White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are an important part of our immune system. They help our body fight off infections and foreign invaders by destroying harmful substances in the body.
When white blood cells become high or elevated above normal levels, it can be an indication that your body is fighting off an infection or illness. Here, we will discuss what happens when white blood cells are high, their causes and effects on the body.
Why Do We Need White Blood Cells?
White blood cells are a crucial component of our immune system. They play a vital role in protecting our bodies against disease and infection. These tiny defenders circulate throughout the bloodstream and lymphatic system looking out for harmful invaders such as bacteria, viruses, fungi and even cancerous cells which could potentially cause damage to your health.
White blood cells utilize different mechanisms to eliminate pathogens from the body; some engulf and digest them while others produce antibodies to disable them.
What is Considered High White Blood Cell Count?
The normal range of white blood cell count varies from person-to-person but typically ranges from 4-11 billion WBCs per liter of blood depending on age factors like gender , ethnicity and overall health status but anything above this range may signify heightened activity or response by the immune system due to exercise or illness causing white cell production increase – here’s where you might see “elevated” levels show up!
Symptoms Associated with Elevated White Blood Cell Count
Although not everyone who has elevated white cell counts would immediately notice any symptoms since many people feel fine despite having slightly higher numbers – sometimes there can be several visible signs including:
- Body pains
- Sweats throughout night
- Enlarged spleen or liver
- Unintended weight loss
What are the Causes of High White Blood Cell Count?
Several factors can cause an elevation in white blood cell count; DNA damage, bone marrow disorders, autoimmune conditions and bacterial/viral infections. Other causes may be reaction or response to medication induced effects such as corticosteroids.
Infections are one of the most common causes of elevated white blood cell counts. When our immune system detects invading organisms like bacteria or viruses- we start producing more WBCs to attack and destroy them resulting in a noticeably higher count than usual. Whether it is a mild respiratory infection or severe sepsis, the body’s natural response through increased WBC production helps combat most disease-causing pathogens.
2. Autoimmune Disorders
Autoimmune diseases arise when your immune cells target and attack vital organs, glands or even tissues – which could lead to inflammation that elevates WBC counts over time as they actively fight against anything seen as “foreign”. Classic examples include rheumatoid arthritis , Crohn’s disease and even eczema/ psoriasis!
Leukemias especially can cause high white blood cell count due to abnormal growth patterns in their immature cells by factor sometimes described as “blast” formation leading to excess numbers with quite a significant potential for malignancy.
Diagnosis of Elevated White Blood Cell Count
A complete blood count test is used for counting different types of cells present in a sample taken from either your arm vein/harvested via needle procedure from bone marrow tissue located at pelvic bones above hip level whilst under medical supervision.
A CBC analysis shows elevated levels of neutrophils and lymphocytes consistently often together indicative of instances where there might be underlying inflammatory infections continuing with prolonged low-grade fever unnoticed by self-reporting patients.
Treatment of Elevated White Blood Cell Count
Treating high white blood cell count varies from person-to-person depending on the underlying cause and severity. If your WBC levels are elevated due to an infection, you should promptly seek medical care for a definitive evaluation or response plan tailored to treat successfully shoring up your immune defenses with proper medication that directly targets infections- like broad-spectrum antibiotics in case of bacterial infection diagnosis.
In severe cases where white cell concentration attacks healthy tissues accidentally through autoimmune reactions, replenishing shortage in elements such as iron loss may help calm inflammatory responses but most importantly management remains under life-long physician supervision due to its chronic nature.
1. Can stress lead to high white blood cell counts?
Yes! Although not as long-lasting effects post non-severe triggering factors like acute panic attacks, small occurrences can indeed stimulate flight-or-fight reflexes which mobilizes cells’ adrenaline hormone released by the adrenal glands causing instant changes in cellular behavior dictated by brain functions resulting sometimes mild short-term elevations exceeding baseline variations suddenly striking without any prior illness symptoms felt earlier!
2. How is High White Blood Cell Count treated?
There’s no special cure specifically targeted towards treating elevated concentrations themselves only potential causes – Physicians rely more on analyzing underlying patterns having seen during CBC sample analysis before proposing tailored treatment plans custom fitted for each individual subject.
Elevated white blood cell counts don’t always signal a problem/peril situation clear-cut necessarily at first approach- rather depends on clinical experience peculiarities of wider personal health picture and specific context; some people remain asymptomatic or unaware despite their lab report numbers indicating otherwise.
Nevertheless, it’s essential that you actively follow recommended risk reduction behaviors such as regular hygiene routines avoiding contact w/sick individuals if there’s suspicion ahead noting prolonged fever sweats/weight loss trends when seeking medical attention with immediate effect for consistent high WBC analysis results.