Self-management

Lifestyle and home remedies

If you have aplastic anemia, take care of yourself by:

  • Resting when you need to. Anemia can cause fatigue and shortness of breath with even mild exertion. Take a break and rest when you need to.
  • Avoiding contact sports. Because of the risk of bleeding associated with a low platelet count, avoid activities that may result in a cut or fall.
  • Protecting yourself from germs. You can reduce your risk of infections with frequent hand-washing and by avoiding sick people. If you develop a fever or other indicators of an infection, see your doctor for treatment.

Coping and support

Tips to help you and your family better cope with your illness include:

  • Research your disease. The more you know, the better prepared you'll be to make treatment decisions.
  • Ask questions. Be sure to ask your doctor about anything related to your disease or treatment that you don't understand. It may help you to record or write down what your doctor tells you.
  • Be vocal. Don't be afraid to express any concerns you have to your doctor or any other health care professional treating you.
  • Seek support. Ask family and friends for emotional support. Ask them to consider becoming blood donors or bone marrow donors. Consider joining an aplastic anemia support group. It may be helpful to talk to others coping with the disease. Ask your doctor if he or she knows of any local support groups, or contact the Aplastic Anemia & MDS International Foundation. It offers a peer support network and can be reached at 800-747-2820.
  • Take care of yourself. Proper nutrition and sleep are important to optimize blood production.

Prevention

There's generally no prevention for most cases of aplastic anemia. Avoiding exposure to insecticides, herbicides, organic solvents, paint removers and other toxic chemicals may lower your risk of the disease.

Nov. 24, 2016
References
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  8. Aplastic anemia. Merck Manual Professional Version. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/hematology-and-oncology/anemias-caused-by-deficient-erythropoiesis/aplastic-anemia. Accessed Sept. 18, 2016.
  9. Negrin RS. Hematopoietic cell transplantation for aplastic anemia in adults. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Sept. 18, 2016.
  10. Lichtman MA, et al. Aplastic Anemia: Acquired and Inherited. In: Williams Hematology. 9th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2016. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=1581§ionid=94301148. Accessed Sept. 18, 2016.
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