Before getting to know low red blood cell count, let's first know more about red blood cells and their normal count. Red blood cells (RBC) or erythrocytes are cells responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. The RBC count will determine the amount of oxygen received by the body tissues. Because the hemoglobin contained in red blood cells carries oxygen to tissues all over your body.
RBC count, also known as erythrocyte count, is a blood test to determine the number of red blood cells in blood, which is essential for tissues to function properly.
The ability of the red blood cells to carry oxygen depends on the amount of hemoglobin. If the hemoglobin levels are low, the body is required to work a lot harder to supply oxygen to all the body tissues. Low hemoglobin level means the person is anemic and can result in symptoms like fatigue and shortness of breath.
The normal range of RBC is:
Male: 4.7 to 6.1 million cells per microliter (cells/mcl)
Female: 4.2 to 5.4 million cells per microliter (cells/mcl)
The normal ranges can differ for different laboratories and also differ depending on the measurements or samples. Usually, ranges given above are common measurements, but doctor should be consulted for the specific test results.
As we have read earlier, the amount of oxygen received by the body is determined by the number of red blood cells in blood. The oxygen from the lungs binds with the hemoglobin of the red blood cells, which is then circulated throughout the body. Causes of low red blood cells could include:
If you experience any of the following symptoms, you should inform your doctor:
Making changes in your lifestyle or diet can help in improving the RBC count.
Making subtle changes in daily routine can help in dealing with anemia symptoms.
The medical treatment for anemia will depend on the severity of the anemia. If the condition is not severe, over the counter iron supplements for daily use will be advised. For more severe condition, blood transfusion is ordered.
Sometimes the doctor might advise growth factor injections, which increases the number of red blood cells. This will help in reducing the number of blood transfusions and also prevent anemia. The injections will be administered till the red blood cell count comes to normal, after which they will be discontinued.
Here is a video showing some iron-rich foods that can fortify your blood, just try some depending on your own conditions: