|By: Jennifer Chen, BSc, ND, LAc
Beach Metro Community News, November 2010
|Whenever we get sick, one of the first things that the doctor checks is our blood. Blood is a specialized body fluid that delivers oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body, while at the same time, removing waste products from these cells. Hence, it is rightly considered to be the “river of life”.
Oftentimes, patients will come into our office with symptoms such as fatigue or a general feeling of ill-health, but they cannot pinpoint the cause(s) because standard blood and other laboratory tests show that they are “healthy” and that there is nothing wrong with them. The problem could be that a typical blood test only measures levels of certain constituents in the blood and thus only gives us a quantitative measure of our health.
This is where live and dry blood cell analysis can be a useful tool for patients to better assess their health status and to determine imbalances which may be contributing to their health concerns.
What Is Live Blood Cell Analysis?
Live blood cell analysis is carried out by placing a drop of blood from the patient's fingertip on a slide covered with a glass cover slip to prevent it from drying out. The slide is then viewed at high magnification with a specialized (dark-field) microscope that projects the image to a television screen.
This allows us to observe the size, shape, movement, and function of the red and white blood cells and can show us how the blood is behaving inside the body. The presence of metabolic by-products or pathogenic microorganisms in the blood may also be seen. Unlike conventional laboratory blood tests, live blood cell analysis gives us a qualitative measure of our health. In fact, in Germany, it remains the preferred method of analyzing the blood.
Why Use Live Blood Cell Analysis?
The quality and functioning of your blood cells directly affect your present and future health, with imbalances and diseases appearing in the blood, long before they even manifest as physical symptoms in the body. The quality of a person’s blood is essential to health and can be affected by nutrition and lifestyle factors.
Live blood cell analysis can allow us to assess how the body is responding to its environment and to identify possible areas of weakness in the body. It can give us an early warning of impending health concerns that we can take steps to prevent. It is useful in helping us to determine the optimal nutritional and lifestyle changes which can improve the health of an individual. During the course of a treatment, it can also be used to monitor a patient’s progress and to confirm whether or not they are on the right track to better health.
Live blood cell analysis can also indicate possible nutrient deficiencies, toxicity (heavy metals, chemicals), imbalances in acid-base levels in the body, liver/gallbladder weakness, poor oxygenation of cells, digestive problems, immune system imbalances, lymphatic congestion, potential bacterial, yeast, or parasitic infection, accelerated aging, and conditions that can predispose to cardiovascular disease.
What is Dry Blood Analysis and Why is It Important?
In order to obtain a complete picture of the status of our blood cells, it is also important to carry out a dry blood analysis (also known as the Oxidative Stress Test). Unlike the live blood analysis, this test uses a sample of dried blood. Recent studies conducted in the US and by many researchers have validated this test. Dry blood analysis was developed in Europe in the 1920s and has been in use for over 80 years. This test allows us to see how effectively a person’s blood clots, which reflects their overall constitution. It can give us an idea of free radical activity or oxidative stress present in an individual. It is well-known that high levels of free radical activity are associated with diseases such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, and arthritis. This test can also indicate the presence of heavy metal or bowel toxicity, inflammation, and nutritional deficiencies.
Live and dry blood analysis is a simple and effective tool which can help to educate a patient to better understand their condition and health status. It is, however, important to realize that blood cell analysis is not a diagnostic method, but a helpful tool, which when used in conjunction with other conventional tests and examinations can help to identify present or future problems which may otherwise be overlooked.
Note: This article is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace proper diagnosis and treatment by a qualified healthcare professional.