Blood Disorders (Anemia, Leukopenia, and Thrombocytopenia)Life Extension Suggestions
Blood Disorders (Anemia, Leukopenia, and Thrombocytopenia)
Blood is a body fluid that carries essential nutrients to tissues throughout the body. Abnormalities in the number of cells in the blood can produce several conditions:
- Anemia, an abnormally low number of red blood cells or low hemoglobin
- Leukopenia, an abnormally low number of white blood cells
- Thrombocytopenia, an abnormally low number of platelets
Fortunately, integrative interventions like shark liver oil, astragalus, and a specialized form of iron can help improve levels of these cells in the blood.
Risk Factors for Blood Disorders
- Iron deficiency, which is estimated to cause anemia in nearly 2 billion people worldwide
- Advancing age, with >20% of people over 85 diagnosed with iron-deficiency anemia
- Ethnicity and gender, as it occurs more frequently in African Americans and women due to menstrual blood loss
- Vegetarian diets
- Viral infections that affect the bone marrow, some heritable bone marrow diseases, and certain autoimmune conditions
- Chemotherapy, radiation therapy
- Drugs, like clozapine (Clozaril), chloramphenicol, minocycline (Minocin)
- Drugs, like hydroxycarbamide, interferons alpha and beta, heparin, quinine, vancomycin, cimetidine, naproxen
- Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency
- Autoimmune platelet destruction and impaired platelet production
Symptoms of Blood Disorders
- Iron-deficiency anemia symptoms include fatigue, pale skin, weakness, shortness of breath, headache, dizziness, cold hands and feet
- Broken blood vessels beneath the skin, scattered bruising, GI or vaginal bleeding, excessive bleeding after surgery
Conventional Treatment of Blood Disorders
- Supplemental iron, especially the form iron protein succinylate for iron-deficiency anemia
- Vitamin C, which facilitates the absorption of iron
- Vitamin B12 and/or folate for anemia due to vitamin deficiency
- Hydroxycarbamide, a drug that increases a form of hemoglobin that does not participate in sickling in those with sickle cell anemia
- Antibiotics for leukopenia caused by cancer or fever (ciprofloxacin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, ceftazidime, vancomycin)
- Granulocyte-macrophage and granulocyte-stimulating colony factors can be used as a preventive measure to stimulate bone marrow to produce more white blood cells
- Avoid all drugs that impair clotting
- Corticosteroids like prednisolone for autoimmune destruction of platelets
- Rituximab, a drug that inhibits B-cells
- Romiplostim and eltrombopag to induce platelet production
- Multinutrient formulas (multivitamins): Supplementing with a multivitamin has been shown to increase hemoglobin levels young girls with iron-deficiency anemia.
- Taurine: Adding taurine to iron supplementation resulted in significantly better improvements in hemoglobin, red blood cell count, and iron status compared to iron alone.
- Vitamin D: Vitamin D can help stimulate red blood cell synthesis and a deficient blood level is significantly correlated with anemia in heart disease patients.
- N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC): NAC has been shown to increase hemoglobin and reduce oxidative stress in anemic patients with end-stage kidney disease and in patients with sickle cell anemia.
Leukopenia and Thrombocytopenia:
- Shark Liver Oil: The alkylglycerols in shark liver oil have been shown to prevent the decline in leukocytes and thrombocytes in patients undergoing radiation treatment.
- Chlorophyllin: In patients with leukopenia, chlorophyllin was found to be as effective as a granulocyte-colony stimulating factor medication in the treatment of leukopenia.
- Astragalus: Astragalus was found to increase white blood cell counts in a dose-dependent manner in patients with leukopenia.
- Active hexose correlated compound (AHCC): Animal models of leukopenia have shown an increase in white blood cell counts and prolonged survival with AHCC supplementation.