Cold Agglutinin Disease Brings About a Lot of Questions
There are many different forms of anemia that a person can get. When a person gets anemia, they will often feel weak and tired. Their red blood cells aren’t carrying oxygen around their body like they are supposed to be. It’s possible that there aren’t enough red blood cells being produced, or they just aren’t functioning well enough.
Cold agglutinin disease is a very rare type of autoimmune hemolytic anemia. With this condition, people suffer bouts of symptoms during trigger periods. Unlike many conditions where triggers like stress or smells or flavors can bring on a period of symptoms, cold agglutinin has a very specific trigger. People with cold agglutinin suffer from symptoms when they are exposed to cold temperatures. The big triggers
The 6 Important Questions
1: How do you get cold agglutinin disease?
A: For some people, there is no reason why cold agglutinin disease strikes. These are known as primary cases. The cause is unknown and it can strike anyone. Other people can get cold agglutinin disease when they are suffering from other problems. Bacterial, viral and parasitic infections of various types can all cause someone to suffer from cold agglutinin disease. People suffering from various cancers and from autoimmune diseases can also end up with cold agglutinin disease. The most common condition is when people are suffering from lymphoma.
2: What are the symptoms of cold agglutinin disease?
There are many different symptoms that can be felt. The severity depends on how bad the anemia in the body has become. Some symptoms include tiredness, headaches, pale skin, dark urine, dizziness, cold feet, cold hands, chest pain, back pain, leg pain, jaundice, vomiting and diarrhea. Some more serious symptoms can be heart related. Many people suffer from an irregular heartbeat, a heart murmur, enlarged heart or even from complete heart failure.
3: When are the symptoms the worst?
A: Cold agglutinin disease occurs during trigger periods. When the temperature is between 32 and 50 degrees fahrenheit, then cold agglutinin disease will strike most powerfully. This means that winter, and potentially late fall or early spring can be the most troubling times.
4: Who are the most affected?
A: While cold agglutinin disease can strike anyone, there are some sections of people who are more likely to get it than others. Age is factor. People of middle age or higher are far more likely to get it than others. As mentioned, people who suffer from a variety of conditions are more likely. In addition, gender can play a role. There have been some studies in regards to gender that shows women are more likely to get cold agglutinin disease than men.
5: How does treatment work?
A: Treatment will usually be focused on the underlying condition in cases of secondary cold agglutinin disease. If the condition that’s causing cold agglutinin disease can be stopped, then eventually the cold agglutinin disease will also work. For cases where the cause is unknown, then treatment helps alleviate symptoms.
6: Should I be nervous if I get cold agglutinin disease?
A: Most people manage to get solid treatment for their disease. However, prognosis will often depend on what the underlying cause of cold agglutinin disease is. Since most cases are secondary, if that condition can be treated, then prognosis bodes well. Serious conditions like malaria, lymphoma, various cancers and HIV have a much worse prognosis than potential causes like influenza.
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