Tags: neutropenia | leukemia | autoimmune | symptoms | platelet

Neutropenia: What Is It?

Wednesday, 02 April 2014 01:29 AM

Are you having repeated infections, ulcers, or wounds that are not healing over a long period of time? Though you might not know it, you could be affected by neutropenia.
Neutropenia is an autoimmune disorder that causes a reduction in the platelet count and also leads to reduced number of neutrophils. Neutrophils are a part of the immune cells produced by the body that fight bacteria and prevent infections. However, in those with neutropenia, the neutrophils and platelet count is below standard and leads to various symptoms of neutropenia.

Symptoms of Neutropenia

Symptoms of neutropenia are often not known directly and express only when the underlying cause or other infections are aggravated. Some of the symptoms of autoimmune disorder and neutropenia can be noticed in the form of rashes, wounds that do not heal over extended periods of time, frequent infections, fever, abscess formation, and damage to the mucous membranes such as ulcers and rashes on the skin.
The symptoms of neutropenia have been reported to be seen as a result of autoimmune diseases causing reduction in the overall platelet and neutrophil counts. If the platelets count is low, the symptoms could be bruising and nose bleeds.
Often, the symptoms depend on the level of neutropenia. The risk of infection is more if the neutrophil count is lower. Very high fever is one of the symptoms that should be taken seriously, and a physician should be informed. The symptoms of neutropenia differ from person to person and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Neutropenia Causes that Lead to Platelet Reduction and Autoimmune Disorder

A number of conditions could cause neutropenia. Leukemia is one of the leading reasons for developing neutropenia due to reduced platelet count.
  1. Reduced production of neutrophils and platelets in the body: Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow. In some people with autoimmune diseases and leukemia, the production of neutrophils is much lesser. Leukemia and autoimmune diseases specifically affect the bone marrow.
  2. Destruction of neutrophils outside the bone marrow due to radiation and chemotherapy also causes neutropenia.
  3. Infections such as tuberculosis, dengue, HIV, and viral hepatitis can cause neutropenia.
  4. Autoimmune disorders such as Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and lupus could lead to neutropenia since they target neutrophils and cause reduction in the platelet count.
  5. Some blood pressure, epilepsy, and psychiatric drugs also cause neutropenia.
Antibiotics and stem cell transplants are suggested to treat neutropenia. Staying away from sources of infections that could aggravate autoimmune disorder symptoms could help prevent neutropenia. Precautions such as cleaning the feet, using bandages to cover bruises and cuts, staying away from toxic waste, avoiding nonpasteurized dairy products, undercooked meat, and raw fruits and vegetables, and staying away from sick people can help prevent susceptible people with a low platelet count, leukemia, and autoimmune problems from experiencing symptoms of neutropenia.

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Neutropenia is a condition that affects people with autoimmune diseases and leukemia, since they have reduced platelet and neutrophil counts. The symptoms of neutropenia often go unnoticed. Neutropenia is caused when the reasons for the underlying sickness such as autoimmune disorder are aggravated.
Wednesday, 02 April 2014 01:29 AM
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