For the Humans like us, blood is one of the most important things in our body for it carries oxygen and other nutrients to the parts of the body. The average amount of blood in the body is equal to the 7 percentage of the whole body weight. Blood cells also fight infection and control bleeding.
If most people want to learn about the personalities of others which are intangible, it is worth to learn about the blood which actually is tangible and flowing in the blood vessels to help us stay healthy and alive.
Generally, Blood contains red blood cell, white blood cell and platelets.They are vital for the humans to have a life, however, in this article, let me emphasize on the size, function & facts about the red blood cell.
Table of Contents
Red Blood Cells are the most common type of blood cells.
Red blood cells, also called erythrocyte, are the most common type of blood cells. They make up 40% to 45% of all cells in the blood.
They are produced from stem cells in bone marrow. When these cells become mature, they progressively fill with hemoglobin and lose their nuclei and other organelles. Hemoglobin is a protein in the red blood cells which contains an iron molecule and carries oxygen throughout the body.
Generally, these mature cells circulate through the body for around 120 days before they become immature again. In other words, these immature cells are called degraded cells.
These degraded cells are carried to the spleen and liver, which break up the cells and prepare to recycle them.
A low red blood count, which is also called anemia, can cause a person feeling fatigued or weakness. When the number of red blood cell is less than normal, a person’s body has to work overtime to get enough oxygen to the cells so that he or she can feel drained as a result.
Red blood cells shape
The discocyte shape of human red blood cell is approximately 7.5 to 8.7 μm in diameter and 1.7 to 2.2 μm in thickness. Typically, mature red blood cells are shaped like an inner tube blood. However, red blood cells of some people who have a certain disorder, can take on other shapes. For example, red blood cells in the person who has a sickle cell disease, are disfigure in crescent shapes as shown in figure.
Red blood cells carry oxygen (functions)
Transporting Oxygen to the cells and carrying Oxygen away from them is the most important function of red blood cells. About 2-3 million red blood cells are produced and released into the circulation every second. Oxygen binds to the hemoglobin in red blood cells and is transported to all cells. Hemoglobin is a respiratory pigment which enhances oxygen carrying capacity of blood. Hemoglobin is highly comprised of iron and it gives the blood its red color when combined with oxygen. When blood is returning to the heart, it receives Carbon Dioxide and carries it to the lungs. Moreover, red blood cells also help cycle hormones and nutrients through our bodies.
However, red blood cells cannot carry Oxygen effectively if they are damaged or misshapen. Consequently, they transport less Oxygen, last only 10 to 20 days, and tend to clump in blood vessels. Normally, healthy and mature red blood cells live in the blood about 100 days.
Facts about red blood cells
Do red blood cells have nucleus?
Initially, red blood cells contain a nucleus when they are made in the bone marrow. When these red blood cells become mature, the enucleation happens, the process in which red blood cells extrude the nucleus. Therefore, when they enter the circulation process, they do contain a nucleus.
The absence of the nucleus is called an adaptation of the red blood cells and it allows red blood cells to carry more oxygen modules. Then, the cells become more flexible and more capable of traveling through narrow capillaries.
What is Red Blood Cell count?
Red blood cell count is also known as erythrocyte count, which is a blood test used to find out how many red blood cells you have. As the red blood cells contain hemoglobin which carries oxygen to all parts of your body’s tissues, the amount of oxygen which you body’s tissues receive depends on the number of red blood cells and how well they are functioning. Referring to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society,
- normal red blood cell range for men is 4.7 to 6.1 million
- normal red blood cell range for women who is not pregnant is 4.2 to 5.4 million
- normal red blood cell range for children is 5.0 to 5.5 million.
There are some symptoms for you have low red blood cell count or high red blood cell count. Some symptoms which show that you have a low red blood cell count contains:
- shortness of breath
- pale skin and so on.
Generally, high red blood cell count is caused by the effects of low oxygen levels, kidney diseases and other problems.Some symptoms which show that you have a high red blood cell count contains:
- itching skin
- sleep disturbance
- heart failure
- high altitude and so on.
Neither low red blood cell count nor high red blood cell count is good. You can maintain your amount of red blood cells by following healthy lifestyles, habits and dieting. However, lifestyles changes and dieting may not be enough in some cases and it is better to see a doctor. The doctor may give you some medications as well as some instructions on the basis of maintaining the amount of red blood cells. In rare cases like when you body doesn’t respond to medications and lifestyles changes, the doctor may recommend you to perform blood transfusions.