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    Blood

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    Your blood is made up of liquid and solids. The liquid part, called plasma, is made of water, salts, and protein. Over half of your blood is plasma. The solid part of your blood contains red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

    Red blood cells (RBC) deliver oxygen from your lungs to your tissues and organs. White blood cells (WBC) fight infection and are part of your immune system. Platelets help blood to clot when you have a cut or wound. Bone marrow, the spongy material inside your bones, makes new blood cells. Blood cells constantly die and your body makes new ones. Red blood cells live about 120 days, and platelets live about 6 days. Some white blood cells live less than a day, but others live much longer.

    There are four blood types: A, B, AB, or O. Also, blood is either Rh-positive or Rh-negative. So if you have type A blood, it's either A positive or A negative. Which type you are is important if you need a blood transfusion. And your Rh factor could be important if you become pregnant - an incompatibility between your type and the baby's could create problems.

    Blood tests such as blood count tests help doctors check for certain diseases and conditions. They also help check the function of your organs and show how well treatments are working. Problems with your blood may include bleeding disorders, excessive clotting and platelet disorders. If you lose too much blood, you may need a transfusion.

    NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

    Questions - Blood

    Low blood sugar, also known as hypoglycemia or low blood glucose, is when the level of glucose in the blood drops below the approximate level of 70 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). This level is only an approximate and it may be different for everyone, therefore it is best to check with a healthcare provider to determine what level is too low for you.
     
    When a person has low blood sugar they might experience symptoms that come on quickly, common symptoms include feeling shaky or jittery, sweaty, hungry, feeling confused or disoriented, being irritable or nervous and being pale among many others. Signs and symptoms of hypoglycemia may vary per person, therefore it is best to know which symptoms are specific to you in order to be able to detect when your blood sugar is too low. Having low blood sugar is dangerous and needs immediate attention.
    
    If a person begins to feel the symptoms of hypoglycemia then it is best to check their blood glucose right away and if it is too low then it is recommended they eat or drink 15 grams of carbohydrates right away. Examples of carbohydrates include four glucose tablets, half a cup of fruit juice or half a can of soda.
    
    References
    1. Low Blood Glucose (Hypoglycemia). National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. URL: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/diabetes/overview/preventing-problems/low-blood-glucose-hypoglycemia. Accessed June 6, 2018
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    Blood pressure is a measure of the pressure that is created in the arteries by the blood the heart pumps around the body. High blood pressure is defined as a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or higher. High blood pressure is known as the “silent killer” because it often has no warning signs or symptoms. Having high blood pressure can decrease the blood flow to the heart and cause chest pain, heart failure or a heart attack.
    
    Additionally, high blood pressure can cause the arteries supplying blood and oxygen to the brain to burst and cause a stroke. A stroke can cause serious disabilities in speech, movement and many other basic functions necessary for everyday life and activities. The kidneys can also be damaged from high blood pressure, people who have hypertension are at higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Because high blood pressure is a common and dangerous condition it is best to check it regularly.
    
    References
    1. High Blood Pressure. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/index.htm. Accessed June 06, 2018
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    Blood pressure is the measurement of the force that is created against the walls of the arteries when the heart pumps blood through the body. High blood pressure or hypertension is classified as having a blood pressure reading of 140/90 mmHg or greater. Acute pain can increase a person’s blood pressure by increasing the sympathetic activity of the body. Many other factors can also affect blood pressure. For example, the amount of water and salt a person ingests, hormone levels and the condition of a person’s kidneys, nervous system or blood vessels. Certain people are at higher risk of experiencing high blood pressure, these include obese individuals, people who eat too much salt or drink too much alcohol and people with diabetes among others.
    
    References
    1. High Blood Pressure. MedlinePlus. URL: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000468.htm Accessed June 5, 2018
    2. Chawla PS, Kochar MS. Effect of pain and nonsteroidal analgesics on blood
    pressure. WMJ. 1999 Sep-Oct;98(6):22-5, 29. URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10605351 Accessed June 5, 2018
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    In humans, as well as all mammals, the mature red blood cell does not contain a nucleus. The majority of space inside a red blood cell is used to store haemoglobin, which transports oxygen. However, non-mammalian vertebrates such as fish and birds have mature red blood cells that contain a nucleus.
    
    References
    1. Dean, L. (2005). Blood groups and Red Cell Antigens. National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892-6510. URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK2261/pdf/Bookshelf_NBK2261.pdf Accessed May 28, 2018
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    Yes, blood pressure usually increases during exercise. When you exercise, your muscles require more oxygen to maintain physical activity. This demand for oxygen is supplied by more blood being pumped to your tissues. Heart rate and systolic blood pressure (the pressure in your blood vessels when your heart beats) rise to meet the demands of your tissues. The amount that your blood pressure increases due to exercise is affected by many variables including the intensity of the exercise and how fit you are.
    
    References
    1. Measuring Blood Pressure. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/bloodpressure/measure.htm. Accessed April 22, 2018.
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    Blood pressure (BP) is finely regulated by complex systems in the body which is normally able to compensate for changes in BP. Large meals may briefly increase BP due to an increased need for blood to be pumped to gastrointestinal system to digest the food - however, it should quickly normalize due to the compensatory mechanisms. Other types of meals may increase BP by other means such as consuming caffeine or even eating spicy or exciting foods which can cause your heart rate to increase and subsequently increase BP.
    
    References
    1. Sparks MA, Crowley SD, Gurley SB, et al. Classical Renin-Angiotensin System in Kidney Physiology. Compr Physiol. 2014 Jul; 4(3): 1201-1228. URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4137912/. Accessed April 22, 2018.
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    High blood sugar is considered any reading greater than 180. These high readings can over time cause issues with one’s kidneys, eyes, feet, and nervous system. Normal glucose can be maintained with diet, exercise, and any prescribed medications.
    
    References
    1 Diabetes Complication. MedlinePlus. URL: https://medlineplus.gov/diabetescomplications.html. Accessed April 2, 2018.
    2 Blood Sugar. MedlinePlus. URL: https://medlineplus.gov/bloodsugar.html. Accessed. April 2, 2018.
    3 Know Your Blood Sugar Numbers: Use Them to Manage Your Diabetes. Centers for Disease Prevention and Control. URL: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/diabetesatwork/pdfs/KnowYourBloodSugarNumbers.pdf. Accessed April 4, 2018.
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    High blood pressure is classified as any reading equal to or greater than 140/90. Either number can be high for one’s blood pressure to be classified as high. High blood pressure is usually asymptomatic. High blood pressure can cause stroke, heart failure, heart attack, and/or kidney failure.
    
    References
    1. High Blood Pressure. MedlinePlus. URL: https://medlineplus.gov/highbloodpressure.html. Accessed April 2, 2018
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    Your blood type depends on what specific proteins, called antigens are found in your red blood cells. In order to determine your blood type you will need to visit your primary care provider. During this visit, your doctor will obtain a blood sample and order a laboratory test called ABO typing. This test will mix your blood sample with antibodies to determine whether you are type A, B, AB, or O. Additionally, your blood sample will also be tested against another protein known as Rh factor because blood types are either Rd-positive or Rh-negative. Knowing your blood type is important because it allows you to safely receive blood transfusions during medical emergencies and also helps you donate your blood.
    
    References
    1. Blood Typing. MedlinePlus. URL: https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/003345.htm. Accessed March 21, 2018
    2. Blood. MedlinePlus. URL: https://medlineplus.gov/blood.html. Accessed March 21, 2018
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    Low blood pressure is any reading equal to or less than 90 systolic or equal to or less than 60 diastolic. Some individuals have a low blood pressure all the time and experience no symptoms. Others have low blood pressure from disease or medication. Low blood pressure becomes a concern when an individual is dizzy, falling, or fainting.
    
    References
    1. Low Blood Pressure. MedlinePlus. URL: https://medlineplus.gov/lowbloodpressure.html. Accessed March 18, 2018.
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    Last updated date

    This page was last updated on 6/21/2018.
    This page provides information for Blood.