Low Blood Cell Count
Low blood count is a common characteristic of multiple myeloma which contributes to a number of multiple myeloma symptoms. Myeloma plasma cells interfere with the production of all other types of blood cells. This often results in a low blood count for both red blood cells as well as white blood cells.
- Low blood count of the red blood cells usually results in anemia. Anemia from multiple myeloma may cause weakness, shortness of breath and dizziness. Decreased red blood cell count is present in approximately 60% of patients at the time of diagnosis. Anemia may be treated with supplements, medications, or transfusions.
- Low blood count of the white blood cells impairs the immune system, making patients vulnerable to infections such as pneumonia or urinary tract infections. Preventative steps can be taken to reduce the risk of infections in multiple myeloma patients.
- Myeloma may also cause a reduction in blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). This can lead to blood clotting issues like increased bleeding.