What is blood?
When people hear about blood, some of us can’t help but to shiver. Some of us cannot bear the site of the red fluid oozing from a body. But blood may not be as red as we imagined it to be. Whenever we go for blood tests we see that the tubes of our blood are not that red but it’s a little bit darker in color. This is because of the oxygen content of the blood. The blood is the carrier of the oxygen and the different nutrients that is needed by the body. This is why it is important for our body to have good circulation. Aside from transporting nutrients, there are other more functions of blood in our body.
Functions of blood
The blood is capable of reaching the different parts of the body through our blood vessels. With its travel, it also takes the different nutrients and oxygen that the cells need. It gives the cell what they need to be able to function. At the same time, it also gets the waste products from the different cells so that it may be excreted by the body. Whenever it passes hormone producing glands, it also carries the hormones so that it would reach the different targets. The blood is like a bus that travels throughout the body. It picks up its passengers (nutrients, waste products, or hormones) and delivers them to where they are supposed to go.
The blood is also responsible for maintaining the pH of the body. It is responsible for the acid-base balance. The temperature of the body could also be regulated by the blood because it distributes the heat produced by the different cells throughout the body.
The blood is responsible for fighting off various elements that can cause a disease. The blood is made up of white blood cells that act as soldiers to destroy the foreign material that might have infected the body. Some examples of the things they destroy are bacteria, viruses and allergens. Its property to clot could also prevent you from losing too much blood. Whenever you get a wound, the bleeding would eventually stop. This is because the blood has components that will seal the wound to prevent more blood from oozing out.
Components of blood
The blood is mainly composed of two parts the first one is the plasma and the second one are the cells. When blood is taken from you and placed into an anti-coagulated tube, the cells will settle down if it is left undisturbed. The plasma part of the blood is mainly composed of different proteins. Its main protein component is the albumin. The immunoglobulins, also known as the anti-bodies, are also found in the plasma part of the cell. They are one of the components that are responsible for the immune response of the body. There are also different cells that compose the cellular part of the blood. Let us take a closer look at them.
Cellular components of blood
1. Red blood cells
The red blood cells, also called the erythrocytes, are responsible for carrying the oxygen. The color red comes from the haemoglobin that they contain. When they are oxygenated a brighter red color is seen. This is why arterial and capillary blood is bright red color while venous blood is dark red in color. They can live for around 120 days and is removed by the spleen when they reach this age. New red blood cells will take their place in the circulation. It is the job of the bone marrow to release new cells into the circulatory system to replace the old ones.
2. White blood cells
These cells are also called leukocytes and they are responsible in protecting the body against any foreign substance like bacteria and viruses. The different types of red blood cells target different foreign bodies. The lymphocytes are used as protection for viruses while the neutrophils fight against bacterial infection. Eosinophils are the white blood cells that are usually associated with parasitic infection or allergies. With the help of the immunoglobulins in the plasma, the white blood cells serve as protectors of the human body.
The platelets are fragments of cells and so they come in various sizes. They are the ones who help in the clotting of the blood. Without them, there is a high risk of bleeding. The platelets or thrombocytes are able to clot with the help of the different clotting factors that is found in the plasma. In dengue patients, the number of platelets goes down. This is why bleeding is a common sign of having dengue fever.
When there is lack of blood in the body, the doctors will give a blood transfusion order. It is very important that there is adequate blood in the system. If only a component of blood is lacking, doctors could choose to give the specific blood component only. In the case of dengue, only platelets are needed and so platelet concentrates are prepared and are given to the patient.
Cedric’s passion in his articles shows his dedication to create informative posts for his readers. He usually writes about the different topics on health like different natural remedies for constipation, becoming pregnant, healthy fats for the body and treatments for stroke patients. With these articles, he hopes to help his readers know more about their health conditions.