Treatment For White Blood Cell Count Low – Low white blood cell count is a condition where the number of white blood cells in your body becomes too low. White blood cells (also called white blood cells) are part of the immune system and are the cells that protect your body against infections by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. A low white blood cell count is also known as leukopenia.
Leukocytes are very important for health. Life is impossible without them. Disease-causing microorganisms are literally everywhere, but most people don’t get sick because they have enough white blood cells to protect them. A low level of white blood cells often means that there is a problem in the body, so it is not considered the norm.
- 1 Treatment For White Blood Cell Count Low
- 2 Low White Blood Cell Count And Covid: What’s The Link?
- 3 Is Lucy’s White Blood Cell Count Low, Normal, Or High? (protein Synthesis
Treatment For White Blood Cell Count Low
There are several types of leukocytes. Each of them has its own special purpose and different lifespan. There are monocytes (turn into other leukocytes), lymphocytes (release antibodies, regulate immunity and destroy infected human cells), basophils (initiate inflammatory reactions), eosinophils (kill parasites and cause allergic reactions) and neutrophils (main killers of bacteria and fungi).
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Our body constantly produces millions of different white blood cells to replace worn out or dead ones. Therefore, their number remains relatively stable most of the time. The immune system skillfully regulates the number of white blood cells, increasing or decreasing the number of a certain type as needed in the situation. Even at times when we put ourselves at risk, such as eating dirty or spoiled food, inhaling germ-rich dust, being in crowded places, or places like airplanes, gyms, or hospitals, we often don’t get sick because we have a good supply of white blood cells that destroy pathogens before they cause infection.
When we get sick, the immune system will initiate a series of actions to stop the growth or kill pathogens, and to destroy infected or dying cells in the body. Infection often causes a sharp increase in the number of white blood cells. Doctors can easily tell if you have an infection when they see that your white blood cell count is higher than normal. An increase in white blood cells gives the body a better chance of stopping the infection.
Of course, there are cases when the number of white blood cells falls. In most cases, it requires a thorough examination because it is often associated with health problems, some of which are serious. A low white blood cell count is not a diagnosis or a medical condition. This is just a finding after a routine blood test.
The correct term for a blood test or exam is called a complete blood count or CBC. Doctors often order a CBC because it analyzes the number of cellular components, including white blood cells. The normal white blood cell count threshold may vary. The Mayo Clinic states that the normal range is 3.5 billion to 10.5 billion cells per liter of blood. Meanwhile, MEDLINE Plus states that 4,500 to 11,000 white blood cells per microliter (µL) is normal.
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A CBC is the only way to determine the number of white blood cells in the body. Your doctor may order several CBC tests to monitor your blood cell count.
The main purpose of leukocytes is to protect the body from infection by microorganisms. If their numbers get too low, you can become vulnerable to infections. Most people don’t actually experience any symptoms unless their white blood cell count gets very low.
If you have had low white blood cell counts for a while, you may be getting sick or getting infections more often than usual.
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All microorganisms, with the exception of HIV, are unable to attack leukocytes head-on. Meanwhile, the destruction of microorganisms is the main task of leukocytes. The body also naturally produces more white blood cells in case of infection or inflammation. This explains why infections cause an increase in the number of white blood cells.
As we mentioned earlier, our body produces leukocytes constantly. Leukocytes are produced in the bone marrow, just like other blood components. A low level of blood cells means that something is wrong with the production of white blood cells.
In most cases, a low level of white blood cells is a consequence of the disease. Some treatments can also cause this as a side effect. Malnutrition and nutrient deficiencies can also cause white blood cell counts to drop.
Low levels of white blood cells are often associated with disease. Among the most common causes is a serious infection, which can use up white blood cells faster than they can be produced. A severe infection can develop if the disease is left untreated or does not respond to treatment. This often happens in babies, very young children, or the elderly.
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A low white blood cell count is often a sign of immunodeficiency or a compromised immune system. As you learned in school, white blood cells are the workhorse of the immune system. A low number of specific leukocytes in the general blood test can often reveal the cause of immunodeficiency. Some of the more common conditions that cause immunodeficiency include systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), tuberculosis, dengue virus infection, rickettsia, psittacosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Lyme disease, and Hodgkin lymphoma.
HIV infection is also a common cause of low white blood cell count. The human immunodeficiency virus mainly targets CD T4 helper cells, which are the ones that make the immune system fight infection. HIV causes a decrease in the number of white blood cells over time. Once the white blood cell count gets too low, opportunistic bacteria and viruses invade the body and cause infection, leading to the many serious health problems that define AIDS. Having diagnosed or undiagnosed HIV infection is a very common cause of low white blood cell counts in both developed and developing countries.
A disease called sarcoidosis can also cause the number of white blood cells to fail. Sarcoidosis is an inflammatory disease characterized by the formation of lumps, called granulomas, in the lungs, skin, or lymph nodes. The cause of sarcoidosis is often unknown, but doctors suspect that it may be caused by problems in the immune system; granulomas in the lungs can be caused by an immune reaction to something inhaled into the lungs. Sarcoidosis may not cause symptoms. It is often detected after a chest X-ray. In most cases, sarcoid goes away on its own without any treatment.
Shock caused by sepsis, a condition caused by a severe infection that leads to widespread and devastating inflammation throughout the body, often causes a dramatic decrease in white blood cells. Some cases of sepsis cause very low white blood cell counts, sometimes as low as 4,000 per microliter.
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The bone marrow can become infected with viruses, causing the production of white blood cells to drop, leading to a decrease in the blood count. Infection of the bone marrow is rare, but can occur due to an infection that enters the blood or from trauma near the bone (including bedsores). Some of these viruses cause disease, including parvovirus B19, dengue, hepatitis viruses, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus.
In cancer patients, low white blood cell levels are often caused by chemotherapy. Drugs used to treat cancer work by killing rapidly dividing cells that form tumors. The problem is that the cells in the bone marrow also divide very quickly, so they are also affected by chemotherapy drugs. Radiation therapy, which is used to kill cancer cells, also kills the bone marrow, causing the number of white blood cells to decrease. During cancer treatment, your doctor will order several white blood cell count tests to monitor your white blood cell count and try to prevent it from getting too low. Your doctor will also monitor you for signs of infection.
It should also be noted that some types of cancer damage the bone marrow and white blood cells. Any cancer can do this if it affects the bones. One particular type of cancer, called acute myeloid leukemia, starts in the bone marrow and can affect the cells that make white blood cells. Another cancer, multiple myeloma, also causes low white blood cell counts because it interferes with the production of blood components.
Another cause is genetic or congenital problems that cause decreased bone marrow function, also known as hereditary bone marrow failure. It is caused by a problem in the genes. Some of these conditions do not show symptoms until adulthood. These conditions include Fanconi anemia, dyskeratosis congenita, Schwachmann-Diamond syndrome, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, severe congenital neutropenia, and congenital omegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia. The good thing is that these conditions are relatively rare.
Low Blood Counts
A low white blood cell count can be caused by taking certain antibiotics. This is a side effect reported with many penicillins and cephalosporins, including penicillin-G, cefazolin, cefoxitin, and cephalothin. It is relatively rare.
If you have a low white blood cell count, the focus of treatment is to prevent infection. A low white blood cell count means your defenses against infection are also low. You should follow a seemingly simple but vital thing
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