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It is common to experience a low blood count at some point in your life. However, it is important to understand the basics and symptoms to ensure a proper and thorough diagnosis. A low blood count can mean many things, from the everyday common infection to a more serious illness, such as cancer.
In order to understand a low blood count, it is important to first understand the three components that make up the blood count: red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. The red-blood cells carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body. The white blood cells are the soldiers of the body fighting any signs of foreign matter, like infections. Blood platelets are coagulants which reduce bleeding and help the body heal. Each of these includes different values, and one may be low while others are normal.
Unless your counts are extremely low, you may not experience any symptoms at all. However, if you have any of the indicators listed below please see your physician as soon as possible. your blood count could be dangerously low. A low white cell count is marked by a fever over 101 degrees F, with chills and sweating. A low red cell count is distinguished by fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, racing, heartbeat and shortness of breath.Low platelet count symptoms include:
- excessive bleeding
- easy bruising
- heavy menstrual bleeding
There are two common ways that dangerously low blood counts are treated. The first is medication. Your doctor may prescribe medications called “growth factors.” These particular drugs are used to encourage your body to produce more of the cells that you lack. The second treatment is a blood transfusion. Transfusions help people with low red-cell and platelet counts. A transfusion is the introduction of a donor’s cells and platelets into your body intravenously.
A low red cell count can indicate anemia, B12 deficiency, kidney disease and some cancers. A low white count can occur in some viral infections, immunodeficiency diseases and bone-marrow failure. Low platelets can indicate viral infections, lymphoma, Lupus and the AIDS virus 2. If you are concerned or are experiencing any of these symptoms, have your doctor run blood tests. A simple CBC (Complete Blood Count) will give the results needed so you can be treated properly.
There are some daily steps that you can take to maintain healthy blood cell counts. Eating a balanced diet with the right portions of the main food groups is important. You need the iron that foods like dried fruits, leafy green vegetables, lean red meat, nuts and whole grains provide naturally. It is also important to drink plenty of water, as the health of the body and especially its cells can suffer when not provided with proper hydration. If you feel run down and tired, take the time out to rest, as this will help to reduce your chance of illness and ease the stress placed on your body and blood cells.
A Caucasian person's arm having blood drawn in a medical lab In order to understand a low blood count, it is important to first understand the three components that make up the blood count: red blood cells, platelets and white blood cells. A simple CBC (Complete Blood Count) will give the results needed so you can be treated properly. A low red cell count is distinguished by fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, racing, heartbeat and shortness of breath.Low platelet count symptoms include excessive bleeding, easy bruising and heavy menstrual bleeding Doctor handing out a prescription, hand only There are two common ways that dangerously low blood counts are treated.
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