What Does Low White Blood Count Mean?

Save

A low white blood cell count is a potentially dangerous condition that can only be discovered by a blood test. What is considered low depends on your age and sex.

Human blood samples in lab
Human blood samples in lab (Image: David Silverman/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

Function

White blood cells, also called the leukocytes, help fight off infections in your body. Normally you will have between 3,500 and 5,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood. Less than this is considered low. A low white blood cell count means your body's ability to fight off infections is compromised.

Woman in bed having thermometer placed in mouth
Woman in bed having thermometer placed in mouth (Image: Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Types

White blood cells come in five types: basophils, eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and neutrophils.

Microscopic image of lymphocytes
Microscopic image of lymphocytes (Image: Duncan Smith/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Identification

A low white blood cell count is known as leukopenia. This condition can be a symptom of a number of diseases, such as lupus or liver disease, or can be among the effects of radiation therapy.

Patient prepared to receive radiation therapy
Patient prepared to receive radiation therapy (Image: Chris Hondros/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

HIV

A low white blood cell count, especially in the "T cells" (lymphocytes), is a symptom of Human Immunodeficiency Virus, which can lead to AIDS.

AIDS research in biomedical lab
AIDS research in biomedical lab (Image: Kim Steele/Photodisc/Getty Images)

Warning

Having a consistently low white blood cell count can make you much more susceptible to infections. You may have to take extraordinary precautions, such as wearing a face mask, to avoid any potential problems.

Face mask
Face mask (Image: Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Related Searches

References

Promoted By Zergnet

Comments

You May Also Like

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!