What is bone marrow depression?
Bone marrow depression (also known as Myelosuppression) is an abnormal condition of the bone marrow in which it is unable to produce normal amounts of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets.
Bone marrow depression is an extremely serious disorder that prohibits the body from creating ...the essential blood cells and platelets, leaving the immune system in a weakened state and venerable to infection. It is potentially a life threatening disorder that has to be treated immediately. In some instances, hospitalization is required and antibiotics are given to aid the immune system in its recovery. The usual recovery time is three weeks. In some instances, the time of recovery is longer or shorter. It depends on the situation of the person who has the disorder.
What is the cause of bone marrow depression?
The main cause of bone marrow depression is chemotherapy, antineoplastics and radiation therapy. Bone marrow depression usually occurs between seven to ten days after a chemotherapy treatment is given and it usually recovers after three weeks.
What are the symptoms of bone marrow depression?
The signs and symptoms of bone marrow depression are as follows:
* If you are suffering from fever of 101°F or 38.3°C,
* If you are suffering from chills,
* If you are feeling unusual fatigue,
* If your skin has turned pale in color,
* If you are suffering from sore throat,
* If you feel pulsating noise in the ears,
* If you are bruising,
* If you are bleeding,
* If you are facing trouble in catching your breath,
* If you are suffering from dizziness,
* If you are suffering from sever chest pain,
* If your heartbeats are getting rapid or irregular.
* If you are suffering from Petechiae (flat pinpoint red or purple spots on skin)
* If your gums are bleeding,
* If your wounds are bleeding longer than normal,
* If your nose is bleeding
If you are suffering from any of the above mentioned symptoms, you should not waste time and immediately consult your doctor, nurse or health professional.
What are the tests for bone marrow depression?
Although most doctors who are specialized in bone diseases can identify the symptoms of bone marrow depression but specific tests are necessary for its diagnosis. These are usually blood tests; in which RBCs, WBCs and platelets are measured to get accurate counts.
How bone marrow depression effect human body?
Actually, bone marrow is the soft core of tissue which is present in the large bones of the body. Usually three types of blood cells are produced by the bone marrow:
* Red blood cells (RBCs) carries oxygen throughout our body
* White blood cells (WBCs, also known as leukocytes) fights infection and are part of our immune system.
* Platelets helps our blood to clot and stops when it bleeds
Chemotherapy drugs decreases the ability of bone marrow to make blood cells. And as a result of insufficient blood, the number of blood cells becomes lower than usual. This drop in blood counts is known as bone marrow depression.
What problems are caused by bone marrow depression?
When bone marrow depression occurs; red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets cannot be created in sufficient amounts to sustain the body in a healthy state which may cause below problems:
* A person suffering from born marrow depression is at a greater risk for infections.
* A person suffering from born marrow depression feels fatigue most of the time.
* A person suffering from born marrow depression is at a greater risk for bruising and bleeding.
* It may cause aplastic anemia in the person.
* It increases the risk of hemorrhage in the person.
* It may also cause leucopenia.
What is the treatment of bone marrow depression?
Usually, medicines and drugs are given for the treatment of bone marrow depression. These drugs treat the infections as well as compensate for low levels of red blood cells (RBCs), white blood cells (WBCs), and platelets.
Bone marrow depression is also treated through psychotherapy, or "talk therapy". It can sometimes work in cases of mild to moderate form of bone marrow depression. It can also be used in conjunction with other treatments. People who are suffering from sever form of bone marrow depression may not be able to benefit from psychotherapy and their symptoms had to be lifted through some other type of treatment.
There are dietary supplements and some other alternative treatments available in the market which is advertised to have a positive effect on people suffering from bone marrow depression such as Omega-3, St. John’s wort, SAM-e and others.
However, incase of sever depression, you will be hospitalized and given antibiotics in order to recovers your own immune system. If the drugs do not affect you or your recovery takes too long, you may be switched to other medications.
Are there any precautions to take while suffering from bone marrow depression?
Yes, you should be very careful and follow the following guidelines:
* You should keep a regular track of your temperature
* You should avoid aspirin (such as Bufferin) or any substitutes of aspirin (such as Tylenoloribuprofen, Advil or Naprosyn)
* You should also avoid any over-the-counter drugs which are not prescribed by your doctor
* You should avoid the company of those suffering from colds, flu, or any other infection
* It is also very important to brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle tooth brush
* You should be very careful in order to avoid injury
* You should eat a well balanced diet
* Try to space your activities throughout the day
* You should rest and relax as much as you can
* Try to do light exercises or an other activity you enjoy doing like swimming, walking, bowling, or gardening
* You should avoid sports and activities like biking, horse riding, skateboarding, jumping off high objects