What Does It Mean When Your White Blood Cell Count Is Abnormal?

What are the symptoms of having low white blood cells?

If you have a low white blood cell count, you may:Have repeated fevers and infections.Get bladder infections that may make it painful to pass urine, or make you urinate more often.Get lung infections that cause coughing and difficulty breathing.Get mouth sores.Get sinus infections and a stuffy nose.More items….

What happens if white blood cells are high?

A high white blood cell count may indicate that the immune system is working to destroy an infection. It may also be a sign of physical or emotional stress. People with particular blood cancers may also have high white blood cells counts.

Does cancer show up in routine blood work?

A typical routine blood test is the complete blood count, also called CBC, to count your red and white blood cells as well as measure your hemoglobin levels and other blood components. This test can uncover anemia, infection, and even cancer of the blood.

Is a high white blood cell count a sign of cancer?

While having an elevated or abnormally high white blood cell count does not necessarily indicate leukemia, the source of the condition will need to be identified if it is found to exceed the levels and duration of a normal immune response to an infection.

What is the most common reason for 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. Certain disorders present at birth (congenital) that involve diminished bone marrow function. Cancer or other diseases that damage bone marrow.

Do low white blood cells make you tired?

This condition may contribute to weakness, fatigue or shortness of breath. Leukopenia: A low white blood cell count. A decrease in the production of functional leukocytes (white blood cells) weakens the body’s immune defense, which may make you more prone to infections. Thrombocytopenia: A low blood platelet count.

Can stress cause low white cell count?

In addition, stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes — the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses, including the common cold and cold sores.

Is it dangerous if white blood cells are high?

An elevated WBC count in itself is not usually dangerous, but the causes of it can be if left untreated. On average, your body is naturally designed to produce white blood cells when needed and reduce them when you have regained normal health.

What is a dangerous white blood cell count?

The exact threshold for a high white blood cell count varies from one laboratory to another. In general, for adults a count of more than 11,000 white blood cells (leukocytes) in a microliter of blood is considered a high white blood cell count.

What diseases cause high white blood cell count?

The following conditions can cause white blood cell counts to be high:Viral or bacterial infection.Inflammation.Excessive physical or emotional stress (such as fever, injury, or surgery)Burns.Immune system disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.Thyroid problems.More items…•

Should I worry if my white blood count is low?

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. To help reduce your infection risk, your doctor may suggest you wear a face mask and avoid anyone with a cold or other illness.