Live Blood Under the Microscope
It's true that an individuals life and health energies show in the drops of their blood. Using high powered video microscopes to evaluate the shapes and other properties of individual blood cells can be very revealing. Often things are noticed that are never seen using traditional methods of blood screening.
In itself, live blood screening with microscopy is not a diagnostic procedure. However, it can often point you in a direction to take for further diagnostic testing. For our purposes, we simply want to view the "terrain" of the blood to catch a glimpse of the overall "toxic load" and consequent state of health of our client.
Of the information that follows in this section, some is found in medical physiology textbooks and is taught in hematology and microbiology classes. Some of the information (particularly that which deals with nutritional aspects of blood morphology) is usually taught to health professionals through continuing education and alternative type programs. As traditional medical and dietetic training is generally inadequate where disease prevention is concerned and often based on incorrect assumptions about health, these alternative programs serve as a much needed venue to disseminate this information. It can be controversial. I say controversial because the definitions, findings, causes, and correlation's are often the subject of debate. On one hand there is traditional hematology, on the other is standard hematology overlaid on a nutritional framework with different ways of thinking about health and disease. There are varying perspectives of what the observed morphology actually means. Some are correct, some are not.
Further complicating matters, many microbiologists seem to work in a vacuum. Three microbiologists may see or have discovered the same thing, but they each call it by a different name. Going further, some biologists have entertained entirely different philosophies.
When the serious student of health begins to dig into all aspects of healing, he inevitably unfolds the theories of disease and concepts of microbial pleomorphism as espoused by individuals like Antoine Bechamp and Guenther Enderlein. Enderlein was a German microbiologist who researched deeply in this area which I refer to as the German biological perspective. For purposes of understanding blood morphology as espoused by some microscopists/biologists, this area of study is necessary. Unfortunately, American hematology and medical students do not get this perspective. Consequently, the American health system is ignorant of some core historical biological thought provoking ideas and that could potentially incubate new discoveries.
This following material takes you into these areas. The intent is to give you a solid foundation in which you can further pursue each area as you desire. The majority of what follows has explanations from standard hematology, expanded views from the medical perspective, and associated thinking and suggested tests that may be run by a traditional medical practitioner (and some tests used by alternative practitioners) if he/she were to have a specific microscopic finding. During the workshop, you will have the benefit of instructor clarifications and expanded insights. Additionally, I've included a brief overview of the "alternative" pleomorphic biological perspective for most of the microscopic findings.
Predominant blood references: "Dailey's Notes on Blood", by John F. Dailey; "Living Blood and its Ultrastructure"' by Marcel Bessis; course notes from various workshops; "The Internist" June 1996, Position Statement of the Council on Diagnosis and Internal Disorders of the American Chiropractic Association.
NOTE: On this website, the material has been seriously edited and is a fraction of what is provided in class. We did not include any biological perspective of Guenther Enderlein as research over the past few years has relegated the basic theories to be a historical reference in biology that in many respects is incorrect - thought it is still being taught as science by some microscope schools. Though we integrate, expand and explain these theories in class, we did not want to send readers of this material down a road which needs much clarification.
STANDARD HEMATOLOGY - BLOOD BASICS
Blood is the fluid that circulates through the heart, arteries, capillaries, and veins. It is the chief means of transport within the body. It transports oxygen from the lungs to the tissues, and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. It transports nutritive substances and metabolites to the tissues and removes waste products to the kidneys and other organs of excretion. It has an essential role in the maintenance of fluid balance.
Blood varies in color from an oxygenated bright red in the arteries to a duller red in the veins. The total quantity of blood within an individual depends upon the body weight. A person who weighs 150 lbs. has about 5 quarts of blood in the body.
Plasma accounts for about 55 percent of the total volume of the blood. It consists of about 92 percent water, 7 percent proteins, and less than 1 percent inorganic salts, organic substances other than proteins, dissolved gasses, hormones, antibodies, and enzymes.
The suspended particles of the blood comprise the other 45 percent of the total volume of blood. They include erythrocytes (red blood cells), leukocytes (white blood cells), and platelets (thrombocytes).
Red blood cells originate in the red bone marrow and are stored in the spleen which acts as a reservoir for the blood system. The average red cell has a life of 110 to 120 days. Aged red cells are ingested by macrophages in the spleen and liver. The iron is reclaimed from the dead red cells and then transported by the plasma back to the marrow where it is incorporated into new red cells. The great majority of the cells in the blood are red blood cells.
Leukocytes (white blood cells) originate in the bone marrow and lymph tissue. White blood cells are actively engaged in the destruction or neutralization of invading micro-organisms and are then transported to sites of infection and inflammation. For this reason, their life span in the blood in usually very short (a life span of up to 14 days). When infection is present their number are greatly increased and they also become more mobile and move back and forth between the blood, lymph, and tissues.
White blood cells come in various shapes and sizes:
Granular appearing white cells are known as Neutrophils, which make up about two thirds of all white blood cells; Eosinophils which make up about 2 to 4 percent of the white cell count; and Basophils - which make up less than 0.5 per cent of the white cell count.
Non-granular appearing white cells are known as Lymphocytes. These are the natural killer cells and make up about 25-30% of all white blood cells. Two types of lymphocytes T's and B's are involved in immunity.
Platelets or thrombocytes are small, clear, disk-shaped bodies about one-third the size of red blood cells or even smaller and play an important role in blood coagulation and clot formation. One of the most important properties is its self-sealing ability to repair a leak in a blood vessel. The life span of a platelet ranges from eight to ten days.
RECORDING LIVE BLOOD - SALIVA pH
When the blood is brought up on the microscope for study, it is a good time to also take a reading of your clients Saliva pH. You'll remember from the Rot & Rust Workshop (the pre-training session to this course) that pH controls many things in the body. If the pH is off, many bodily processes can also be off. Also, if internal parasite activity (endobiosis) is seen in the blood, it could be that the pH in the blood has been thrown off for some time and it's something you would definitely want to correct. We'll learn more about this when we cover biological terrain.
Hours since last meal ______
Saliva pH _____
In doing this little test, it becomes an appropriate time to introduce simple dietary/pH education. It is also the time to introduce the concepts of "biological terrain" and can set up the patient for more thorough urine/saliva testing. (This assumes you have not already pre-educated your patient and have not yet included the urine/saliva testing as part of your work-up.)
RED BALL TEST
The red ball test was something given to soldiers during the civil war. If a soldier said he was too sick or weary to fight, he would get his finger pricked with a pin to see if the blood beaded up on the finger or if it was runny with no beading. If it beaded up, the soldier was considered healthy and was given his weapon and sent into battle. If there was no bead, he was sent to the recuperation tents. You can make note of a quick "red ball test" when a drop is taken from the finger.
When a drop of blood appears on the finger it should bead up.
If the ball is absent it can indicate:
-low protein due to: lack of protein in diet,
-poor digestion (lack of digestive enzymes),
-anemia (low blood iron.)
"READING" LIVE BLOOD
It is absolutely fascinating to watch the play of life at the cellular level. When you see the indicated item or activity listed below, the contributing factors or causes shown are correlated to have been found in most cases. Certainly variations may occur in individual situations. Reading live blood in this fashion can really be considered more of an art than a science.
Remember: You are not learning a diagnostic procedure for any medical malady. A medical diagnosiscannot be made by looking at live blood under a microscope. The real benefit of this procedure is to demonstrate in a very visual way the realities of health to your client which will make a lasting impact and will lock them into understanding and complying with your suggested protocol. That is all.
The red cells are predominately uniform in size and shape and appear as round circles on a gray background. The center of the cells are lightened somewhat and slightly off white in color. They reside freely in their own space, not overlapping or sticking together, but gently bouncing off each other.
The white cells (neutrophils) are about as large as two red cells and have a rather grainy appearance with 3 to 4 dark, irregularly shaped lobes inside the cell. Rather than being round, they display many different shapes and are active and moving, In normal blood there are about 700 to 1000 red cells to every white cell.
The blood serum surrounding the cells is clear without parasites, bacteria, clots, or other undesired floating masses. Platelets are free floating.
NOTE: Concerning the names given to the items that follow, the most widely known terms with hematological reference have been listed first. Since we are weave alternative viewpoints behind blood elements, the naming convention of Professor Enderlein, Gaston Naessens and others has also been listed. When appropriate an AKA ("also known as") has been added with other biologists terminology.
RED BLOOD CELLS - ROULEAU
RBC ROULEAU - Stacked RBC's. Worse stage of protein linkage.
SUGGESTED CAUSE: Same as previous page, protein linkage. Often poor protein digestion. The pancreas may be off. Excess dietary protein, poor assimilation. Eating too much animal protein. Blood too toxic (altered blood pH) from stress, coffee, cigarettes, meat, etc. Dehydration, not drinking enough water (which by the way, is one of the top undiagnosed causes of many ailments).
POSSIBLE SIGNS: Fatigue, shortness of breath - RBC's cannot carry oxygen; stress on heart. Cold hands/feet - poor circulation.
MED PERSPECTIVE: Peripheral blood erythrocytes often display the phenomenon of rouleau formation and exhibits a specific role in the pathogenesis of some disease. Plasma fibrinogen and Immunoglobulins are some of the potent rouleau-inducing agents. Some industrial poisons such as benzene, parathion & carbon tetrachloride not only increase this phenomenon but also cause thrombotic and hemorrhagic manifestations as well. Patients suffering from allergies, infections and severe trauma may exhibit rouleau.
The presence of massive rouleau can be detrimental to patients suffering from occlusive vascular diseases as it causes impairment of blood flow in the small vessels that can compromise the red blood cells ability to exchange carbon dioxide and oxygen gases. This results in localized hypoxia and acidosis as well as generalized fatigue and less than optimum performance. Severe or massive rouleau is not infrequently found in patients with hyperglobulinemia and may be seen in many disease states ranging from arthritis, multiple myeloma, diabetes, myocardial infarction and in patients with increased alcohol intake. The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) is usually increased because of the increased ratio of mass to surface area resulting in rapid rouleau fallout from the plasma.
ADD'L TESTS: Cholesterol, Triglycerides, WBC, ESR, SGPT, SGOT, Globulin, A/G Ratio.
As rouleau may be caused by acute phase protein elevations in the blood, the possibility of serious disease complications exist when is does not respond to nutritional therapy. If rouleau does not disappear after a maximum of seven days and there is no evident tissue inflammation, tissue damage or tissue necrosis, additional testing can be conducted to rule out arthritis, arteritis disease, choecystitis, cirrhosis, diabetes, endocarditis, rheumatic diseases, rheumatic heart, hepatitis, hyperthyroidism, chronic infection, nephritis, systemic lupus, ulcer, colitis, neoplastic disease.
Also keep in mind that the wrong diet for one's blood type (A, O, B, AB) can agglutinate the blood. Certain food lectins are incompatible with certain blood types. (see "How You Rot & Rust"). The topics of lectin chemistry, protits, prions, - all should some day get coordinated research.
RED BLOOD CELLS - CODOCYTES (TARGET CELLS)
3D Perspective - E. Differential Interference Contrast
APPEARANCE: These are red blood cells that contain a bright white center encircled by a dark ring that makes it look like a target. The center of the cell does not pulsate or fade in and out, it remains static and bright white.
SUGGESTED CAUSE: May be caused by increased cholesterol and lecithin content, bile insufficiency, liver disease, spleenectomy or anemia. The lack of pulsation in the middle of a target cell as opposed to a healthy specimen is due to the fact that the cell membrane has collapsed on itself. This is thought to be due to a lack of iron/hemoglobin. The picture on the right is a more 3 dimensional perspective which better shows the severe concave, donut like nature of a target cell.
POSSIBLE SIGNS: Anemia, tired, low energy.
MED PERSPECTIVE: Codocytes are erythrocytes that exhibit a dark circular "target" pattern. Marked elevations of target cells is the result of a shift in the exchange equilibrium between the red cells and cholesterol. Conditions that reduce lecithin-cholesterol acetyltransferase production, or interfere with enzyme mechanisms of performance results in elevation of red cell cholesterol and serum phospholipid ratios. Further, the bile salts content ratio in the plasma can affect the exchange between cholesterol and the red cell membrane.
Target cells are seen in hypochromic anemia, liver disease and on occasion following spleenectomy. Erythrocytes with this configuration are cells lacking iron, therefore any disease process which affects red cell iron absorption may produce target cells. Disruption of hepatic lecithin-cholesterol acetyltransferase production in the alteration of bile acid concentrations due to biliary obstruction can account for increased red cell lipid deposition. The spleen also influences the regulation of erythrocyte lipid content.
ADD'L TESTS: CBC with differential, serum iron, serum transferrin, serum ferritin, and liver profile (SGPT, GGT, SGOT, LDH, Alkaline phos-phatase).
Note: Hypochromic anemia red blood cell morphology is often connected with whiter central areas in the RBC as examined under phase contrast. Sometimes you may see RBCs that look like bowling pins at the bowling alley. This is often associated with thalassemia or Mediterranean anemia which is due to specific defects in globin synthesis with a resultant deficiency in synthesis of normal hemoglobin.
STANDARD HEMATOLOGY: Platelets, or thrombocytes, are small, colorless, enucleated bodies. They are produced in the bone marrow by fragmentation of megakaryocytes. Megakaryocytes are large cells found in bone marrow that produce platelets by fragmenting their cytoplasm. Platelets play a vital role in the hemostatic process, which prevents blood loss. When the endothelial lining of a blood vessel is traumatized, platelets are stimulated to go to the site of injury, where they form a plug that helps reduce blood loss.
APPEARANCE: Platelets are typically very dark to black under phase contrast, are not quite circular, nor square, and range in size from 2-4 microns.
PLATELET EXCESS - When the platelet count increases the condition is known as thrombocytosis. This may occur in certain disease states such as cancer, chronic infections, and certain blood diseases. It may cause increased blood clot formation.
PLATELET DEFICIT - When platelet count decreases a condition called thrombocytopenia occurs. This may happen either as a result of decreased platelet production (e.g., bone tumor, chemotherapy) or excessive platelet destruction (e.g., transfusion reaction, immune response).
PLATELET/THROMBOCYTE AGGREGATION. CAUSE: High triglycerides, excessive red meat, stress, caffeine, sodas, chocolate, etc.
SIGNS: Circulation, capillary blockage, blood clots, heart.
MED PERSPECTIVE: Severe platelet aggregation can be a potentially serious finding. Platelet aggregation can contribute to cardiovascular disease which is the number one cause of death in the western world. Several organic substances may promote platelet clumping which include collagen, ADP, the catecholomines, certain immune complexes and fatty acids. Cigarette smoking often contributes to "hyperactive" platelet formation. Diabetics and patients with hypercholesterolemia usually demonstrate increased platelet aggregation which can predispose them to clotting disorders which may lead to a vascular thrombus and vessel obstruction.
ADD'L TESTS: For aggregation rule out high fat diet as cause. If platelet aggregation occurs concurrent with rouleau, acute phase protein elevation caused by inflammation or tissue necrosis or allergy can be suspected. A collagen-damaging disease is possible. If patient does not improve after 30 days of nutritional treatment and dietary management, test and rule out occult disease processes which may cause collagen damage or neoplastic changes. If aggregation exists in absence of rouleau and high fat diet is ruled out, check for excessive stress level producing biochemical imbalance in patient. Other tests -Cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL cholesterol, coagulation time.
PHOSPHOLIPID FORMATIONS; BACTERIAL LOOKING SPHERES
Phospholipids make up 25-30% of the dry weight of the cell protoplasm. When cell death occurs, these lipids are liberated and their interaction with the aqueous protein solution, which is the cell sap, gives rise to many diverse structures.
The class workbook details this in many respects.
Many might call these forms yeast - but that could not logically done without staining for DNA. Short of that, these forms must be perceived, looked at, and discussed in other ways. This is covered in the workshop.
SPICULES; FIBRIN STRANDS
SPICULES: STANDARD HEMATOLOGY - fibrous (fibrinogen) needles in serum.
APPEARANCE: Straight, hair-like formations that look like pick-up sticks in the plasma fluid.
SUGGESTED CAUSE: Liver stress/toxicity/congestion and associated toxic bowel are suspected when spicules are present. (Spicules could also be a healing indicator if undergoing body cleansing, liver detoxing.) Toxins such as: antibiotics, drugs, alcohol, tobacco, coffee, meat. Plugged/dirty bowel, bowel pH off. Maldigestion and/or bacterial overgrowth can be suspected as cause of bowel toxicity along with old, decaying, impacted fecal matter.
POSSIBLE SIGNS: Constipation, indigestion, heartburn, bloating, gas, flatulence, fatigue, headaches, backaches. Autoimmune diseases: lupus, MS, MG, Lou Gehrig's.
ADD'L TESTS: Evaluate bowel function. Urinary indican test. When alcohol consumption, medication, and bowel toxicity have been ruled out and spicules show no response after nutritionals, liver profile to rule out liver or biliary tract complications.
PROTOPLAST; COLLOID SYMPLAST (Enderlein)
Spheroplast (denotes protoplast in round formation); Fibrous Thallus (Naessens), Progenitor cryptocides (Livingston-Wheeler).
STANDARD HEMATOLOGY: Cell without a nucleus. Rather large structure in the blood of which much is still not known. Said to be a bacterial parasite which produces toxic by-products (endotoxins); indicates body is toxic and physically run down; can invade body tissues.
APPEARANCE: Looks like a rock in the blood. It can be round, oblong, irregular, or have jagged edges. (The more jagged the edges, the more dangerous the finding.)
SUGGESTED CAUSE: pH off, low oxygenation, immune system compromised, degenerative disease implications.
POSSIBLE SIGNS: Fatigue, immune weakness, possible degenerative disease indications.
MED PERSPECTIVE: The presence of large numbers of protoplast structures in peripheral blood is an unfavorable sign. Some authors propose they are a collection of progenitor cryptocides (Livingston-Wheeler). Progenitor meaning existing across millenia at the beginning, cryptocides meaning cellular killer. Protoplasts are thought to be related with infectious disease or neoplastic activity and or L-form bacteria. They are thought to be viral in origin.
Diseases exhibiting increased numbers of protoplastic elements are numerous and include neoplastic processes, AIDS, scleroderma and other connective tissue diseases, infectious arthritic conditions and disease processes that impair heart, liver and kidney function. Diabetes has been associated with protoplastemia.
ADD'L TESTS: Multi channel 24 blood profile, CBC with differential, thyroid panel, ESR, C-reactive protein, CPK, immunocompetency survey, selected tumor markers, coagulation time.
AKA: Spheroplast (denotes protoplast in round formation); Fibrous Thallus (Naessens), Progenitor cryptocides (Livingston-Wheeler).
Dry Layer Oxidative Stress Test
Health care practitioners that use a microscope in their practice for patient education have a unique ability to observe the extent of free radical activity taking place in the body. This is through a procedure called the Dry Layer Oxidative Stress Test. It is very simple. A drop of blood from the finger tip is placed on a specimen slide in a series of layers. After the layers dry, they are observed under the microscope.
Blood is an interesting indicator of health and where free radicals are concerned, their activity impacts blood morphology. Putting it very simply, when free radicals attack cells, damage is done. The stuff that lies between cells and holds them together is the interstitium, or extra cellular matrix. Through free radical attack, cells get damaged, enzyme activity is altered, and the extra cellular matrix around the cells becomes compromised. Water soluble fragments of this matrix get into the blood stream and then alters the blood clotting cascade. With that done, we find that blood does not coagulate perfectly. This is one mechanism for altering a "normal" blood pattern.
Reading the dry layers of blood is like reading an ink blot. It can be very revealing as to the overall state of one's health. Blood from a healthy person will be uniform in coagulation, and tightly connected. From an individual with health problems and excess free radical activity, the dry layer blood profile will be disconnected, showing puddles of white (known as polymerized protein puddles). The more ill the patient with free radical/oxidative stress, the more disconnected is the dried layer of blood.
The image on the left is a dried layer of blood of a healthy individual. Notice how it is inter-connected with black connecting lines. The black interconnecting lines is a fibrin network. This is fibrinogen, one of the protein constituents of the blood. The red in-between the black lines are the red blood cells. The image to the right is of an individual who has cancer. Notice how the blood fails to coagulate completely and has many white areas. These are the polymerized protein puddles and they reflect oxidative stress. They represent the degradation of the body's extra cellular matrix from free radical activity. Since free radical activity has been implicated in nearly all disease processes, this test can be used as a quick reference to gauge the severity and extent of one's health problems.
Researchers have discovered certain biochemical pathways which create the free radical pathologies and leave their tell tale signs in the dry layer footprint of blood. Depending upon the nature of the degenerative disease, various patterns in the blood will unfold based upon the modifying substances inherent within that particular disease process. It is in this way that the dry layer oxidative stress test not only reveals the presence of free radical activity, but the nature of the disease which has resulted from that activity.
The most powerful aspect of this particular tool for any doctor is to assess whether the patient is really getting better, or whether their symptoms are just getting pushed around. When a patient is truly getting better, the doctor knows definitively through this microscopic examination. In the case of the cancer profile above, as the patient reverses their disease process, the white puddles will begin to fill back in with red blood cells. Subsequent tests will illustrate this event happening. If the patient is getting worse, the pattern will continue to degenerate.
There are many things you can learn from these tests. Just like reading live blood, reading dry layers can be considered an art. There is much more research, peer review and corroborated studies that need to be done in this area.
During this part of the course we will be using the "Oxidative Stress Test (OST)" scorecard. Under most of the indications, questions or causes are listed that can be pursued with the patient. These are listed to help point you in the right direction for a future diagnosis, or corroborate an existing diagnosis.
As we study this technique, we will go over the score card, blood gathering technique, special microscope set-up, and the color blood prints.
We will begin with an oral discussion of the theory of the test and will review the front page of the scorecard. We will then continue with the detail of the test as reviewed in the workbook. The blood slide preparation and microscope procedure will be given as hands-on learning in class.