What causes a low white blood cell count?
- Cancer (caused by chemotherapy treatments)
- Bone marrow disorders or damage.
- Autoimmune disorders (problems with the immune system in which the body attacks itself), such as lupus.
- Infections (including tuberculosis and HIV)
- Immune system conditions.
- Crohn’s disease.
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Is low white blood count serious?
Underlying causes for a low white blood cell count can range from benign disorders, such as vitamin deficiencies, to more serious blood diseases, such as leukemia or lymphoma. A truly low white blood cell count also puts you at higher risk for infections — typically bacterial infections.
What can cause low white blood cell count?
A low white blood cell count usually is caused by: Viral infections that temporarily disrupt the work of bone marrow. Autoimmune disorders that destroy white blood cells or bone marrow cells. Severe infections that use up white blood cells faster than they can be produced.
What are the side effects of low white blood cell count?
If you get an infection because you have a low white blood cell count, your symptoms may include:
- fever (call your doctor immediately if your fever is higher than 101.5 degrees F)
- sore throat or cough.
- shortness of breath.
- nasal congestion.
- vaginal discharge, itching, or burning during urination.
What vitamin deficiency causes low white blood cells?
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency can also reduce the number of white cells but such deficiency is usually accompanied by other signs in the blood. A low white cell count can also be a feature of autoimmune disease.
When should I be worried about low white blood cells?
With all that in mind, if you and your doctor determine that your white blood cell count is lower than it should be, that is cause for concern. A truly low white blood cell count also puts you at higher risk for infections — typically bacterial infections. But viral infections also may be a concern.
Do low white blood cells make you tired?
Answer • Leukopenia is a low white blood cell count. In itself, it doesn’t usually produce fatigue. White blood cells are the body’s Armed Forces, keeping infections from occurring. A low count can lead to repeated infections.
How do you raise a low white blood cell count?
While no specific foods or diet changes are proven to increase production of white blood cells, if you have low WBC (leukopenia), it is very important to practice good hygiene, hand-washing, and food safety practices. Neutrophils are the cells that fight bacterial infection.
Is low white blood cells a sign of cancer?
Why It Occurs. A person with cancer can develop a low WBC count from the cancer or from treatment for the cancer. Cancer may be in the bone marrow, causing fewer neutrophils to be made. The WBC count can also go down when cancer is treated with chemotherapy drugs, which slow bone marrow production of healthy WBCs.
What is a dangerous white blood cell count?
Though it varies between individuals, a high white blood cell count (leukocytosis) is usually considered to be anything above 11,000 cells per μl of blood in an adult. This can be related to: Infection. Bone marrow disease.