aplastic anemia

Anemia is a condition which affects a person when there is no enough hemoglobin in the blood. Aplastic anemia is a type of anemia that occurs when your body does not produce any new blood cells. It is also said that it is the inability of the stem cells to produce blood cells that can be used by the body (mature blood cells). Though it is a rare disorder blood condition, it is considered one of the serious health conditions.

Causes of Aplastic anemia

There are many causes that cause aplastic anemia.

  • Hepatitis
  • HIV
  • Medications
  • Autoimmune issues
  • Exposure to pesticides, arsenic or benzene
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy
  • Exposure to radiation
  • Complications in pregnancy
  • Hereditary


Sometimes, the cause of aplastic anemia in a person is unknown.

Symptoms of aplastic anemia

A person who is affected with aplastic anemia might feel all or any of the below mentioned symptoms.

  • Light headedness
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Infections
  • Excessive bleeding from wounds
  • Bulging in heart
  • General weakness
  • Heart attacks



Diagnosis of this condition is a little tricky as this can be confused with many other neoplastic infiltration or significant myelofibrosis.

There are many tests a person needs to undergo to confirm aplastic anemia.

  • Biopsy
  • Bone marrow Aspirate
  • Bone marrow suppression test
  • X-rays
  • CT scan of lymph nodes
  • Scan of kidneys
  • Chest x-ray to study infections
  • Liver tests
  • Tests to define vitamin levels
  • Blood test to diagnose Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria
  • Tests to find antibodies
  • Renal function
  • Thyroid tests
  • Folic acid levels
  • Complete blood count
  • Diepoxybutane incubation


Any or all of the above tests can identify and confirm the condition.


Treatment options

Once a person is diagnosed with aplastic anemia, it is highly essential that the affected person undergoes severe treatment to alleviate the symptoms and prevent further damage.

Autoimmune aplastic anemia: In this type of aplastic anemia, medicines will be prescribed to suppress the immune system. This should help the body to alleviate the symptoms of the disease.

A bone marrow transplant is an option. When a person finds a matching stem cells, a marrow transplantation will be effective. It helps to replace the failing marrow cells. This gives the affected person a new immune system, fresh and new blood cells and platelets. If in case, the bone marrow transplant fails, medications need to be continued to support the immune system.

Antithymocyte globulin (ATG) is one of the treatments that is available for people who are affected with aplastic anemia. This treatment should be continued for several months together, which will support and regulate the immune system. Chemotherapy using cyclophosphamide is also one of the options, but it can be more toxic and causes side effects that leads to other medical conditions.

Blood transfusion is also one of the treatments that helps to refresh the blood cells count in the flowing blood. Though it needs to be done more frequently, it can improve the number of fresh blood cells that are present in the blood.

Regular follow up to check the blood count is necessary to prevent further damage to other body parts.

Prevention techniques

Though there is no permanent cure to aplastic anemia through home remedies, there are many ways to prevent anemia from occurring.

Consuming plenty of natural food that help to boost the blood cells will be one way of prevention of anemia and aplastic anemia. Immunity regulating foods are even more effective when it comes to aplastic anemia.

Foods that can reverse autoimmune disease

Plenty of probiotics: Consuming probiotics will help you treat intestinal issues and also build a strong immune system.

Avoid gluten: Gluten is a type of protein that us present in our day to day foods, like, wheat, barley. A person might be allergic to gluten and without knowing you might be consuming plenty of gluten which leads to autoimmune issues. A simple gluten intolerance test can help you identify the issue and changes in regular diet can help you recover.

Antibodies: High amounts of antibodies in your body, which acts as an immune defense, starts to affect your own health. A lab test will help you understand the amount of antibodies.

Including more green leafy veggies: Including plenty of vegetables and green leaves in regular diet will help you flush out toxins and also increase vitamins and minerals for regular good health.


Avoid junk and packed foods: Like every other nutritionist says, avoid junk and packed foods when you seem to fall sick frequently. The amount of nutrition you gain from fresh foods is much higher when compared with junk and packed foods.

Regular exercise: Regular physical activity is highly essential for good health and active lifestyle. This helps to regularize the metabolism and immune system.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps to improve immunity and also energizes you instantly. It can help you have healthy skin and internal system.

As a word of caution, reduce the amounts of nuts, eggs and processed meat.

Kripa Sivasubramanian, MBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. After a long stint in the Technology sector, she took up courses in natural medicine and yoga. Ms. Kripa is certified in Ayurvedic yoga for Dosha. She is also certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.