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  • Writer's pictureShruti GOCHHWAL

What Does Your Bone Marrow Say About You?

Bone marrow aspiration involves a spongy material that causes red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. All the cells produced by bone marrow perform essential functions in your body. A problem with stem cells in the marrow can disturb the supply of oxygen to your organs and make you defenseless against infections.

Bone marrow tests are done to determine the presence of an underlying health condition involving the blood cells.

Why bone marrow test?

The doctor generally recommends a bone marrow test if your blood tests are not regular. He may also suggest it if he suspects an underlying health problem. There are two types of bone marrow tests.

  1. Bone marrow aspiration tests

  2. Bone marrow biopsy

The above mentioned tests are conducted to find out:

  1. Disease that may involve bone marrow and or red blood cells

  2. The extent to which the disease has spread

  3. The progress of the treatment procedure

  4. A fever with an unknown cause

  5. Iron levels in the body

What happens in a bone marrow test

Syringe, bone, hospital

Doctor holding a bone specimen, Credit: Pixabay

The aspiration test is usually performed in a specific area of your hip bone. For extraction of liquid bone marrow, an aspiration needle is used. On the other hand, a bone marrow biopsy is done to remove the solid portion of the bone marrow for the purpose of evaluation.

The process can take upto 30-40 minutes of your time. If you’ve been recommended the test, it might be a good idea to check the average bone marrow test cost online. This is because prices vary considerably from place to place. The rates vary from as low as Rs.600 to as high as Rs.6000!

How to interpret bone marrow test results

doctor, hospital, gloves, health

A doctor removing gloves, Credit: Pexels

All the information that the bone marrow test provides is seen in relation to a variety of other tests. This may involve blood tests, scanning imaging, X-rays, and the hospital record for the patient. It is advised that the patient maintain constant interaction with his/her healthcare professional during this process.

The findings of the tests may suggest the following states of health:

  1. Leukemia, a type of blood cancer when bone marrow begins to generate abnormal blood cells. It makes your body infectious and takes enough oxygen away from your body.

  2. Anemia, a condition when hemoglobin levels in the body falls dramatically. Low hemoglobin levels lead to a decline in the number of red blood cells, disrupting the circulation of oxygen in the body.

  3. Myelodysplasia, disorders connected with a defective bone marrow that reduces the production of one or the other type blood cells. It weakens your body’s mechanism to fight against recurrent diseases and infections.

  4. Myeloproliferative Disorders, which are characterized by an excessive production of either type of the cells in the bone marrow.

  5. Hemochromatosis, a genetic condition characterized by a high concentration of iron in the body. It can poison the body’s organs and can also lead to diabetes and arthritis.

Treatments for bone marrow defects and diseases

Injection,health, hospital

An injection and a bottle, Credit: Pixabay

Treatments to deal with unhealthy bone marrow mainly depend on its severity. The following treatment options are available to treat bone marrow complications.

  1. Bone marrow and blood transplant

  2. Blood transfusion

  3. Medications

1. Bone marrow and blood transplant

In this process, healthy blood stem cells of a donor are infused into the body to restore healthy blood cell production. In severe circumstances, the blood cells are not produced by the bone marrow. The cost of a bone marrow transplant depends on the kind of bone marrow transplant. It can range from anywhere between Rs.15,00,000 – Rs. 40,00,000.

2. Blood transfusion

In this treatment, healthy red blood cells of a donor are put into the person with bone marrow disorder through an IV line. It helps to increase platelets, and blood cells count.

3. Medications

Medical drugs like ant thymocyte globulin are commonly used for treating severe bone marrow diseases. It is preferred for people who are older than 40 years and young patients who cannot find a donor.

Thus, we see that without a healthy bone marrow, your body becomes highly prone to several illnesses and infections. A bone marrow test brings to your knowledge any underlying health condition that may remain undiagnosed. It is highly effective for you to gain a better understanding of your body.

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