So you’ve been feeling weak and lethargic but unsure why?
It might be time to get a test done.
A blood work, that is.
But what do you need to look out for?
Many factors are measured in a blood test, from serum glucose levels to hemoglobin levels.
For instance, your serum glucose levels tell you the amount of sugar present in your blood. Very high deviations from reference glucose levels can be indicative of diabetes.
While hemoglobin levels can give you an idea of how efficiently oxygen is being transported in your blood, and also if iron is reaching your cells or not.
The above factors are indeed very crucial for a health checkup. However, when it comes to analyzing your immune system, you need to take into account the following factors:
These are a family of more than 100 protein messengers which facilitate communication between immune cells.
They can be found in two forms: pro-inflammatory cytokines and non-inflammatory cytokines.
Pro-inflammatory cytokines are indicators of inflammation spread inside the body. Their levels can be significantly elevated through the excessive consumption of dairy and oils such as palm oil.
Non-inflammatory cytokines are key agents that enhance the communication between immune cells. They can be increased by consuming olive oil and avocadoes.
Neutrophils are the first wave of soldiers sent to the frontlines when a foreign body enters your system.
The normal range should be between 50-80%. If it falls below 50, then it means you might be at risk of developing neutropenia (low neutrophil count).
There are various causes associated with neutropenia. One of them is the deficiency in Vitamin B12, folic acid, and copper.
In contrast, having a high neutrophil count or neutrophilia means that bacteria most likely infect your body. Other causes might include a heart attack, arthritis, burns, or bone fractures.
Lymphocytes belong to the group of white blood cells.
They play an essential role in your immune system, helping your body ward off infection.
Elevated levels of lymphocytes might be a sign of lymphocytosis. In other words, your body is either dealing with an infection or an inflammatory condition. In some situations, an increase in the level of lymphocytes in your blood might pinpoint to leukemia.
Don’t get anxious about reading the word leukemia. This condition can only be diagnosed by your doctor through a bone marrow biopsy and analyzing your blood under a microscope.
This type of white blood cell secretes several chemicals, including histamine.
Histamine triggers the immune system to respond to a foreign allergen such as mold, pollen, or different types of food such as peanuts or milk.
Furthermore, histamine increases blood flow to the affected area after a mosquito bite and causes the swelling and redness you witness on your skin. It also triggers the surrounding nerves that cause you to itch.
Platelets are tiny and colorless cell fragments in our blood that form clots and prevent bleeding.
They are made in your bone marrow (the spongy tissue in your bone). Stem cells in the bone marrow are subjected to a transformation process, whereby they change into platelets. In contrast, others develop into red blood cells and white blood cells, respectively.
Know Your Immunity Status
If it’s been several days and you still feel unwell, it might be time to get your immune system checked out! Lucky for you, there are home blood draw services available at your disposal during these trying times to keep you safe and assured!