Do you spend quality time observing your skin and your entire body? How often do you do it? Do you know that certain signs showing on your skin and perhaps, inside your body can tell a lot about the status of your health?
In this article, I'm going to show you two specific signs which when seen on the body shows that your blood volume is low. My name is Agyemang Seth Darko, a Certified Nurse. Kindly follow this page for more educative and informative contents about health-related issues.
Blood is an important component of the human body. Blood is life. This is because it contains certain essential materials that feed all the body parts in order for them to function to the fullest. That is to say, without blood running through your system, it will be difficult to walk, eat, lift, run, see, speak and perform any other functions you can probably think of. It gives energy and power to your body parts per the components it supplies to them.
Before talking about the subject matter of the day, let me enlighten your memory about the true nature of blood. It consists of two main parts; the plasma, making up 55% and the cell fractions, constituting 45%. The plasma is the liquid (water-like) part of the blood. The cell fractions, on the other hand, are the solid constituents that swim in the plasma. They include Red Blood Cells (RBC) and White Blood Cells (WBC). Nutrients, minerals, wastes products, and many others also constitute a solid part of blood.
Your blood is the primary messenger of the body. What this means is that it sends certain vital materials to all the body parts for effective and collaborative functioning. It is the responsibility of your blood to transport nutrients to all the body parts including the brain, kidneys, eyes, liver, heart, spleen, legs, hands, and many more. It is the duty of the blood to transport waste substances to the kidney for excretion. It behoves the blood to distribute oxygen to all the parts of the body in order to properly function.
Furthermore, your blood is responsible for carrying White blood cells (Neutrophils, Basophils, Lymphocytes, etc) to a site of infection in your body. If your blood performs these pertinent functions, you can imagine what will happen to you if the volume runs very low.
According to studies, a 70 kilogram (kg) man has an average of 750 millilitres (mls) of blood running through his body. If that is the case, what becomes the volume for someone weighing lesser as in 50, 25, 15 kilograms? The calculation is there for you to make. You don't have to always go to the hospital to be told the quantity of your blood is very low. Maybe at that point, it might be too serious that you would have to be transfused with blood.
While at home going about your normal duties, it is possible to detect this problem so that if there is the need to quickly see a qualified healthcare professional, you can do that. In case you are wondering about how to examine yourself at home, I'm going to educate you on two key signs you are likely to see on your body signalling that your blood is running low.
1. Capillary refill
I want you to do this. Press hard on your fingernail or the soft pad of one of your fingers. What do you see? You could see that as you applied pressure on the said parts, it blanched. The blood at the site disappeared and the fingernail or the soft pad of the finger turned very white (pale). Upon the release of the pressure, it is evident that the colour of the nails or the soft pad resumes the original. This act is called the capillary refill and tells a lot about your blood volume.
Once you release the pressure on the fingernails or soft pad of one of the fingers, the time it takes for the blanched area to resume normalcy or have its colour return is called the capillary refill time (CRT). In other words, CRT is defined as the time taken for the colour to return to an external capillary bed after pressure is applied to cause blanching.
It can be measured by holding a hand higher than heart-level and pressing the soft pad of a finger or fingernail until it turns white, then taking note of the time needed for the colour to return once the pressure is released. The normal CRT is <2 seconds; a CRT of >2 seconds suggests poor peripheral perfusion and may be an early sign of shock. It is an indication that your blood volume is low and you must quickly act very fast.
You can simply do this exercise at home. You don't need to get someone to do it for you. When you realize that it takes a longer time (more than 2 seconds) for blood to fill up the site you applied the pressure, then, perfusion is poor and as a matter of fact, it may be a result of inadequate blood volume in your body.
What at all is this? It is easier to measure the status of blood volume just by looking at the colour of the skin. One of the signs is pallor. This is where certain parts of your body look pale or very white. It is easy to identify this sign on the palm, the feet, the tongue, on the lips, nails and the cantus of the eyes. When you see any of these areas looking other than pink, it's an indication that the blood isn't sufficient at that parts of the body.
This signals that the blood volume isn't appreciable enough to supply these areas. Therefore, it will be expedient to quickly look for a remedy when you see paleness in any of the parts I have mentioned. The best advice I can give in this regard is to visit a qualified health facility for the necessary measures to be taken to rectify the cause of the low blood volume.
In case of any question, ask in the comment box below and I will quickly answer. Thank you for reading this article. Kindly share with as many people as you can. Also, do well to follow this page for more educative insights.
The article was written by Agyemang Seth Darko, a Certified Nurse
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