Blood Disorders

These blood conditions usually keep parts of your blood from doing their work. It means that you may experience a blood clotting disorder or a bleeding disorder. Usually, these conditions do not affect people’s lives. Fortunately, several treatment options are available to lessen the symptoms and treat underlying conditions.

What are Blood Disorders?

Health conditions that do not let your blood do its job are called blood disorders.

  • Platelets in normal circumstances help blood to clot. Therefore, you do not need to bleed more than normal.
  • White blood cells protect the body from infections.
  • Red blood cells help to carry oxygen to all organs and tissues in the body.

There are two types of blood disorders including cancerous and noncancerous. An individual may inherit or develop a blood disorder if experiences a disease that affects the blood. Furthermore, some of them do not need treatment and do not provoke symptoms. However, there are chronic diseases that need treatments but will not affect you for a longer time.

Generally, noncancerous types of blood disorders mostly impact blood cells and platelets causing the following problems. For example:

  • Elevated risk of blood clots. An example of an inherited blood disorder is Factor V Leiden.
  • Another example is inherited hemophilia. In this condition, blood clots are not forming and you bleed more than usual.

Common Blood Clotting Disorders

Blood clotting disorders (also called hypercoagulable state or thrombophilia) are health conditions that negatively affect your platelets or clotting factors (also known as coagulation factors). Therefore, to control bleeding, platelets and clotting factors make blood clots. Check below some examples of blood clotting disorders:

  • Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC) – Usually, causes uncontrollable bleeding or clotting and it is an infrequent condition.
  • Paroxysmal Nocturnal Hemoglobinuria – Another rare disease in which your body’s defense (immune system) attacks its own red blood cells. Thus, increasing your risk of blood clots.
  • Antithrombin Deficiency – An inherited disease that elevates your risk of deep vein thrombosis.
  • Protein C or S Deficiency – These are too rare disorders that prevent blood from clotting. This protects you from too many blood clots and these proteins are natural anticoagulants.
  • Antiphospholipid Syndrome – A rare autoimmune disorder usually affecting patients with lupus. It provokes blood clots in different parts of the body.
  • Prothrombin Gene Mutation – People with this disorder are at higher risk of developing abnormal blood clots in veins (deep vein thrombosis) and lungs (pulmonary embolism).

People with blood clotting disorders are at elevated risk of experiencing myocardial infarction or stroke. In case you experience any of the disorders or notice breathing problems and chest pain, immediately seek medical attention.

Other Types of Blood Disorders

Additionally, blood disorders may occur when your blood does not clot normally. Check below some examples:

  • Fibrinogen Deficiency Conditions – A protein that also helps your blood clot is Fibrinogen. In case you do not have enough of this protein or it is not working properly, it may result in abnormal clotting or bleeding problems.
  • Thrombocytopenia – Thrombotic Thrombocytopenic Purpura (TTP) and Immune Thrombocytopenia (ITP) are two diseases that provoke this condition. It happens when you have a low platelet count.
  • Inherited Hemophilia – There are 3 types of hemophilia. For example, Type A (classic hemophilia), Type B (Christmas disease), and Type C (Rosenthal syndrome). In this condition, you may bleed more than normal.
  • Von Willebrand Disease – It is one of the common bleeding disorders in the United States and most people with this disease have inherited a mutated gene from one of their biological parents. Other people may develop this medical condition due to cancers, autoimmune diseases, heart problems, and blood vessel diseases.

In addition, the most common type of noncancerous blood disorder is anemia and roughly 3 million people suffer from this disorder in the U.S. Low red blood cell count is the factor that provokes this condition. However, certain types of anemia are inherited while others are acquired. Examples include:

Acquired Anemias

  • Pernicious Anemia – An autoimmune condition that prevents the absorption of vitamin B12. This effect leads to vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Megaloblastic Anemia – This condition occurs when you do not have low levels of vitamin B12 and B9 (folate).
  • Aplastic Anemia – Occurs when stem cells in the bone marrow do not produce enough red blood cells.
  • Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia – Your body’s defense attacks its red blood cells.
  • Iron-Deficiency Anemia – A disorder in which you have low iron levels in the blood, which are important to produce hemoglobin. Hence, red blood cells require hemoglobin to carry oxygen to all organs and tissues of your body.
  • Macrocytic Anemia – The main factors that can provoke this type of anemia are myelodysplastic syndrome, decreased folate (vitamin B9), low vitamin B12, liver disease, misuse of alcoholic drinks, and certain medications. In this disease, your bone marrow produces a large amount of red blood cells.
  • Normocytic Anemia – Decreased red blood cells than usual and this type of anemia may be provoked by many factors. Talk with a healthcare provider for more details.

Inherited Anemias

  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Fanconi anemia
  • Diamond-Blackfan anemia
  • Thalassemia

Other Anemia Types

  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Sideroblastic anemia
  • Microcytic anemia


Usually, symptoms are different among people. It depends on the severity and type of blood disorder you experience. For example:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin (more than usual)
  • Fast heartbeat (heart palpitations)
  • Shortness of breath

Check below common bleeding disorder symptoms:

  • Blood in the urine and stool
  • Heavy bleeding after childbirth or miscarriage
  • Heavy periods (menstrual bleeding)
  • Post-surgery bleeding
  • Bruises
  • Internal bleeding
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Nosebleeds

Check the blood clotting disorder symptoms below:

  • Swelling, pain, and tenderness of your leg
  • Chest pain with trouble breathing
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Stroke

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above or any other effects, contact a healthcare professional right away.


In most cases, physicians prescribe treatments for health conditions that provoke blood disorders. These treatments include:

  • Monitor Overall Health – This means that your physician pays close attention to symptoms.
  • Blood and Platelet Transfusions – Blood transfusion is a procedure that your healthcare professional may use to boost your red blood cell levels. It is usually used in patients with severe forms of anemia.
  • Anticoagulants – These are medications that help to prevent blood clotting disorders.
  • Growth Factor Supplementation – Erythropoietin-stimulating agents (ESA) are examples of treatments that help to stimulate your bone marrow to produce more red and white blood cells.
  • Corticosteroids – These drugs suppress your body’s defense (immune system). Healthcare providers usually prescribe this medication to treat hemolytic anemia.

Additionally, your doctor may help you to prevent or avoid side effects from these treatments.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to lower the risk of developing blood disorders?

Following the tips listed below, can help you to prevent or avoid blood disorders and improve your overall health. Examples include:

  • Adopt a healthy diet rich in minerals and vitamins including foods with iron (eggs, turkey, lean beef, and organ meats). Add in your diet legumes (such as black beans, and leafy green vegetables) and brown rice. You can also include foods that can increase your iron intake.
  • Regular exercise can help to support and improve your body’s defense.
  • Healthy weight – It is advised to try to lose weight if you are overweight.
  • Prevent infections – Wash your hands well and frequently. You can also discuss with your healthcare provider about vaccines.
  • Regular Checkups – Regular appointments will help to measure vitamin and mineral levels and maintain your overall health.

When should I go to the emergency room (ER)?

Usually, ER is used in severe cases such as pulmonary embolism, stroke, heart attack, and others. Immediately contact a physician if you experience breathing problems and chest pain.

What are cancerous blood disorders?

  • Lymphoma
  • Myelodysplastic Syndromes (MDS)
  • Myeloproliferative Disorder (MPD)
  • Multiple myeloma
  • Leukemia
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