It’s quite unfortunate that one has no control over their health conditions at times. There is hence every need to be appreciative of every good moment you have and to care for yourself carefully. For those ailing, however, there are some ways you could deal with any health condition and live a happy life. It’s all in your mind; once you purpose to be happy, no one can take that away from you. So be cheerful and deal with any condition that comes your way. However, understanding different health conditions will help you deal with them better.
What is Cryoglobulinemia?
This is a condition that occurs when the blood contains a lot of cryoglobulins. They are usually insoluble, low temperatures causing them to precipitate, but then they dissolve later when blood is heated. Cryoglobulins are single or mixed immunoglobulins that usually clump together in the cold. The clumping then causes the plasma to thicken and even deposit clumps in the blood. There are different types of cryoglobulins that manifest themselves differently on different patients. Hence the major characteristic of cryoglobulinemia is the presence of cryoglobulins in the serum.
Classifications of cryoglobulinemia
It’s mainly classified into three, namely type I, type II and type III.
Type I cryoglobulinemia
It’s common to patients with plasma cell dyscrasia such as the Waldenstrom macroglobulinemia or the plasma cell dyscrasia. It results from a monoclonal immunoglobulin and aggregates at 10 percent to 15 percent of the total cases of cryoglobulinemia. At times it is represented by light chains usually extracted from urine, however in the event of renal failure; they could accumulate in the blood.
Type II cryoglobulinemia
This is the most common type, with reported cases of 50 to 60 percent. It results from complex immunocomplexes that are formed by Monoclonal IgM. It has a polyclonal component (IgG) and IgM monoclonal that has rheumatoid factors (RF).
Type III cryoglobulinemia
It’s not as popular as the type II cryoglobulins, although they have almost similar functions. It accounts for 25 to 30 percent of the reported cases of cryoglobulinemia. Like the Type II, it has the rheumatoid factors that bind to the polyclonal IgM that forms the immunocomplexes.
Cryoglobulinemia could also be classified based on its association with other underlying diseases such as the hepatitis B. Cryoglobulinemia without an association with any disease is referred a s essential cryoglobulinemia or idiopathic cryoglobulinemia.
The condition is popular to people at the ages of above 50 years. However, it could occur without manifestation of any major symptoms. There is also no known cause of cryoglobulinemia although it has been associated with conditions such as blood cancer; lymphoma and multiple myeloma, lupus; a connective tissue disease and infections such as the Hepatitis C.
Signs and symptoms of cryoglobulinemia
When the condition occurs, a lot of people may suffer the condition without their knowledge as the symptoms may not present themselves. Hence only lab results may prove the existence of the condition. However, when they occur, the major symptoms include; joint pains, fatigue, a rash; often looks like red spots or purple bruises mostly over the lower legs and numbness or weakness.
Other symptoms include:
- Raynaud’s phenomenon; hands and feet color change; from normal to white to purple-blue color with cold
- High blood pressure
- Skin ulcers
- Weight loss
- Swelling of ankles
- Kidney damage
- Enlarged liver and spleen
- Numbness, tingling or weakness.
Diagnosis and treatment of cryoglobulinemia
Cryoglobulinemia is diagnosed through a specific blood test that usually detects the presence of cryoglobulins in the blood. However, determining the amount and the type of cryoglobulins in the blood can help determine the cause, hence commence treatment soon enough.
To effectively treat cryoglobulinemia you need first to understand the cause and the magnitude of the infection. Magnitude can be gauged through the organs it has affected or damaged and the presences of other conditions that the patient might suffer. Understanding the health status of the patient will help you to not only treat cryoglobulinemia but also the prevailing condition hence enhancing the efficiency of the treatment.
The main treatment of cryoglobulinemia is corticosteroids that could be used alone or alongside other medication. However, it may be recommended depending on the affected organs and the extent to which the condition has affected you. A good supplement for cryoglobulinemia is Nerve Renew.
Another form of treatment is the plasmapheresis; this procedure filters out the clumps in the blood plasma. This helps minimize or completely remove the clumps, which then minimizes the damage it could cause to other body organs. The accumulation of clumps causes clogging of arteries; which reduces blood flow, and subsequent blood clot or organ damage or failure.
Risk factors for cryoglobulinemia
Some conditions and situations may increase the chances of you acquiring the condition. These might include cancers that relate to the blood and the immune system; often increasing chances of suffering type I cryoglobulinemia.
Additionally, people who have a chronic inflammatory condition like hepatitis C, and autoimmune disease may heighten your chances of contracting type II and III cryoglobulinemia.
Other condition that relates to cryoglobulinemia may include; Multiple myelomas, Primary macroglobulinemia, Leukemia, Rheumatoid arthritis, Systemic lupus erythematosus, and Mycoplasma pneumonia
The condition can be prevented by minimizing risk in the risk factors associated with the condition. This could entail, preventing the occurrence of the conditions where possible, treatment of the conditions or even immunization.
For instance, hepatitis B infection is one of the major risk factors of the condition; immunization is usually given to children at their young ages. Hence, taking the immunization will serve a primary role in the prevention of the condition. Adults may also be immunized if the lifestyle and other factors dictate.
Secondary prevention may include avoiding dissemination of viral infection more so in people who are suffering active viral infection such as HBV, HIV, etc.
Understanding the condition you are diagnosed with is the first step in recovery. Since you will know how to deal with it; and also the precautions to take to minimize severity. Take the time to learn about various conditions that could affect you or your loved ones, more so genetic conditions or those likely to be inherited. Knowledge is power.