Leukocytosis: what is it, symptoms
A huge number of diseases is accompanied by increased content of leukocytes in the blood. Leukocytes are cells that play an indispensable role in human immunity.
What are leukocytes?
Leucocytes (white blood cells) are an integral part of the immune system, they help fight infections, destroying viruses, bacteria and other microorganisms in the body. Leukocytes are formed in bone marrow, after which they circulate throughout the body. When a foreign pathogen enters the body, white cells recognize and destroy him before he will cause disease.
There are several different types of leukocytes. All of them are divided into two major categories – granulocytes and agranulocytes. Granulocytes consist of three types of white cells, including basophils, eosinophils and neutrophils, they help destroy the invading organism pathogens. These cells contain tiny granules containing special enzymes. These enzymes break down the microorganisms and prevent the development of disease. Agranulocytes include lymphocytes and monocytes. Monocytes – the white blood cells responsible for the recognition and labeling of invading microorganisms, while lymphocytes attack these selected pathogens.
It may seem that an increased level of white cells is useful for the immune system and the body. However, this is not always the case. High levels of leucocytes (leucocytosis) is not a disease, but it can indicate the presence of health problems, and so there is always need for further medical examination.
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What is white blood count normal?
Normal leukocyte count is 4.5 – 10.0 x 109 /L. in the absence of disease, they account for only 1% of the total composition of red blood cells. Also, there are normal values for five different types of white blood cells:
- Eosinophils – 1 to 4%;
- Neutrophils – 50 – 60%;
- Basophils – 0,5 – 2%;
- Lymphocytes – 20 to 40%;
- Monocytes – 2 – 9%.
To interpret the results of the analysis of leukocyte formula to the importance of the definition of Mature and immature forms of neutrophils. The increase in the number of immature forms in the analysis is called a leukocytosis with a left shift.
How can change the number of leukocytes in the blood?
White blood cells in the body may be elevated (leukocytosis) or decrease (leukopenia). It is important to understand that changes in the number of leukocytes in the blood is not a disease but just a symptom of the presence of some health problems.
What could be the causes of leukocytosis?
To increase the level of white blood cells can result in:
- Infectious diseases. The increase in the number of leucocytes usually indicates a viral or bacterial infection. However, leukocytosis also can cause the infestation or fungi. During infection the immune system causes the bone marrow to increase the number of white cells to fight pathogens.
- Inflammation and allergic reactions can also lead to leukocytosis. The inflammatory process may be a consequence of diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis) and tissue damage – for example, from injuries or burns. Allergic reactions and asthma can also lead to a greater number of white blood cells to fight allergens.
- Stress. Mild leukocytosis can occur when emotional and physical stress, which increases cortisol levels and other hormones, which increases the number of white cells.
- Diseases of the bone marrow. Leukemia is a malignant disease in which produces too many white blood cells. True polycythemia is another disease of the bone marrow, which increases the amount of white blood cells in the body.
- Disorders of the immune system. Leukocytosis can cause graves ‘ disease and Crohn’s disease.
- Drugs. To increase the number of leukocytes can lead to some medications for treatment of mental diseases, infectious and oncological diseases.
- Smoking leads to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which blocks the normal air flow and causes inflammation in the Airways. To fight this inflammation, the body produces more white blood cells.
- Other reasons – for example, removal of the spleen, the last month of pregnancy and after childbirth.
What are the different types of leukocytes?
Traditionally, leukocytosis klassificeret the type of elevated white blood cells. For example:
- Leukocytosis is an increased number of neutrophils. The cause of these violations are most often infectious bacterial disease.
- Lymphocytosis – is an increased level of lymphocytes. Distinguish between absolute and relative lymphocytosis. The absolute is the increase in the total number of lymphocytes in the blood above 4.0 x 109/l; relative is the increase in the proportion of lymphocytes in the leukocyte formula under normal (less than 4.0 x 109/l) absolute quantity.
- Monocytosis – increase monocytes. The monocytosis can result in some infections (tuberculosis, brucellosis, malaria, infectious mononucleosis), Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
- Eosinophilia – increase of eosinophils. Most often indicates the presence of parasitic and allergic diseases.
- Basophilia – increased number of basophils, which is quite rare and can be caused by viral infections, inflammatory bowel disease, chronic inflammation of the Airways and removal of the spleen.
Doctors believed that I had cured the hypertension!
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Besides, there are also 2 types of raising the level of white cells:
- Physiological leukocytosis is a normal reaction to some stimuli: emotions, exercise (myogenic leukocytosis), eating, feeling pain in pregnant women and in children immediately after birth.
- Pathological (reactive) the leukocytoses associated with the presence of pathological processes in the body.
What is dangerous leukocytosis, and how does it manifest itself?
The risk is not in itself increase the level of white blood cells, and that disease which was brought to him. The only way to reliably determine the level of leukocytes is to take a blood test. As a rule, people with leukocytosis have no specific manifestations and have indications of the disease that caused it. However, patients with an increase in the number of leukocytes may have the following symptoms:
- the increase in body temperature;
- increased bleeding;
- weight loss;
- common pain;
- excessive sweating at night;
- frequent infectious diseases.
Treatment of leukocytosis
Since higher levels of white blood cells is not a disease but a symptom, treatment should be directed at the cause of the leukocytosis, and not on him. However, if too high leukocytosis (more than 100 x 109/l) may need leikaferez or exchange transfusion.