Bone marrow failure is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening infections and other health problems. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of severe bone marrow failure so you can get treatment as soon as possible. Here are 10 signs that you may be experiencing severe bone marrow failure. If you experience any of these symptoms, be sure to see a doctor right away.
Common Symptoms of Bone Marrow Failure:
- Unusual fatigue or weakness
- Shortness of breath
- Paleness or lack of color in the skin
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Heart palpitations or irregular heartbeat
- Easy bruising or bleeding
- Petechiae (tiny red dots on the skin)
- Night sweats
- Bone pain or aching muscles
What happens when bone marrow fails?
Bone marrow is the spongy tissue inside some of your bones, such as your hip and thigh bones. It contains immature cells, called stem cells. Stem cells turn into different types of blood cells: white blood cells, which fight infection; red blood cells, which carry oxygen; and platelets, which help with blood clotting.
When bone marrow fails, it doesn’t produce enough stem cells. This can lead to a condition called aplastic anemia. Aplastic anemia can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on how many stem cells are missing. People with aplastic anemia don’t have enough red blood cells, so they may feel tired and weak.
They may also get infections more easily because they don’t have enough white blood cells to fight them off. And, if their platelet count is low, they may bleed more easily.
What are the causes of bone marrow failure?
There are many potential causes of bone marrow failure, including:
– Autoimmune disorders
– Infections (viral, bacterial, or fungal)
– Metabolic disorders
– Neoplastic disorders
– Nutritional deficiencies
– Toxic exposures (to chemicals, drugs, or radiation)
Bone marrow failure can also be idiopathic, meaning that the cause is unknown. This is particularly common in children.
How do you treat bone marrow failure?
Bone marrow failure can be treated with a bone marrow transplant, which is a procedure to replace your bone marrow with healthy bone marrow. This can be done using bone marrow from a donor or from your own body. Other treatments include medication and blood transfusions.
Bone marrow transplant
Bone marrow transplants are usually done using bone marrow from a donor. The bone marrow is matched to you based on certain proteins in your blood. This ensures that the bone marrow will work properly in your body.
The bone marrow is usually transplanted into your bloodstream. Once it enters your bloodstream, it will travel to your bone marrow and begin to produce new blood cells. This process can take several weeks.
After a bone marrow transplant, you will need to stay in the hospital for a few weeks so that your doctor can monitor your progress. You will also need to take medication to prevent your body from rejecting the transplanted bone marrow.
Bone marrow transplants can have serious side effects, such as infection and bleeding. There is also a risk that your body will reject the transplanted bone marrow.
If you have bone marrow failure, you may need to have blood transfusions to help your body make new blood cells. This can be done on an outpatient basis, which means you will not need to stay in the hospital.
Blood transfusions can have side effects, such as itching and fever. There is also a small risk of contracting a viral infection from the transfused blood.
There are several types of medication that can be used to treat bone marrow failure. These include:
Corticosteroids: These drugs help to suppress your immune system and reduce inflammation.
Erythropoietin: This drug stimulates the production of red blood cells.
Growth factors: These drugs help to stimulate the production of blood cells.
Antibiotics: These drugs are used to treat infections.
Anti-fungal drugs: These drugs are used to treat fungal infections.
Which doctor treats bone marrow failure?
There are several types of doctors who can treat bone marrow failure, but hematologists are the most common. Hematologists are trained in the diagnosis and treatment of blood disorders, so they’re the best type of doctor to see for this condition. If you’re not sure whether or not you have bone marrow failure, your primary care doctor can refer you to a hematologist for further testing and treatment.
Can I consult with a hematologist online?
Yes, you can consult with a hematologist online through telemedicine. This is a great option for people who live in rural areas or who have difficulty accessing medical care. Telemedicine allows you to consult with a specialist from the comfort of your own home.
Telemedicine is a convenient and affordable way to consult with a specialist. It is important to choose a reputable telemedicine provider who can connect you with a board-certified hematologist. Be sure to ask about the provider’s licensing and credentials. You should also inquire about the provider’s experience in treating bone marrow failure.
Bone marrow failure is a serious condition that can lead to life-threatening infections and other health problems. If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of severe bone marrow failure, it is important to book an appointment with Dr. Martin Perlin, MD for hematology-related issues as soon as possible. With early diagnosis and treatment, many people living with bone marrow failure can enjoy long, healthy lives.
Dr. Martin Perlin, MD is a Board-Certified Internal Medicine specialist practicing telemedicine. He can provide an expert medical opinion on chronic conditions related to hormone imbalances, blood diseases & gastroenterology.
Dr. Ismail Sayeed
Dr. Sayeed is the Medical Director of ViOS, Inc. He is a deeply committed physician entrepreneur & medical blog writer. While building the global infrastructure of the VIOS Clinic, he is dedicated to educate people on the potential of specialist telemedicine for managing chronic diseases.
Read more about him in his author bio