By Dr. Mahendra B Mehta, General Physician
Every second, litres of blood flow through our human body and this blood is very much the reason why we are alive. But what happens when the blood count turns out to be lower than what it ideally should be? And how does that affect life of a person who is in this situation?
Haemoglobin count basically mean the extent to which the blood of a person can carry oxygen around the body. When a person’s haemoglobin count is low, there are chances that the various organs of the body are not receiving the amount of oxygen they need to function well.
This happens when the body produces red blood cells at a rate which is slower than the rate at which they are destroyed. As is normal to think, over a period of time this can really be deadly for the body. When it comes to the way in which having a low blood count can adversely affect a person, it can be said that there are a range of effects. To start with, it is likely that the person may feel a lot of fatigue, accompanied by a consistent shortness of breath, even when it comes to minor levels of activity.
In addition to these symptoms, a low blood count is linked to pain in the chest and headache, as well as pale skin. When the number of red blood cells, which are also known as RBCs, fall, the amount of haemoglobin also falls. In the case of a cancer patient, a low number of RBCs may exist. Other causes for the same are anaemia, chronic kidney disease and conditions such as gastritis. Pregnant women may also suffer from low haemoglobin.
When a person has a disease such as malaria, it leads to haemolysis, which causes the number of red blood cells to fall quite steeply. This can lead to disarray in different parts of the body.
The impact all this can have is that the heart rate increases. Also the body becomes starved for oxygen on account of a low RBCs and a low level of haemoglobin. For instance, the brain of a human uses 20% of the oxygen of the body. Imagine the impact of lower oxygen supply on it! The functionality of the brain gets adversely affected, which in turn leads to a gradual yet complete breakdown of the affected person.