March 3, 2010

Causes and Treatment For Low Red Blood Cell Count

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Whenever one pictures or sees blood, it always appears bright red in color. This is because of the dominance of a number of red blood cells present in the blood, as opposed to the number of white blood cells and platelets present in the same amount of blood. The main function of the red blood cells is to transport oxygen from the heart to all other parts of the body. If the flow of blood in general, but especially the oxygen carrying cells, is cut off from a certain portion of the body or a certain organ, the tissue in that area of the body will slowly die. The red color of the body is attained from hemoglobin which makes up roughly about 35% of the overall weight of the red blood cell. Hemoglobin is essentially a protein that contains iron. An average human body contains about 30 trillion red blood cells in the entire body; however this count may vary depending on the age and sex of the patient. The red blood cell count is an essential factor in deciding the overall health status of an individual. A substantially lower red blood cell count in the body will lead to conditions such as chronic inflammation, malnutrition as well as acute or chronic blood loss.

Causes and Treatment

The most common condition arising out of a low red blood cell count is anemia. When anemia is the result of a deficiency in iron reserves within the body, the body is unable to produce the required amounts of hemoglobin, and results in a shrinking of the red blood cells. As a result, various parts of the body are not able to receive the optimum level of oxygen content through the blood stream. The primary root cause of this entire cycle is the fact that most people do not get the required amount of iron in their daily diet. The condition may also stem from a deficiency of vitamin B12, which again may find its roots in an insufficient dietary intake. However, in the case of anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, the red blood cells produced are much larger in size – thereby preventing them from being able to effectively squeeze through the vessels and veins. Moreover, these cells tend to die much faster than normal cells. A beneficial diet would be one that contains sufficient amounts of iron or iron supplements. Foods like chicken, leafy vegetables and spinach are highly recommended. Eat plenty of fruits in order to boost your vitamin C levels.