are apparent, the next step is to determine the cause. If a patient has low numbers of red blood cells, or anemia, for example, this might be because of a genetic disorder, dietary factors, or a condition that causes abnormal destruction or production of red blood cells. Sometimes testing also uncovers the cause of blood dyscrasia. A patient history can provide more information; someone who reports not eating well, for instance, might be anemic because of poor diet.
Information about the nature and cause of a blood dyscrasia can allow people to explore treatment options. Medications may be helpful in some cases, as can blood products to treat specific disorders. Patients with hemophilia, for example, can take clotting factors to make up for the lack of compounds produced in their own bodies. If too much clotting is the problem, an anticoagulant medication may be helpful to control clotting and bleeding.
Dietary modifications may be helpful in some cases. Treatments like bone marrow transplant could be considered for a patient with a blood dyscrasia like leukemia. Transfusions of whole blood may be advised for people with low blood volume. Therapeutic phlebotomy, where some of the blood is taken out, may be recommended for conditions like hemochromatosis, where patients store too much iron.
As the patient receives care, blood tests can assess the response. The blood chemistry may start to normalize, showing that the treatment is working. Lifelong control may be necessary for genetic conditions that aren’t curable, while issues like temporary anemia may be resolved with a few weeks or months of treatment.