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What are the symptoms of autoimmune hemolytic anemia in humans?

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Symptoms of autoimmune hemolytic anemia in humans include weakness, fatigue, paleness and mild jaundice, especially when rapid or severe destruction of red blood cells takes place, according to Merck Manual. Patients in which mild, gradually developing red cell destruction takes place may not experience symptoms. An enlarged spleen, feelings of a full abdomen and discomfort occasionally are symptoms of red cell destruction that continues for a few months or more.

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Symptoms of an underlying disorder, such as fever and tender, swollen lymph nodes, may appear when the underlying disorder causes autoimmune hemolytic anemia, explains Merck Manual. Doctors confirm diagnosis of autoimmune hemolytic anemia as the cause of a patient's anemia when blood test results show antibody level increases in the blood plasma or in antibodies attached to the red blood cells.

Cold and warm antibody hemolytic anemias are the main autoimmune hemolytic anemia categories, notes Merck Manual. In cold antibody hemolytic anemia, the autoantibodies destroy red blood cells when the body's temperature is significantly lower than normal. Symptoms may include cold or bluish hands and feet. Patients with a rare type of cold antibody hemolytic anemia, paroxysmal cold hemoglobinuria, may produce dark brown urine and experience symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, headache, and severe leg and back pain. In warm antibody hemolytic anemia, autoantibodies attack red blood cells when the body's temperature is normal or higher than normal.

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