The sphere of influence
Spherocytosis, usually a hereditary condition, is one in which the proteins that are supposed to make your red blood cells (erythrocytes) form into biconcave discs are miscoded and, instead, ultimately result in smaller, spherical cells (spherocytes).
Spherocytes are broken down by the spleen much more readily than erythrocytes and this may lead to various issues including a haemolytic anaemia.
All of which is why I’m giving a shout-out to The Tall Child who has non-hereditary spherocytosis (his was a spontaneous case). Although not anaemic, his blood haemoglobin is at the low end of normal. Spherocytes are also known to offload oxygen to cells less efficiently than erythrocytes so, coupled to low haemoglobin levels, one consequence can be to become fatigued more easily. Despite that, over the course of nine weeks he has followed the UK NHS structured ‘couch-to-5K’ programme and, last week, he successfully hit the thirty minute run on target.
Well done Ben, that’s brilliant!
A young man with odd-shaped corpuscles
Once ran from Dundee o’er to Brussels.
He trained for the fray
On the couch-to-5K
Though it gave him some very sore muscles!