Red blood cells are red blood cells in humans and animals that contain hemoglobin.
They have a specific biconcave disc shape. Due to this special shape, the total surface of these cells is up to 3000 m² and exceeds the surface of the human body by 1500 times. For an ordinary person, this figure is interesting in that the blood cell performs one of its main functions precisely with its surface.
For reference. The larger the total surface of red blood cells, the better for the body. If red blood cells were common for spherical cells, their surface area was 20% less than the existing one.
Due to its unusual shape, red cells can:
- Transport more oxygen and carbon dioxide.
- Pass through narrow and curved capillary vessels. Red blood cells lose their ability to pass to the most remote parts of the human body with age, as well as with pathologies associated with changes in shape and size.
One cubic millimeter of blood of a healthy person contains 3,9-5 million red blood cells.
The chemical composition of red blood cells looks like this:
The dry residue of the Taurus consists of:
- 90-95% – hemoglobin, red blood pigment;
- 5-10% – are distributed between lipids, proteins, carbohydrates, salts and enzymes.
Such cellular structures as the nucleus and chromosomes in blood cells are absent. Red blood cells come to a nuclear-free state during successive transformations in the life cycle. That is, the hard component of the cells is reduced to a minimum. The question is, why?
For reference. Nature created red cells so that, having a standard size of 7-8 microns, they pass through the smallest capillaries with a diameter of 2-3 microns. The absence of a hard core just allows you to “squeeze” through the thinnest capillaries to bring oxygen to all cells.
Red blood cells (red blood cells) perform not only an aesthetic function. They are approximately 1000 times more than other blood cells (lymphocytes, neutrophils, platelets, etc.) and this distribution is not accidental. A smaller amount would not be enough to fulfill their main task – oxygen transport to all human tissues.
In their structure, these are oval cells, concave on both sides, in shape resembling an ordinary bagel. Almost the entire space inside them is filled with hemoglobin – a complex protein structure that binds oxygen and carbon dioxide. Circulating between the lungs and all other tissues through the blood stream, these formations allow each cell to fully “breathe”, making an exchange of these gases.
The creation of red blood cells occurs in the “red brain”, which is located inside the bones of the body. Their average lifespan is almost six months, after which they are destroyed in the spleen, and the remnants of hemoglobin are excreted along with feces and urine. Violation of the red blood cell life cycle can lead to various disorders, due to which the process of cellular respiration becomes inferior.
Red blood cells are special blood cells that, due to the hemoglobin in their composition, are red. Actually, this pigment, due to its biochemical properties, is able to bind oxygen, which is carried with the blood stream throughout the body. In other words, the main function of red blood cells is transport, which consists in the delivery of oxygen from the lungs to the cells of the body, and carbon dioxide in the opposite direction.
Red blood cells are red blood cells that are synthesized by the red bone marrow and perform a transport function, as they are able to carry oxygen from the lungs to all organs and tissues and take the exhaust carbon dioxide back to the lungs
Red blood cells are blood cells that transport oxygen to human organs and systems, as well as transfer carbon dioxide to the lungs. They have a biconcave shape. Red blood cells are colored red. GS is due to hemoglobin content. The average size of the red blood cell is 7-8 microns. The cell has a lifespan of approximately 4 months.
Red bone marrow is responsible for the generation of red blood cells. In another way, this category of cells is called respiratory. They perform the following functions:
- Regulatory. Helps to maintain an adequate acid-base balance.
- Nutritious. Red blood cells transport amino acids from the digestive system to body tissues.
- Protective. This category of cells is capable of adsorbing antigens and toxins on its surface. In addition, red blood cells take part in immune and autoimmune reactions.
- Enzymatic Red blood cells are involved in a large number of reactions. Enzymes can join them.
The erythrocyte sedimentation rate or ESR is also an important indicator, which is determined by a general blood test and is expressed 1 mm / h. Its deviation from normal values indicates the development of infectious or inflammatory processes.
You can find out the ESR level using a clinical study, before which you need to follow some rules:
- Material sampling is carried out early in the morning on an empty stomach.
- In the evening, you should exclude heavy foods, fatty, salty, sweet.
- Before the analysis itself, it is allowed to drink a small amount of water.
The indicator of the erythrocyte sedimentation rate largely depends on gender, age, the presence of physical exertion, the quality of food, human sleep and some diseases.
After blood donation, it should be immediately sent for examination, since the reaction occurs quickly, and the results can change in some 2-3 hours.
If the values turned out to be high, the reasons may be:
- An allergic reaction, often of an acute type.
- Any malignant neoplasm.
- Inflammation of the respiratory system.
- Infectious pathologies – influenza, hepatitis, SARS.
- Period of pregnancy.
- Menstrual flow.
- Excessive consumption of fried and fatty foods.
- Hypertensive crisis, accompanied by an increase in blood pressure.
Low rates are characterized by damage to the cardiovascular system, medication, pancreatic diseases, bleeding, as well as deficiencies of essential vitamins and minerals.
70% of the red blood cell consists of water. Hemoglobin accounts for 25%. The remaining volume is occupied by sugars, lipids, enzyme proteins. Normally, the red blood cell has the shape of a biconcave disc with characteristic thickenings along the edges and a hollow in the middle.
The size of a normal red blood cell depends on age, gender, living conditions and the place of blood sampling for analysis. Blood volume in men is higher than in women. This should be taken into account when interpreting the results of laboratory diagnostics. In a man’s blood, there are more cells per unit volume, respectively, they have more hemoglobin and red blood cells.
In this regard, the norm of red blood cells in the blood is different depending on the gender of the person. The norm of red blood cells in men is 4,5-5,5 x 10 ** 12 / l. Experts adhere to these values when interpreting the results of a general analysis. But the number of red blood cells in women should be in the range of 3,7-4,7 x 10 ** 12 / l.
Immediately I want to focus on the rate of hemoglobin. It is in women – 120-140 g / l, in men – 135-160 g / l. With a decrease in hemoglobin, they speak of the development of anemia. You can read more about this in the article Norm of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin Enhancing Products
When studying the number of red blood cells in the blood, pay attention to the amount of hemoglobin, which also makes it possible to suspect the presence of anemia – one of the pathological conditions associated with red blood cells and a violation of their main function – oxygen transport.
Functions of red blood cells
So what are red blood cells responsible for and why do specialists pay such increased attention to this indicator? Red blood cells carry out several important functions:
- oxygen transfer from the alveoli of the lungs to other organs and tissues and the transportation of carbon dioxide with the participation of hemoglobin;
- participation in maintaining homeostasis, an important buffer role;
- red blood cells transport amino acids, group B vitamins, vitamin C, cholesterol and glucose from the digestive organs to other cells of the body;
- participation in the protection of cells from free radicals (red blood cells contain important components that provide antioxidant protection);
- maintaining the constancy of the processes responsible for adaptation, including during pregnancy and when diseases occur;
- participation in the metabolism of many substances and immune complexes;
- regulation of vascular tone.
The erythrocyte membrane contains receptors of acetylcholine, prostaglandins, immunoglobulins, insulin. This explains the interaction of red blood cells with various substances and participation in almost all internal processes. That is why it is so important to maintain a normal number of red blood cells in the blood and timely correct violations associated with them.
Specialists distinguish two types of disorders in the erythrocyte system: erythrocytosis (an increase in red blood cells) and red blood cells (red blood cells are lowered), leading to anemia. Each of the options is considered a pathology. Let’s understand what happens with erythrocytosis and erythropenia and how these conditions manifest.
The increased content of red blood cells in the blood is erythrocytosis (synonyms – polycythemia, erythremia). The condition refers to genetic abnormalities.
Elevated red blood cells in the blood occur in diseases when the rheological properties of the blood are violated and the synthesis of hemoglobin and red blood cells in the body increases.
Specialists distinguish primary (occur on their own) and secondary (progressing against the background of existing violations) forms of erythrocytosis.
Secondary erythrocytosis occurs against the background of other diseases and pathological processes:
- oxygen deficiency in the kidneys, liver and spleen;
- various tumors that increase the amount of erythropoietin – the hormone of the kidneys that controls the synthesis of red blood cells;
- loss of fluid by the body, accompanied by a decrease in plasma volume (with burns, poisoning, prolonged diarrhea);
- active output of red blood cells from organs and tissues in acute oxygen deficiency and severe stress.
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What is a red blood cell. Norm for women and men
Erythropenia is called a low red blood cell count in women and men. This condition can be caused by external factors, at the end of which the balance and the number of red Taurus returns to normal.
For example, after heavy physical exertion, a blood test will show a reduced red blood cell count, but after a rest, a second test will report a return to normal.
Erythropenia can also cause malnutrition, which is a complete or partial rejection of animal protein.
As a rule, these are fasting, separate or carbohydrate diets, veganism or fasting. Such abstinence must be agreed with the doctor.
The cause of erythropenia may be more serious factors. For example, with tumors, metastases or genetic disorders in the bone marrow, red blood cell production decreases, which negatively affects the entire circulatory system.
Insufficient production of red blood cells (including platelets) can cause anemia caused by a lack of iron, vitamin B 12 or folic acid.
The cause of lowering the level of red blood cells can be profuse blood loss resulting from injuries or complex operations. Abundant menstruation can also cause hemorrhagic anemia in women.
Sometimes a lack of red blood cells occurs as a result of their early destruction.
The treatment of erythropenia depends on the disease that caused it. Some deviations are treated on an outpatient basis; other diseases require hospitalization and inpatient therapy.
Sometimes treatment with drugs and a special diet is enough, but in severe cases, doctors can prescribe artificial blood enrichment with red blood cells.
The increased content of red blood cells in the blood is called erythrocytosis. Like erythropenia, erythrocytosis does not have pronounced symptoms.
Only advanced cases can manifest as weakness, headaches, dizziness, and fainting. The rest of the erythrocytosis in women and men is asymptomatic.
Temporary erythrocytosis can cause severe overheating – a long stay in a bath or sauna, working in a hot workshop or just a heat stroke – all this provokes an increase in the level of red blood cells. After restoration of the body, red blood cells, as a rule, return to normal.
Dehydration or hypoxia (lack of oxygen) often causes erythrocytosis, which, after filling in the lack of water or air in the body, disappears.
In women, the cause of temporary erythrocytosis can be menstruation – therefore, it is not recommended to donate blood for analysis during menstruation. Most often, the results of such analyzes show an overestimated number of red blood cells in women.
Dangerous causes of erythrocytosis requiring treatment under the supervision of a doctor are:
- cancers that produce tumors and metastases in the bone marrow;
- the presence of suppuration (cysts, abscesses, peritonitis);
- diseases of the kidneys, liver, spleen;
- inflammatory diseases;
- lung diseases (including bronchial asthma);
- heart disease.
For diagnosis and treatment, if a woman detects erythrocytosis, doctors prescribe a complete examination.
The patient should undergo an ultrasound scan, a repeated (more detailed) blood test, be examined by narrow specialists. In some cases, a bone marrow biopsy may be required.
In general, with the correct ratio of leukocytes, platelets and red blood cells, the norm in women can be its own, slightly different from the existing standard indicators.
But it must be remembered that a deviation from the norm can only be recorded by a qualified specialist – it is not recommended to independently decrypt the blood test and make a diagnosis.
Update: December 2018
Any blood test is not complete without the study of red blood cells. Deviation from the norm of red blood cells in the blood can reduce the quality of life, provoke the occurrence of infections and significantly worsen the prognosis for chronic pathologies (especially affecting the heart). This indicator should be monitored at least 1 time per year.
For an adult woman, 3,2–5,10 × 1012 g / l of red blood cells is considered normal. However, depending on a number of factors, the value of the indicator may vary. In particular, age influences. After 50 years, the value of the indicator is 3,6-5,1 × 1012 g / l. This is due to the fact that at this age, patients are faced with a change in hormonal levels.
What is the norm of red blood cells in women? According to medical experts, the RBC in a healthy person should be 3,5-5×10 in 12 degrees. In addition, the size, shape and concentration of bodies in the blood should be satisfactory.
A change in these values indicates the development of a pathological process. Also, a reason for this may be pregnancy and age. Therefore, the older the woman, the analysis of red blood cells changes significantly.
After 40 years
What is the norm of red blood cells in women after 40 years? During this period, the restructuring of the body may already take place, it begins to prepare for menopause, as a result of which the hormonal background changes. The optimal value of red blood cells in such an age period is considered to be 3,6-5,1×10 in 12 degrees / liter.
If the indicators are not included in the norm, we can assume the development of a disease of the hematopoietic system or an exacerbation of chronic pathology.
After 50 years
In the weaker sex, after 50 years, menopause finally forms, the hormonal level may not be constant. In addition, in this period, many diseases begin to develop – cardiovascular, respiratory, the spinal column is affected, which also has a significant effect on the level of red blood cells.
The norm for this age is the same indicator as for women after 40 – 3,6-5,1×10 in 12 degrees / liter.
After 60 years
The norm of red blood cells in women after 60 years is 3,5-5,2×10 to 12 degrees / liter. Such values are characteristic of ladies who do not suffer from chronic and other forms of the disease.
At this age, for preventive purposes, it is advisable to regularly undergo examinations in order to maintain the level of health and function of the organs.
The rate of erythrocyte sedimentation in the blood of women is determined by many factors. A great influence is exerted by a person’s activity, his habits, proper preparation for analysis and age-related features.
After 40 years, when the menopause is nearing, the ESR should be 20 mm / h. The norm of erythrocyte sedimentation in the blood of women after 50 years is considered not more than 25 mm / h. In women over 60, the indicator is characterized by 35 mm / h, which is due to natural factors associated with the aging of the body, its restructuring.
Treatment of pathology
Therapist was involved in the treatment of mild erythropenia. If moderate or severe anemia is detected, the patient will be referred to a hematologist. Turning to him, you must have a ready-made blood test result with you. Depending on the reason that provoked the development of pathology, a person can be redirected to other specialists. So, sometimes a cardiologist or a neurologist is engaged in normalizing the number of red blood cells in a woman’s blood after 50 years.
Deviation of the number of red blood cells from the norm is not the most common disease. First of all, the cause is established, which provoked a change in the number of red blood cells. First of all, it checks the work of the cardiac and respiratory systems, as well as the functioning of the kidneys. To combat erythropenia can be used:
- drugs that help normalize iron levels;
- Vitamin B12
Features of the treatment directly depend on the type of anemia that has developed in humans. Each of its varieties has characteristic features that are reflected in. If the cause of the development of the pathology is blood loss, the source is eliminated. Causes of chronic bleeding are often hemorrhoids or erosion. In addition, infections are treated if they have a place to be.
To determine the cause of the decrease in the level of red blood cells in the bloodstream, only a general analysis is not enough. In this case, there is a need for the appointment of auxiliary examinations. If we take into account the evidence obtained in practice, the trigger for the development of anemia is in most cases iron deficiency.
It is not difficult to determine a decrease in the norm of blood cells, it is enough to monitor your well-being and, if you experience general weakness, frequent infectious diseases and low-grade fever, consult a doctor for help. An accurate diagnosis of erythropenia can only be done by a specialist after studying the results of an extensive blood test.
Treatment of this disease includes identifying the causes of the development of the pathological process and its elimination. It is not advisable to act on a low level of blood cells by increasing it. If erythropenia has developed due to the use of drugs, then their administration should be discontinued, replacing them with safer analogues.
As additional research procedures are appointed
- Ultrasound of the thyroid gland and abdominal region;
- bone marrow puncture;
- general urine analysis.
To restore normal red blood cell counts, it is important to take medicines that contain substances that increase hemoglobin.
The principles of treating polycythemia are based on addressing the causes of the disease. In the presence of hypoxic forms of the disease, oxygen therapy is mandatory. Vascular shunts are removed with surgical treatment. Smokers are strongly advised to break this bad habit. People who are overweight are assigned an unloading diet.
In some cases, the cause of the development of erythrocytosis cannot be completely or partially eliminated. In this case, the degree of threat associated with the disease and the likelihood of developing undesirable consequences are assessed. The most commonly prescribed procedure is to reduce hematocrit (tissue hypoxia). Bloodletting is carried out with caution with heart defects, obstructive pulmonary diseases. Small bloodletting is allowed once every 1 days, 7 ml each. The hematocrit level should not be reduced by more than 200%.
The appointment of cytotoxic drugs with an increase in the number of red blood cells is not allowed. The prognosis of the effectiveness of the treatment depends on the progression of the main pathological process. The danger of erythrocytosis lies in the development of thrombotic complications.
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