Though they may not be visible to the naked eye, your blood cells play an incredibly vital role in the functioning of your body. Without them, you would not be able to do many things that help keep your bodily system working right. These cells are also surprisingly complex pieces of machinery. These machines have actually only recently been fully understood by medical scientists. It wasn't until the advent of microscope technology that scientists really understood the parts of your blood. If you have ever wondered why you needed these blood cells to survive, you may want to read this article. It will break down the different types of blood cells and explain exactly what they do for your body.


Red Blood Cells

These are the most recognizable blood cells to many different people. This is because these cells give our blood its characteristically red coloring. The cells themselves are uniquely donut shaped, which is owed to the role that they play in the body. Many people may wonder why they might need these cells in their bodies in the first place. Believe it or not, these cells make up about a quarter of all cells within your body. Since they are so prominent, it stands to reason that they serve a vital purpose within your body.

These cells are known to scientists by the term erythrocytes. Their primary function in the blood stream is to transport oxygen throughout all sections of your body. Since this is an incredibly vital role, it is no surprise that they comprise such a significant segment of your body's cell population. Without these cells, different parts of your body would quickly shut down. In fact, many people have died because of the red blood cell loss they sustained from various injuries. You can also lose limbs if they are starved of fresh deliveries of oxygen molecules by these erythrocytes.

Unlike many other cells in the body, these do not contain their own nucleus. They are not capable of reproducing themselves within the body. This is because they must clear out as much space for the hemoglobin that contains the oxygen molecules. This allows the body to circulate its oxygen at a much more efficient rate. These red blood cells actually originate in the bone marrow of the body. This is why many people need effective bone marrow in order to produce the blood that they need. Usually, these cells only have a lifespan of about 120 days before they are broken down within the bloodstream. They often change color when the amount of oxygen they are carrying fluctuates throughout the course of the body. By the time they return to the heart, they may actually be closer to purple in color.


White Blood Cells

Another critical component of the bodily system are white blood cells. These are cells that are more sporadically located within the bloodstream. They won't be found in nearly as great of a quantity as red blood cells will be. But this is because they actually fulfill a much different function that these other cells in the body. Many people actually depend on these cells to keep them healthy. Usually, they will make up about 1% of the total volume of blood within the body. However, this is an incredibly vital aspect of the human blood system that many scientists have begun to focus their research on in the lab.

Sometimes known as leukocytes, these white blood cells play a vital role in the body's defense system. They can track down bacterial cells within the bloodstream and kill them. They will usually encircle these cells and dissolve them within their cell walls. It is essential that a body contains enough of these cells to ward off infections that might regularly occur within the body. In fact, some health professionals will use a white blood cell count to determine the healthiness of a person's immune system. If the white blood cell count drops too low, it may be a sign that the body is being attacked by a dangerous disease from within.

There are many diseases out there that will affect the white blood cells within a person's body. One of the most deadly is a form of cancer that is known as leukemia. This disease will attack the production sites that are responsible for generating new white blood cells within the body. This will usually cause a dramatic decrease in the number of white blood cells that may be available to ward off diseases. A low count of white blood cells is often known as leukopenia. If a patient exhibits this kind of disorder, they may be dangerously susceptible to the onset of disease within his or her body. Many health professionals take this risk very seriously and warn people with low white cell counts to be careful.

Platelet Blood Cells

The last type of blood cells within your body is platelets. These are a clear liquid form of blood cells that will pass through the circulatory system. The most notable function of platelets is that they are responsible for blood clotting. When you have a wound, the blood passing through will tend to congeal. This can help the wound close over time. This sort of clotting process is only made possible by the type of platelets you have within your body. There are some people who do not have these kinds of effective platelets coursing through their blood system. They are often afflicted with hemophilia, which means they do not heal from wounds very easily.

Finally, you may be curious how all of this operates to keep your body stable. These blood cells flow through different types of circulatory systems in your body. When these blood cells leave your heart, they are passing through what is known as arteries. These will carry the blood outward throughout the body. Cells returning to the heart will pass through systems known as veins. All of these sets of circulatory systems combine to deliver fresh oxygen to every organ in your body. They will all need to flow freely if your blood system will continue to function as normal. Talk to your doctor if you feel like any of these systems is acting irregularly.


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