Low white blood cells
White blood cells are one of the components of blood, and are manufactured in the bone marrow, and are considered part of the immune system in the human body, and they mainly fight infections White blood cell deficiency can be defined as a state of low number of these cells below the normal limit, which ranges between 3,500 and 11,000 cells per microliter, which makes the patient vulnerable to infection, and in fact, the lack of white blood cells can be detected through a comprehensive blood count. (English: Complete Blood Count).
Causes of low white blood cells
There are many factors and disorders that may cause low white blood cells, the most important of which can be summarized as follows:
- Blood and bone marrow problems: Examples include aplastic anemia, overactive spleen, myelodysplastic syndrome, myelofibrosis, and bone marrow disease. Myeloproliferative neoplasm.
- Cancer and its treatment: Some types of cancer may cause a deficiency of white blood cells, such as leukemia. Chemotherapy and bone marrow transplantation.
- Congenital defects: These are disorders that affect the bone marrow from birth, an example of which is Kostmann’s syndrome.
- Infectious diseases: including acquired immune deficiency syndrome, known as AIDS and tuberculosis.
- Autoimmune diseases: Autoimmune diseases such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, these diseases are called autoimmune diseases because they are caused by the body’s immune cells attacking white blood cells or bone marrow cells that White blood cells are made.
- Suffering from malnutrition: (In English: Malnutrition), due to the consequent deficiency in some necessary vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, folic acid, zinc, and copper.
- Taking some types of medications: Minocycline, lamotrigine, interferon used to treat multiple sclerosis, cyclosporin, and clozapine. Bupropion, which is used as an antidepressant as well as to aid smoking cessation, as well as immunosuppressants such as sirolimus, tacrolimus, and mycophenolic acid.
- Sarcoidosis: Sarcoidosis is a disorder characterized by an overactive immune system, causing infections in different parts of the body.
- Viral infections: such as those affecting the bone marrow, and there are some acute viral infections that cause a deficiency of white blood cells, such as the common cold and influenza.
Symptoms of low white blood cells
Symptoms or signs often do not appear when suffering from low white blood cells in simple cases, but may appear in severe stages, and these symptoms include the following:
- Feeling of weakness and general tiredness.
- feeling weak and dizzy
- Dizziness and frequent headaches in advanced cases of mononucleosis.
- Suffering from a bacterial infection.
- Fever, stomatitis, and pneumonia.
- Sweating and chills.
Treating low white blood cells
The treatment of low white blood cells depends on the type of cells affected and the cause as well. The treatment can be mentioned as follows:
- Treatment with medicines: Low white blood cells can be treated by giving drugs that treat the cause, such as giving antifungals in the event of a fungal infection, and some drugs that stimulate the manufacture of white blood cells can also be given.
- Stopping the causative drug: White blood cells often return to their normal state after completing radiotherapy sessions or between chemotherapy sessions. White blood cells chance to return to an acceptable limit.
- Giving growth factors: growth factors, which are defined as proteins that stimulate the body to produce white blood cells, and are given in cases where the cause of the deficiency is a genetic disorder or as a result of chemotherapy. In English: Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor.
- Eating food low in bacteria: This is to reduce the chance of germs, including bacteria, entering the body, in order to reduce the risk of infection due to the weakening of the immune system in cases of lack of white blood cells, as mentioned above.
- Home tips: Some tips can be followed to reduce the risk of infection and improve the general condition of the patient. Among these tips are the following:
- Eat healthy food, especially vegetables and fruits, unless the doctor has a different opinion.
- Get enough rest.
- Take care to avoid exposure to cuts and blows, including using electric blades instead of regular ones, as well as gently brushing the teeth to avoid gum wounds and harm, because wounds increase the risk of infection.
- Wash hands carefully and gently, to avoid exposure to germs.
- ^ AP Lana Burgess (December 13, 2017), “What is leukopenia?”, www.medicalnewstoday.com, Retrieved March 22, 2018. Edited.
- ^ ABT “What Is Leukopenia?”, www.healthline.com, Retrieved March 22, 2018. Edited.
- ↑ “Symptoms of leukopenia”, www.leucopenia.org, Retrieved March 22, 2018. Edited.
What is the cause of low white blood cells?