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Hemolytic Anemia Print E-mail
by Ron Kennedy, M.D., Santa Rosa, CA

Dr. Kennedy

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a disorder in which there is premature destruction of red blood cells. Autoimmune disorders are caused when the body's immune system, which is meant to defend the body against bacteria, viruses, and any other foreign product, malfunctions and produces antibodies against healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Normally a red blood cell has a life span of approximately 120 days before the spleen removes it from circulation. Red blood cells are made in the bone marrow and released into circulation. In persons with autoimmune hemolytic anemia, the red blood cells are destroyed prematurely; and bone marrow production of new cells cannot make up for their loss. The severity of this disorder is determined by the length of time the red blood cell survives and by the ability of the bone marrow to continue red blood cell production.

Symptoms are as follows: nosebleeds, bleeding gums, chills, fatigue, pallor (paleness), shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, yellow sclera (whites of eyes) and skin.

Autoimmune hemolytic anemia is a disorder that occurs in persons who have formerly had a normal red blood cell count. The disorder usually occurs concurrent to some other medical condition, often another autoimmune disease and it sometimes occurs alone.

It affects twice as many women as men, especially women in the childbearing years. Cold antibody hemolytic anemia most commonly affects elderly persons, and warm antibody hemolytic anemia can affect anyone at any age.

Conventional treatment involves the use of Prednisone and other corticosteroids. Often patients are unable to tolerate the toxic side effects of these drugs.

The alternative, nutritional medicine approach is to identify hidden allergies by blood test and avoid those allergens (primarily foods). Also enzyme potentiated desensitization holds hope for putting the disease in long term remission.

As with all autoimmune disorders, detoxification and dietary changes are usually helpful. For best results this should be done under the supervision of a doctor experienced in nutritional medicine.

The approach used in homeopathy is to attempt to restore the balance of the system using dilute solutions of natural substances specific to the disorder.




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