Anemia is a condition in which the body does not make enough red blood cells (RBCs), leading to weakness and breathing problems. The most common form of anemia is caused due to low iron intake and is called iron deficiency anemia. However, there are a few rare forms of anemia, some of which are discussed here.
1. Hypoplastic anemia
This condition is also called aplastic anemia. In this type of anemia, the patient’s bone marrow stem cells are dysfunctional and cannot produce blood cells as they should. Some people are born with this condition, while others develop it. Patients with lupus, HIV, or those undergoing cancer treatment might acquire this disease.
Some of the symptoms of aplastic anemia include faster heart rate, chill feeling in the feet and hands, and headaches. Patients with this condition might need to undergo blood transfusion as treatment.
2. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia
In this rare form of anemia, the patient’s immune system tends to kill the RBCs faster than they are produced. Patients with the condition called lupus generally develop autoimmune hemolytic anemia.
The symptoms of autoimmune hemolytic anemia are palish skin, increased heart rate, pain in the back, and a yellowish tinge to the skin. The treatment is targeted at the autoimmune condition that has caused the anemia. In some cases, patients may be given steroids at the doctor’s discretion.
3. Hereditary sideroblastic anemia
In this form of anemia, the patient has a mutated gene issue that interferes with the body’s normal balance of hemoglobin. Hereditary sideroblastic anemia is one of the very rare forms of anemia.
The symptoms of hereditary sideroblastic anemia include pain in the chest, exhaustion, breathing issues, an increase in heart rate, and headaches. The treatment for this form of anemia generally involves changing the medicines that might have led to an onset of this condition. Or, the patient might also be given a stem cell transplant. In some cases doctors prescribe vitamin B6 therapy.
4. Diamond-Blackfan anemia
In this form of anemia, the patient’s bone marrow cannot produce sufficient RBCs. There might be a genetic reason for this condition. Diamond-Blackfan anemia is one of the rarer forms of anemia.
The symptoms of this form of anemia include tachycardia, weakness in the bones, irritation, exhaustion, a feeling of wanting to sleep, and short height. The treatments for this condition can vary from case to case. Some patients with Diamond-Blackfan anemia are prescribed steroids, while others are given bone marrow transplants or RBC transfusions.