ZocdocAnswersIs 24 too old for a hematology consultation?

Question

Is 24 too old for a hematology consultation?

Shouldn't they know if there's something wrong with my blood by now?

Answer

Not necessarily. There are many conditions that can emerge in adulthood that might require referral to a hematologist. For example, abnormalities in your blood cells, or low numbers of blood cells, are all problems that can emerge from various infections, as a genetic tendency, or as a side effect from medications. These findings can sometimes need the expert input of a hematologist in order to help sort out what is going on. Another common reason for referral to a hematologist is because of persistent anemia. For example, a common scenario is for a young woman to be having very heavy menstrual periods that make her anemic. Her primary care doctor, after a detailed physical examination and history, may suspect that she has a blood clotting problem that is the cause of her heavy periods, and they may want a referral to a hematologist to help sort this possibility out. Similarly, sometimes genetic variations in hemoglobin molecules that lead to anemia many not be detected until adulthood if they are mild, and your primary care doctor may need help sorting this out as well. After taking a detailed history, the hematologist you are referred to will be able to help you decide if further workup of your condition is needed.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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