What Causes Immune System To Attack Red Blood Cells ?

What Causes Immune System To Attack Red Blood Cells ?

Red blood cells are involved in carrying oxygen to various tissue and cells all over the body. The body is equipped with different types of immune cells. These cells are involved in protecting the body from any type of foreign substances or pathogens. They fight with foreign cells and kill them if possible. These cells will also decrease the virulence of the pathogen making them less dangerous.

In rare cases, these immune cells will end up attacking the body’s own cells and recognize it as foreign substances. They will end up attacking the body’s own cell crippling the entire system.

When immune cells attack red blood cells, the condition can turn out to be quite dangerous and lethal. Increased destruction and damage to red blood cells will lead to decreased oxygen carrying capacity. This in turn will impair the functioning of every cell and tissue thereby affecting the functioning of the organs. This condition is called immune hemolytic anemia where there is premature destruction of RBCs in the body.

The reasons could be:

  • A reaction while treating some other disease or disorder in the body
  • Incompatible blood transfusions
  • Pregnancy complications where the fetus’s blood is different from the mother’s blood
  • Side effects of certain medications and drugs

The symptoms include:

  • Fatigue, lethargy
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Dark urine due to excess breakdown of red blood cells
  • Jaundice due to rapid destruction of red blood

Treatments for the disease include:

  • Medication, steroids
  • A balanced diet
  • Spleen removal
  • Reduce the severity of immune cells with immunosuppressants
  • Blood transfusions

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What Causes Immune System To Attack Red Blood Cells ?