What is poikilocytosis?
Poikilocytosis refers to when you have poikilocytes in your blood. What are poikilocytes you ask? These are abnormally shaped red blood cells. Poikilocytosis refers to when more than 10% of your blood cells are deformed. there are many many types of poikilocytes, including Spur/Spike cells, Target cells, Burr cells, Elliptocytes, Spherocytes, Mouth cells, Sickle Cells, “bite cells”, Teardrop Cells, Keratocytes, Microspherocytes, Schistocytes and Semilunar bodies. The name ‘poikilocytosis’ doesn’t specify the tyoe of cells that are in the body.
How can it occur?
Poikilocytosis is often the result of a nutrient deficiency or something like celiac disease. However it can point to something more serious, such as blood cancer. It can be found by running a blood test called a blood film. A blood film is a thin layer of blood that gets smeared on a microscope slide and then stained in such a way to allow the various types blood cells to be examined via a microscope. Under the microscope, poikilocytosis becomes very simple to identify, as you can physically see the shape of the distorted blood cells.
What happens in our body?
Blood is really a transport train the body uses to get nutrients from the stomach and oxygen from the lungs to all the cells throughout the body. That’s the main function of blood. If it can’t do that properly, disease, illness and problems begin to occur.
What can be the consequences of poikilocytosis?
If there are many many poikilocytes in the blood system, it means that oxygen isn’t going to be transported through the body nearly as well as if all of the blood cells were normal.
How is it medicated?
The treatment of poikilocytosis depends on the cause. It can be caused by vitamin deficiency where the treatment is to replenish the vitamins and have not been in the diet. Poikilocytosis can also be caused by digesting diseases in which case you need to treat the underlying disease so that nutrients can be properly absorbed. This is the case with celiac disease as well as cancer.