What Autoimmune Disease Causes Low White Blood Cell Count – A low white blood cell count is a condition where the number of white blood cells in your body is too low. White blood cells (called leukocytes) are part of the immune system, and they are the cells that protect your body from infections by bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites. A low white blood cell count is also known as leukopenia.
White blood cells are very important for health. The world is not possible without them. Microorganisms that cause diseases are everywhere, but most people don’t get sick because they have white blood cells that provide protection. A low white blood cell count usually means there is a problem in the body, so it is not considered normal.
- 1 What Autoimmune Disease Causes Low White Blood Cell Count
- 2 Autoimmune Diseases: What You Need To Know
- 3 Lymphocytic Colitis: Symptoms & Treatment Options
What Autoimmune Disease Causes Low White Blood Cell Count
There are different types of white blood cells. Each has their own special purposes and different life times. There are monocytes (morphs into other white blood cells), lymphocytes (release compounds, regulate immunity, and kill infected human cells), basophils (initiate inflammatory reactions), eosinophils (kill parasites and causing allergic reactions), and neutrophils (primary killers of bacteria and fungi).
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Our body produces millions of white blood cells all the time to replace those that are old or dead. That’s why their numbers are almost stable most of the time. The immune system is adept at controlling the functional numbers of white blood cells, increasing or decreasing the numbers of a certain type as needed in the situation. Even at times when we put ourselves at risk, such as eating contaminated or spoiled food, breathing dust full of microorganisms, living in crowded places, or being in places like airplanes, the the gym, or hospitals, we are not always sick because we have a disease. a good supply for white blood cells that kill viruses before they cause infection.
If we get sick, the immune system will start many actions to stop the growth of, or kill, invading pathogens, as well as destroy infected or dead cells in the body. An infection often causes a large rise in the white blood cell count. Doctors can easily tell if you have an infection if they see that your white blood cells are higher than normal. The more white blood cells the body has the better chances to stop infection.
Therefore, there are cases where the white blood cell count falls. In many cases, it requires a thorough investigation 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. It is only discovered after a regular blood test.
The correct term for a blood test or test is called a complete blood count or CBC. Doctors often order a CBC because it analyzes numbers of cell components, including white blood cells. The normal range for white blood cell count can vary. The Mayo Clinic says the normal range is 3.5 billion to 10.5 billion cells per liter of blood. Meanwhile, MEDLINE Plus says that the normal range is 4,500 to 11,000 white blood cells per microliter (mcL).
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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 counts.
The main purpose of white blood cells is to protect the body against infection by microorganisms. If their numbers are too low, you can become vulnerable to infections. Most people will not feel any symptoms unless their white blood cells become very low.
If you have had a low white blood cell count for a while, you may have an increased frequency of illness or infections than usual.
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All microorganisms, except HIV, are unable to attack white blood cells head-to-head. Meanwhile, killing microorganisms is the main purpose of white blood cells. The body also naturally produces more white blood cells in case of infection or inflammation. That explains why infections cause increased numbers of white blood cells.
As mentioned earlier, our body makes white blood cells constantly. White blood cells are made in the bone marrow, just like other parts of the blood. Having a low blood cell count means that there is something wrong with the production of white blood cells.
In most cases, a low white blood cell count is the result of a disease. Some treatments can also cause side effects. Malnutrition and malnutrition can also cause the number of white blood cells to drop.
A low white blood cell count is often associated with diseases. Among the most common causes is a serious infection, which can use up white blood cells faster than they can. A serious infection can develop if the disease is not treated, or does not respond to treatment. It usually occurs in children, young children, or adults.
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A low white blood cell count is often a symptom of an immune system or immune system attack. As you learned in school, white blood cells are a function of the immune system. Low counts of certain white blood cells in a CBC can often reveal an immunological cause. Some of the most common conditions that cause immunosuppression are systemic lupus erythrematosis (lupus), tuberculosis, dengue fever virus infection, rickettsia, psittacosis, Sjogren’s syndrome, Lyme disease, and Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
HIV infection is also a common cause of low white blood cell count. The human immunodeficiency virus specifically targets CD T4 helper cells, the ones that actually cause the immune system to work against infection. HIV causes white blood cell counts to drop over time. Once the numbers of white blood cells are too low, beneficial bacteria and viruses will invade the body and cause infection, leading to many of the serious health problems that define AIDS. Having a diagnosed or undiagnosed HIV infection is a very common cause of low white blood cells in both developed and developing countries.
A condition called sarcoidosis can also cause the number of white blood cells to decline. 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 usually seen after having a chest x-ray. In most cases, sarcoidosis goes away on its own without any treatment.
Depression caused by sepsis, a condition caused by a severe infection that causes widespread and destructive inflammation of the entire body, often causes a significant decrease in white blood cells. Some cases of sepsis cause a very low white blood cell count, sometimes as low as 4000 per microliter.
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Bone marrow can become infected by viruses, causing a decrease in white blood cell production resulting in low blood counts. Bone marrow infection is uncommon, but can occur due to infection that makes its way into the bloodstream or from injuries near the bone marrow (including bed sores). Some of these viruses cause diseases including parovovirus B19, dengue, hepatitis viruses, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and human immunodeficiency virus.
In cancer patients, a low white blood cell count is often caused by chemotherapy. Drugs used to treat cancer work by killing the rapidly dividing cells that make up tumors. The problem is that the cells in the bone marrow also divide very quickly, and therefore the chemotherapy drugs are also targeted. The radiation therapy used to kill cancer cells also kills the bone marrow, causing low white blood cell counts. During cancer treatment, your doctor will order several CBC tests to monitor your white blood cells and will try to prevent them from becoming too low. Your healthcare provider will also monitor you for signs of infection.
It is also known that some cancers damage the bone marrow and affect your white blood cells. Any cancer can do this once they affect the bones. A specific type of cancer, called acute myeloid leukemia, starts in the bone marrow and can affect the cells that produce white blood cells. Another cancer, multiple myeloma, also causes fewer white blood cells 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 inherited bone marrow failures. 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 congenital, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, Diamond-Blackfan anemia, Severe congenital neutropenia, and Congenital amegakaryocytic thrombocytopenia. The good thing is that these situations are rare.
Back To The Basics: Blood Disorders
A low white blood cell count can be caused by taking certain antibiotics. It is a side effect reported in many penicillins and cephalosporins, including Penicillin-G, Cefazolin, Cefoxitin, and Cephalothin. It is relatively rare.
If your white blood cell levels are low, the focus of treatment is infection prevention. Having low white blood cell counts means that your defenses against infection are also low. You have to stay as if it is simple yet important
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