A hematologist is a licensed doctor who specializes in the treatment of blood disorders and disorders of the lymphatic system. Your primary care doctor may recommend visiting a hematologist if they suspect any abnormalities in your blood, or you can visit a hematologist directly if you have symptoms that may indicate a blood disorder. This…
4 Important Reasons to Visit a Hematologist
If you are not familiar with the term, a hematologist is a doctor whose field of expertise encompasses all diseases and disorders related to blood. Being referred to a hematologist is not always a common occurrence, which is why it can sometimes worry patients.
Below are four important reasons you might be sent to the hematologist by your general practitioner.
1. Leukemia and lymphoma
Leukemia is a form of blood cancer where too many white blood cells are produced and they do not work correctly. They start to crowd out red blood cells and platelets, which are responsible for transporting blood and clotting blood, respectively.
Common symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, sudden weight loss, easy bruising, fatigue, discomfort in the spleen (underneath the left lower ribs), visual problems and ear ringing. Visit a hematologist as soon as you can if you experience these symptoms.
Lymphoma is similar to leukemia in that it affects the white blood cells. However, the origin is different, as is the treatment. Lymphoma is a cancer that starts in the lymphocytes, which are cells primarily devoted to fighting infection. If you have been feeling symptoms like shortness of breath, fatigue, coughing and swollen lymph nodes, it may be time to make an appointment.
A hematologist can help diagnose lymphoma and aid in treatments.
2. Sickle cell disease
Warning signs of sickle cell disease have much in common with anemia, including jaundice and fatigue. Sometimes there is also swelling in the extremities, usually the feet and hands. The disease is a genetic disorder, one that is most common in those of African and Hispanic ancestry.
If someone in the family has sickle cell disease and you experience any of these symptoms, it may be smart to visit the hematologist as soon as possible.
Hemophilia is usually caused by a platelet deficiency that either slows or stops the blood from clotting all together. Common symptoms include bleeding from the gums, nosebleeds that seem to last a long time, joint swelling and any prolonged bleeding from small cuts or injuries.
A hematologist will suggest how to treat hemophilia, but there are hormones and clotting medications that can make the condition manageable.
4. Deep vein thrombosis
Essentially the opposite of hemophilia, deep vein thrombosis is a condition that occurs when a blood cot will not go away. Blood clots can sometimes form in the leg veins or elsewhere and end up stuck in the legs. Deep vein thrombosis is painful, but it can also cause damage over time, as areas are deprived of oxygen.
These blood clots can also detach and do serious damage when entering places like the lung or the heart. Common signs include unusual warmth, pain or red skin in the affected area. A hematologist will generally use compression stockings and blood thinners to help alleviate the situation.
Blood diseases are serious
Many blood diseases can be dangerous, which is why hematologist has such a difficult job. However, hematologists are experts at treating and healing these diseases, making them a vital step in the road to health.