A hematologist deals with all conditions and diseases related to the blood. Being referred to a hematologist is a common occurrence, and many people worry that they have a cancerous illness when that happens. However, it should be no cause for worry. The most common event when your doctor may refer you to a hematologist is when you experience abnormalities or symptoms caused by a condition in the blood.
You must first see a consultant during the visit to discuss your symptoms and explain how you feel. In most cases, additional tests and examinations are required to make a diagnosis. Here are the reasons you should consider visiting a hematologist in Bahrain.
One of the most typical reasons you should visit a hematologist is when you have anemia. This is a condition caused by low hemoglobin or a lack of enough red blood cells to distribute enough oxygen throughout the body. Some symptoms of anemia include extreme fatigue, body weakness, and dizziness.
A hematologist uses a complete blood count to check your hemoglobin levels (a protein that carries oxygen) and hematocrit (the red blood cells count). The test examines the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets in your blood or the doctor to make an informed diagnosis.
You may also be required to undergo additional tests if the CBC test indicates that you have anemia for the doctor to analyze the severity of the condition.
Sickle cell disease
Symptoms of sickle cell disease are pretty much similar to those of anemia, and they include fatigue, jaundice, and swelling of the feet and hands. Sickle cell disease is hereditary, and if you have a family history of the disease and experience such symptoms, you should immediately visit a hematologist.
People with sickle cell have red blood cells that produce unusual amounts of hemoglobin. Normally healthy red blood cells transverse seamlessly through the blood vessels, but when someone has sickle cell, the cells clump together, lodging in the vessels. That causes immense pain and discomfort. A hematologist uses a blood test to examine the defective form of hemoglobin causing sickle cell anemia. In some countries, the test is part of a routine for newborn screening.
Hemophilia is another reason to see a hematologist. It is caused by platelet deficiency which slows or stops the blood from clotting. Some common signs people with hemophilia experience include bleeding gums, prolonged bleeding from minor cuts and injuries, nosebleeds that last longer than expected, and joint swelling. A hematologist can suggest a treatment for hemophilia, including medications and hormones for managing the condition.
Deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis is another condition of the blood that occurs when a blood clot doesn’t go away. For instance, a blood clot can occur in the leg veins and get stuck in the legs. The dangerous part about deep vein thrombosis is that it causes damage over time, is painful, and can deprive other areas of oxygen.
Moreover, there are cases of blood clots detaching and causing severe damage when they find their way into the lungs or the heart. Some signs of deep vein thrombosis include pain, unusual warmth, and redness in the affected area. Blood thinners and compression stockings are some of the prescriptions hematologists use to alleviate the condition.
Leukemia is cancer of the blood caused by a proliferation of white blood cells. It affects both children and adults can either be acute, which means it is spreading rapidly, or chronic which means it progresses slowly.
According to a hematologist at the Royal Bahrain Hospital, leukemia can be lymphocytic, abnormal cell growth in the bone marrow cells, or myelogenous leukemia, whereby abnormal cells form in the marrow cells. But generally, there are four types of leukemia, including:
- Acute myelogenous leukemia.
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia.
- Chronic myelogenous leukemia.
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
A hematologist uses a complete blood test to reveal the presence of leukemia blood cells and diagnose the disease. A common sign that may indicate you have leukemia is abnormally lower levels of red blood cells and abnormally augmented white blood cells.
Another condition within the realm of a hematologist is lymphoma, cancer that originates from the infection-fighting cells known as lymphocytes. It impacts the lymphatic system, including lymph nodes in the neck, chest, armpits, groin, and abdomen.
The condition occurs when lymphocytes proliferate, causing lymphoma cells that form and spread in the lymph nodes. The two types of lymphomas are Hodgkin lymphoma and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Hematologists use blood tests, biopsies, and imaging tests to diagnose lymphoma and check whether the cancer has spread further from the lymph nodes to other internal organs such as the lungs and spleen.
The above mentioned are some of the conditions that may prompt a visit to a hematologist. Blood conditions are extreme, and many are life-threatening, so you should immediately see a hematologist when you experience the symptoms.