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Blood and the Body

The human body is remarkably complex. During each moment of a person’s life there are an infinite number of processes occurring, and blood plays a key role in many of them.

However, blood is not one thing; it is made up of many different parts that allow it to sustain the body. In fact, white blood cells (WBCs), plasma, red blood cells (RBCs), and cell fragments (platelets) together comprise the substance we know as blood. All of these elements are required for blood to successfully serve its life-supporting functions.

Blood plays many roles that are critical to a person’s survival. Like a vehicle, it transports nutrients, oxygen, and messengers, such as hormones, throughout the body. Additionally, it fights infection, controls clotting, regulates critical body functions, such as temperature, and removes waste.

Given the multiple, wide-ranging roles of blood, problems with this important substance can prove dangerous for the human body’s well being. From anemia to blood cancers and infection-fighting disorders to clotting and bleeding problems, understanding what can go wrong with blood is the first step towards taking the right preventive steps.

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Understanding Blood and the Body

  • Blood and the Body
  • Blood: What's In It Anyway?
  • A Closer Look at Anemia
  • Sickle Cell Anemia Overview
  • The Clotting Process: What You Need to Know
  • Bleeding and Clotting Problems: What Can Go Wrong
  • Preventing Risk: Pulmonary Embolism, Heart Attack, and Stroke
  • A Closer Look at Blood Cancers
  • About Blood (Multi-media Partnership)
  • Understanding Blood Tests
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  • Commonly Asked Questions


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  • Clotting During Menstruation
  • Diabetes and Pregnancy
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  • Heavy Periods -- Iron/Hemoglobin Levels
  • Hemochromatosis and Low Iron
  • Hemoglobin SD Disease
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    Last Updated: Feb 21, 2014