How often should you get a blood count?

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Only a few can boast of impeccable health. The perpetual rush, environmental pollution, as well as addictions and genetic burdens promote the development of many diseases. The only way to catch diseases in time is through regular blood tests. How often should they be done and what is worth knowing? Read!

Blood count – what does it show?

Morphology is a basic blood test that is an effective diagnostic tool that informs about the state of health. With its help it is possible to discover dysfunctions of the hematopoietic system, disorders of the kidneys, liver, bile ducts, as well as find the causes of fatigue, headaches and other ailments.

Interpretation of blood count results shows the condition of all systems in the body and ongoing inflammatory processes in the body. Blood morphology allows timely capture of pathological processes and is helpful in outlining the direction of further diagnosis. The examination allows quantitative and qualitative assessment of morphotic elements. Based on deviations from the norm of certain blood parameters, the primary care physician refers the patient to a specialist, who may decide to deepen the diagnosis.

Blood morphology – how often to perform?

Blood morphology is a test that prophylactically is recommended to be performed once a year. In individual cases, especially with chronic diseases and during pregnancy, the test is repeated every 2-3 months. This has to do with the vitality of morphotic cells. For example, the lifespan of a single erythrocyte is 120 days, leukocytes live from two to four days, and thrombocytes live from a week to 10 days.

The frequency with which blood counts should be performed depends on your health, age and medical history. When the morphology is to monitor ongoing inflammation or anemia in the body, the frequency of the test should be decided by the doctor. 

Blood count – basic determinations

Interpretation of morphology results is always better left to the attending physician, but it is nevertheless worth knowing the basic determinations and norms.

RBCs – erythrocytes. Red blood cells belong to the most numerous group of morphotic elements. Their function is to provide oxygen via hemoglobin to all tissues. Erythrocytes also carry away some of the carbon dioxide formed in cells during metabolism. As a result of diseases, erythrocytes can change their shape, density and number. Abnormal results may be indicative of anemia, less often of hyperemia.

WBC – leukocytes. White blood cells are the first line of defense against external pathogens, as well as by-products of the natural breakdown of tissues in the body. Their number indicates the capacity of the immune system and its ability to resist infections. Both elevated and lowered levels indicate ongoing inflammatory processes in the body, the presence of infectious and autoimmune diseases. To understand exactly what is going on in the body, the doctor should order a blood count with smear, which determines the level of different types of white blood cells, i.e. neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils.

PLTs – thrombocytes. Without them, blood is unable to clot. Platelets close the blood vessels where there has been a break in continuity, they form a so-called platelet plug. Then, thanks to fibrin, a clot is formed. Low thrombocyte levels can indicate pulmonary asthma, malaria, cancer, dehydration, excessive physical strain and arthritis.

main photo: Naidoo Jade Photography

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