The body’s white blood cells, or leukocytes, help fight infection by identifying and killing invading organisms such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi, and other invading pathogens. The white blood cell count is a measure of how many of these cells are in your blood. Let’s get to know more about high white blood cells and how they can increase the chances of cancer.
What are High White Blood Cells?
A norma count is anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 cells per milliliter (mL) of blood in men, and between 4,500 and 11,000 in women. A high white blood cell count could indicate a health problem, but it more often indicates inflammation or infection.
It can also signal cancer, including leukemia and lymphoma. When an infection or other inflammatory condition is present, the bone marrow will release more cells to fight it off.
There are two types of white blood cells: basophils and eosinophils. The basophils destroy germs and other infections, while the eosinophils attack and kill invading organisms and parasites.
High white blood cell count causes
A high white blood count can be caused by a variety of conditions, including infections, immune disorders, and cancer. It’s important to have a healthcare provider look at your white blood cell count as part of your medical treatment, especially if it’s higher than normal.
Your white blood cells are made in the bone marrow, which stores and releases them throughout your body. The bone marrow produces three main types : monocytes, neutrophils, and lymphocytes. Lymphocytes produce antibodies that fight off bacteria and viruses, as well as other foreign invaders.
Some people’s bone marrow doesn’t make enough white blood cells to keep them healthy. This is common in some people with HIV/AIDS or some types of cancer. In other cases, diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), may make your body make more cells than you need to stay healthy.
Some medicines can affect your white blood cell count. They can make the white blood cells grow faster or slower than they normally do.
They may also cause your immune system to stop producing cells altogether. Medicines can do this if you’re taking chemotherapy, for example, or if you have certain other diseases.
A low white blood cell count can be a sign of infection or an immune disorder, such as HIV/AIDS or myelodysplastic syndrome. It can also occur when your bone marrow stops making enough WBC.
It can also happen when you get an infection or another inflammatory condition, such as shingles.
Symptoms of a High White Blood Cell Count
The high white blood cell count symptoms mostly depend upon the conditions or factors that can cause it high. When you’re sick, your body makes more white blood cells to fight infections. These cells help you recover faster from injuries and other illnesses and help your immune system fight off bacteria, viruses, and other germs.
Usually, an elevated white blood cell count isn’t a problem, but it can be related to a condition that causes a specific set of symptoms, such as –
- Swollen glands
- Pain and fatigue
Your doctor will look for the underlying issue that’s causing the elevated white blood cells, and treat it. If your white blood cells are elevated, they can thicken your blood and decrease your oxygen supply to your organs and tissues.
How to diagnose high white blood cell count?
The number of WBC in your body is measured by a laboratory test called a complete blood count. This test counts the total number of white blood cells in your blood, and it can also be used to measure the amount of each type of white blood cell in your body.
When you have a high white blood cell count, your doctor will often order other tests to find the underlying issue and then do more testing to figure out how to treat it. Your doctor will also talk to you about what you can do to prevent a high white blood cell count in the future.
If your symptoms worsen day by day you should consult with a doctor as they prescribed you some medication to lower your cells. Apart from this they also suggest some dietary changes which can balance your white blood cell count.
Read a blog to know more about High platelets count.
WBC help fight disease but the extra of it is dangerous. Regular checkups on this ground is important and for this we have the specialist Dr. S. K. Gupta. To know more about the High white blood cells and cancer feel free to get in touch with the doctor.