What is a Blood Disorder?

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

Blood disorders are physical conditions that prevent the normal function of blood in the body. A disorder may involve factors that interfere with the production of the individual components found in the blood, such as hemoglobin or blood proteins. The nature of a blood disorder may also include situations where the blood does not coagulate properly, or the blood cells themselves are malformed or infected.

A bag of blood.
A bag of blood.

There is a wide range of blood diseases known today. Anemia is one of the more common examples of a blood disorder. Sometimes referred to as tired blood, a person who is anemic is likely to have a lack of proteins and other elements in the blood. As a result, the blood cannot carry the needed nutrients to various parts of the body and the individual is likely to feel fatigued more often. Over time, anemia can also have a negative impact on the emotions, as the blood is unable to supply proper nutrition to the brain for the production of chemicals that help to maintain an even mood.

Samples of blood from a healthy person and from one with leukemia, a type of blood cancer.
Samples of blood from a healthy person and from one with leukemia, a type of blood cancer.

Sickle cell anemia is one of the more serious types of anemic blood disorder. In addition to fatigue, a person suffering with this disorder is also likely to experience a great deal of pain. The pain may be localized in one part of the body or migrate to different areas throughout the course of the day.

A diagram of the composition of the blood.
A diagram of the composition of the blood.

Hemophilia is another relatively common blood disorder. Hemophiliacs suffer with a condition in which the blood lacks the normal ability to coagulate. This means that a minor cut or scratch that would be of little consequence to most people can be a serious issue for a hemophiliac or free bleeder. Special precautions must be taken to avoid cuts, since the blood loss can be quick and significant.

Many blood diseases can be treated when caught early.
Many blood diseases can be treated when caught early.

A blood disorder can also mean the presence of some sort of disease in the bloodstream. The presence of the disease in the blood means that it is possible to infect a number of vital organs if the condition is not caught and corrected in time. Bloodborne cancer, especially in the form of lymphoma or leukemia, are two prime examples.

Fortunately, many blood disorder problems can be treated successfully, if caught in the early stages. Some conditions, however, cannot be reversed. When that is the case, medical professionals may choose to administer medication on an ongoing basis to contain the blood disorder, or make use of transfusions as a means of weakening the disease to the point it can be contained.

A form of blood disorder is when red blood cells are deformed.
A form of blood disorder is when red blood cells are deformed.
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including wiseGEEK, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@sunnySkys - Blood disorders in general can be very difficult to deal with. Hemophilia sounds like it would be a really big pain. Not to mention life threatening.

Sickle cell anemia is pretty scary too. It also shortens your life expectancy! I believe the life expectancy for an average American is 75 these days. But if you have sickle cell anemia it's only somewhere around 50!


Hemophilia sounds so scary. Imagine bleeding to death from just a small cut! I think most people get minor cuts on a regular basis.

I know I do! I'm extremely clumsy, and I cut myself in the kitchen all the time. Just yesterday I sliced my finger open trying to peel some potatoes. I think if I had hemophilia I would probably be dead by now!


I had gone for several months feeling really run down and fatigued. I just thought I was tired and needed to get more rest.

No matter how much rest I got, I didn't feel any better so finally went to the doctor. After they did some fasting blood work, they found out I had an anemia blood disorder.

The first thing I did was begin taking a supplement that had extra iron in it. I also made some dietary changes trying to add foods that had iron in them.

I think the supplements made the biggest difference. After just a couple weeks I could feel a difference in my energy level.

I went back to the doctor after four weeks and had my blood checked again. My levels were much better, so I continued on with my supplementation program.

It feels wonderful having some energy back again and not feeling like I literally have to drag myself out of bed in the morning.


Hearing that you have a blood disorder disease is scary for anybody, but especially if you are a child.

A daughter of some good friends of ours was diagnosed with leukemia when she was just seven years old. This came as quite a shock because until she complained of a sore throat and not feeling well, there hadn't been any other indications anything was wrong.

I don't remember the specific type of leukemia, but know they caught it early and there was a good survival rate. This was encouraging for them, but there were still many upsetting days ahead.

After more than a year of treatment her blood disorder is in remission and they are very glad. It was a long year of doctor visits, arm pokes, tests and fighting her immune system.

It is so good to so her happy, smiling and running around with her sisters again.

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