white blood cell count

Low and High White Blood Cell Count

April 1, 2019

Just like how it is with nature, balance or equilibrium is also of huge importance for the human body. Any case of imbalance will most likely produce an even greater problem. So, what will happen once there is a certain imbalance that occurs in any part of the body, like the white blood cell count?

The Role of White Blood Cells

White blood cells, or WBC, are very important blood cells that the body produces because of how they function like an army at war.

The blood generally holds amounts of red blood cells, white blood cells, and many other components; wherein the red and white blood cells are considered to top the list when it comes to their contribution for the body. The white blood cells are also called leukocytes, and they serve as soldiers that fight against enemies (foreign bodies) in order to provide the body with better health.

There are a lot more that the white blood cells can do other than simply fighting off harmful foreign bodies. These amazing fighters are also said to be quite independent in their work.

Here are a few more things to know about the astounding white blood cells:

  • The lifespan of white blood cells only take around 2-7 days or at best they can stay in the body and live for a few more weeks.
  • The amount of white blood cells contained in a single drop of blood is about an estimate of a minimum 7,000 and up to around 25,000 cells.
  • The bone marrow is the one responsible for the production of white blood cells. At first, the cells are produced as generic leukocytes that later on develop into specific kinds of leukocytes like neutrophils, eosinophils, basophil, monocyte, or lymphocytes.
  • White blood cells work individually and they are considered to be quite independent. They only think of how important their job is and they also do their work perfectly.
  • Each of the five kinds of leukocytes have their own roles in the body. They have different functions such as but not limited to fighting off and killing possible infections and foreign bodies that entered the body, providing and creating antibodies that will be responsible for the tearing down of harmful foreign materials, and being responsible for the response of the immune system by releasing chemicals in case of an infection or a trespassing of a foreign body.
  • A certain type of leukocyte called the T cells to provide the body with two functions as a white blood cell. They can divide the work among themselves and do both at the same time, their work consists of looking after and controlling the responses of the immune system and some of them immediately get rid of the dangerous bodies by acting as killer cells.
  • White blood cells have the ability to identify the enemies from the allies, in this case, they are able to get rid of the invaders while keeping the good ones safe. They also work with other body molecules when they are needed for certain blood vessel tissue repairs.
  • The amount of white blood cells in the bone marrow is about twice the amount of red blood cells. However, when it comes to the blood itself, the red blood cells completely beat the white blood cells when it comes to number. It is also said that only 1 percent of our blood is made up of the white blood cells.
  • Our leukocytes are one of the main contributors to our immune system. They keep the system working properly and they also provide boosts.
  • It is still not proven that the white blood cells in donated blood can work the same when transferred to another person’s bloodstream.
  • The estimated amount of produced WBCs in our bodies are around 100 billion per day. That just shows how hardworking and efficient white blood cells are in our bodies.

The following are just some of the most well-known facts regarding white blood cells. They prove how important they are in our bodies. It also shows how important their numbers are in order to properly work together. However, there are cases where the count of white blood cells can either get higher or lower. How does this happen and what will it result to?

Low and High White Blood Cell Count

Low white blood cell count

Most of the time people self-diagnose themselves especially when the symptoms they encounter are considered normal for them; the same goes with having low WBC count. For some, having low WBC is an indication of a minor infection. Although this is true, it is important to get to know the underlying cause of the low WBC count because the scope of possible causes is bigger than how people thought it is.

These are just some of the possible causes of low WBC count. Remember, it is still best to ask your doctor for a check-up to see the exact cause of the low count.

  • It may be due to a viral infectious disease that somehow managed to interrupt the WBC production of the bone marrow.
  • There are disorders that affect the functioning of the bone marrow that some people get during birth.
  • It is possible that the person is currently encountering a disease that can damage the bone marrow, or sometimes it can be a kind of cancer.
  • Some autoimmune disorders tend to unknowingly destroy the WBC or the bone marrow.
  • Cases of severe infections are somehow contributing to the excessive use of the produced white blood cells, making it hard for the bone marrow to produce the expected amount in a specific time.
  • Some medications can take effect negatively by destroying WBCs.

Other than the following mentioned, there are still a lot more possible causes of the downfall of WBC count in the body.

When a person has low white blood cell count, they are more prone to get other infections; specifically, those that are caused by bacteria.

High white blood cell count

The causes of high WBC count can range from minor to those that are considered to be dangerous and more serious. Some of the causes of high white blood cell count are:

  • The bone marrow tends to produce too much WBC because it aims to fight off a certain infection.
  • It may be due to a drug that has an effect of making the body produce excessive amounts of white blood cells.
  • There may be an existing bone marrow disease that makes the organ unable to control its production of WBC.
  • The immune system encounters a defect that makes it ask for more white blood cells.

Also, there are many more things to consider in the case of high WBC count. It is also best to consult your doctor to properly diagnose the primary cause of the excessive amount of white blood cells in the body.