CD4 Count: Overview
‘CD4 Count’ refers to a test which is usually carried out for people diagnosed with HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus), in order to ascertain the disease status. This test is mostly carried out along with the HIV viral load test.
CD4 Count is known by some other names also, such as CD4 percent, CD4+ count, CD4 lymphocyte count, T4 count, a T-helper cell count.
CD4 Count pertains to the number of CD4 cells — white blood cells known as T lymphocytes or, simply, T cells — in a person’s blood. These cells are produced in the thymus gland and play a key role in maintaining a healthy immune system.
According to Molecular Biology, CD4 is a ‘specific cell type’ cluster of differentiation 4. It is a glycoprotein that is found on the surface of immune cells like monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, and T helper cells. The discovery of CD4 cells dates back to the late 1970s; with their original name being T4 and leu-3. The name CD4 came into use in 1984.
CD4 cells help the body in identifying, attacking, and destroying certain infection-causing viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Due to the crucial role played by the CD4 cells for the healthy functioning of the immune system, the results of the CD4 Count essentially depict the health of the immune system in HIV-infected patients.
It must be noted that, since the HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) chiefly targets the CD4 cells, the number of these cells can decrease over a period of time in the HIV patients, as the disease progresses.
How CD4 Count Results are Interpreted?
In the CD4 Count results, the measurement of the number of cells is expressed as ‘cells per cubic millimeter’ of blood.
- The CD4 Count is considered ‘Normal’ when the count of cells is between 500 and 1,200 cells per cubic millimeter of blood, in adults and teenagers.
- A CD4 count below 500 cells per cubic milliliter is considered ‘Abnormal.’ More specifically, if the CD4 Count is between 250 and 500 cells per cubic millimeter, it is an indication of a weak immune system and the possibility of HIV infection. If the count is below 200 cells per cubic millimeter, it is an indication of AIDS and a potentially high risk of HIV-related opportunistic infections (OIs).
Based on the above interpretation, it is apparent that a higher CD4 Count indicates a healthier immune system.
Significance of CD4 Count
The test of CD4 Count and its results hold immense significance for HIV-affected patients and the control of the disease which presently has no specific cure. CD4 Count enables the doctors to know how well a patient is responding to the medicines, and assess the patient’s potential risk of OI complications.
The significance of CD4 Count for people diagnosed with HIV can be explained as follows:
- It helps doctors in knowing the extent of damage caused to the immune system of affected individuals
- With the help of CD4 Count, doctors can predict the progress/worsening of HIV in the future
- The decision of the right time to start the treatment is also based on CD4 Count
- CD4 Count also helps doctors to determine the need for preventing HIV-linked OIs
- By checking the CD4 Count on a regular basis, doctors can determine the effectiveness of Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) or Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy (HAART).
Besides the evident significance of CD4 Count for HIV patients, the count of CD4 cells is useful for evaluating the functioning of the immune system, even in healthy individuals. Moreover, the test can also be used by doctors for diagnosing and monitoring some other health conditions, including lymphoma, DiGeorge syndrome, and organ transplant.
Herbs for Stabilizing CD4 Count
The use of certain herbs can be very beneficial in managing the disease because of their proven properties to boost the immune system, thereby stabilizing the CD4 Count in HIV patients.
On the basis of the proven medicinal significance of certain potent herbs, Planet Ayurveda herbal manufacturing company offers some excellent herbal formulations with the ability to stabilize CD4 Count, so that it does not fall to dangerously low levels in HIV patients.
Planet Ayurveda’s Herbal Products for Stabilizing CD4 Count
1. Amalaki Rasayan Capsules
The pure standardized herbal extract of ‘Amalaki’ herb (Emblica Officinalis) is used for preparing these capsules. The Amalaki herb is widely used in Ayurvedic products because of the abundance of iron, calcium, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and essential amino acids.
These capsules have the ability to enhance the immune system, fight against free radicals, rejuvenate the body, and balance the body’s Vata, Pitta and Kapha energies.
Dosage: 1-2 capsules two times daily, with plain water, after meals
2. Manjistha Capsules
For preparing these capsules, the standardized extract of ‘Manjistha’ herb (Rubia cordifolia) is used. Manjistha is widely known for its immunity-enhancing, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, astringent, antispasmodic, anti-bacterial, and blood-purifying properties.
Manjistha capsules can support the healthy functioning of the immune system and urinary system, eliminate toxins from the body, manage blood disorders, and pacify the Pitta dosha.
Dosage: 1-2 Capsules twice a day, with plain water, after meals.
3. Ashwagandha Capsules
The preparation of these capsules involves the use of the standardized extract of ‘Ashwagandha’ herb (Withania Somnifera), which has proven anti-inflammatory properties.
Ashwagandha capsules can manage inflammation, reduce metabolic imbalances, support the functioning of the immune system, support nerve functions, enhance heart health, and balance Vata and Pitta doshas.
Dosage: 1-2 Capsules twice daily, with plain water, after meals.
4. Brahmi Chyawanprash
Brahmi Chyawanprash is a jam-like herbal product which is prepared from a mix of Brahmi (Bacopa monnieri), Amla (Emblica Officinalis), and several other potent herbs for overall health.
The use of Brahmi Chyawanprash can manage degenerative changes undergone by the body, enhance the nervous system, promote mental health, boost the immune system, and rejuvenate the body.
Dosage: 2-3 teaspoonful, twice to thrice daily after meals, preferably with milk.
5. Immune Booster Capsules
The preparation of these capsules involves a combination of several useful herbs including Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Grape seeds (Vitis vinifera), Bhumi amla (Phyllanthus Niruri), and Cow colostrum (Bovine colostrums).
Immune Booster capsules are considered an excellent natural supplement for a healthy immune system. The capsules strengthen the immune system, regulate T cells, eliminate toxic materials from the body, enhance body metabolism, and prevent the recurrence of the infections.
Dosage: 1-2 Capsules two times a day, with plain water, after meals.
6. Green Essential Capsules
A combination of several beneficial natural ingredients is used for preparing these capsules. These natural ingredients include Amalaki (Emblica Officinalis), Spirulina (Spirulina platensis), grape seed (Vitis vinifera), green tea (Camellia sinensis), and wheatgrass (Triticum aestivum).
The use of these capsules can enhance immunity, provide nourishment to the brain cells, manage skin ailments and other conditions, also, help the body fight against free radicals.
Dosage: 1-2 Capsules twice daily, with plain water, after meals.
Planet Ayurveda’s herbal formulations for stabilizing CD4 Count in HIV patients are safe and natural products, which do not contain any chemicals, additives, preservatives, yeast, starch, artificial colors, binders or fillers. However, it is advised that these herbal products should be used in consultation with an expert Ayurveda practitioner.