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What Does A Low White Blood Cell Count Mean?

16 Answers

Arianna Vaccaro Profile
Arianna Vaccaro answered
When the white blood cell (WBC) count is low, this is a condition known as neutropenia, where the body loses its ability to ward off infections.

The role of white blood cells is to engulf and destroy invading germs, and to provide immunity. There are many reasons why the number of white blood cells might fall.

Certain viruses such as HIV, autoimmune diseases, and cancers such as leukaemia can all affect white blood cell count.

There are also medicines and treatments, including radiation therapy and chemotherapy used in cancer treatment that can affect bone marrow and cause neutropenia - the condition of having too few white blood cells. A comprehensive list of causes can be found on the Mayo Clinic’s website.

There are five different types of leucocytes, (also spelled leukocytes), or white blood cells, and they are all made in stem cells in the marrow of bones. The leucocytes leave the bone marrow, enter the blood and spread throughout the body.

Doctors are usually interested in the WBC count because when the numbers rise, they often indicate that there is an infection in the body, and when they fall, this could be indicative of some of problems listed above. If repeat blood tests show that the white blood cell count stays low, further investigation is called for.

When dealing with abnormal lab results, it is important to remember that the numbers need to be put into context. Questions need to be asked about whether there are other symptoms, before any firm conclusions can be drawn about what a low white blood cell count actually means.
Aun Jafery Profile
Aun Jafery answered
A low white blood cell count can be caused by a number of things. This condition is medically known as leukopenia. There are various things that can cause leukopenia including infections of a viral nature such as HIV, medication that is used for chemotherapy, and certain other antibiotics.

Radiation therapy and autoimmune disorders can also be responsible for a low white blood count. Leukaemia is otherwise known as blood cancer, and myelodysplastic which are both bone marrow diseases can also cause a low white blood cell count.

White blood cells are very important to the human body as they help fight infections. A normal white blood cell count ranges from between five thousand to ten thousand cells per microliter of blood. If the white blood count drops below two thousand five hundred per microliter it can prove very dangerous to a person's health.
Ellie Hoe Profile
Ellie Hoe answered
Function of white blood cells is to fight against infections. Normal range of WBC is 4.3-10.8 or 4300 - 10800. Their quantity is increased whenever infection is present in our body. Low levels of white blood cells are due to
  1. Autoimmune diseases like lupus
  2. Problems with bone marrow that cause less production of WBC
  3. Liver or spleen diseases
Low levels of WBC require immediate treatment because immunity becomes weak due to abnormally low levels.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My mom is 40 years old. She just got diagnosed with a low white blood cell count. Her doctor said that the normal was 3.7 million white cells and she has 2.9 million white cells.
Muhammad Nadeem Profile
Muhammad Nadeem answered
White blood cells are related to our immune system. Normal white blood count is 4.3 - 10.8. Low count of white blood cells can be due to following problems:
  1. Problems with bone marrow
  2. Liver problems
  3. Spleen diseases
  4. Autoimmune diseases
So, if low blood count is a case with you then discuss this with your doctor.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I am not a doctor, but I am used to looking at blood tests. If your WBC (white blood cell) count is 3.2, then it is low, and you have an increased danger of getting infections or not being able to fight off infections. 

You should consult with your doctor to find out why your WBC is low and be retested.  Some medications can cause the WBC to be low. If it is because of medication, your doctor will probably advise you to stop taking it until your WBC increases.  Good luck!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
My grandson is going for his second lab test today, he is four.
kim Herndon Profile
kim Herndon answered
Cancer or any infection will make white blood cells sky rocket, low white blood cells can mean many other things. Let your Dr tell you and test you. Best of luck!
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
I don't think so, it just means that if a foreign body comes along, your system might not be able to fight it off as well as it could have had your count been higher. I have had low white blood count readings (never above 3.9) for years, and 3 years ago I got breast cancer.

I sometimes wonder if my WBC had been higher my system would have been better able to fight off the cancer cells. But I am a three year survivor with no other problems, and my WBC Is still always in the threes - normal is 4 to 11. Hope this helped.
Jolynn Ziegler Profile
Jolynn Ziegler answered
A lot of times this can happen when you are ill or your body is trying to tell you to eat better meals and do everything else you can to try build up your immune system. Health food stores can help guide you.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
Pneumonia is the inflammation of the lungs which is caused by the bacteria, virus, and fungus. When both lungs are affected then condition is called double pneumonia. Pneumonia can be community acquired or hospital acquired.

Its treatment depends upon causative organism. In severe attacks of pneumonia, the patient is hospitalized and can be kept on ventilation if necessary. Use of steroids is helpful in reducing inflammation of the lungs and shortness of breath because steroids are best anti allergy and anti inflammatory drugs. That is why doctors are using steroids in your boyfriend.
allen shane Profile
allen shane answered
White blood cells play an important role in protecting us from infection. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell. Neutrophils are our body's first line of defense against infection. They surround and
destroy foreign micro-organisms, such as bacteria, to keep us healthy.

It is common for cancer patients to experience low white blood cells, especially those receiving chemotherapy. Chemotherapy can dramatically reduce the number of neutrophils produced by your bone marrow. Having too few neutrophils is called neutropenia. If you have neutropenia, you
have an increased risk of infection.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
If your blood cells are very low this might mean that you have some kind of blood disease. Maybe leukemia. White blood cells (WBCs), or leukocytes (also spelled "leucocytes"), are cells of the immune system defending the body against both infectious disease and foreign materials. Reduction in its count will decrease your immune system an and increase weakness, anxiety etc.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered

I am always low but two days ago I got my blood drawn and my wbc count was 1.8 I was told to wait two weeks to be tested again. I have had a bad headache and neck pain for five days and now I have a red rash that is spreading from my ankle up to my knees. Should I go back to the hospital?

john rhoades Profile
john rhoades answered
A low white cell count usually is no concern, or an indicator of underlying condition unlike a high count. A high count can be associated with infection. A low count can sometimes be a sign of aids.
Anonymous Profile
Anonymous answered
To all those people who are asking, what does this mean or that mean? Maybe the best thing would be to ask your doctors: What does this mean for me? Everyone is different.

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