How to Interpret a High WBC Count


White blood cells work to fight off infections. When the body registers a high white blood cell count, or WBC, the condition, called leukocytosis, should be assessed by a doctor to determine the cause. A high white blood cell count could have a number of causes, including an infection, bone marrow disease, immune system problems or a reaction to a drug.

  • Visit a physician to have your blood drawn for a sample. This might be done at your general practitioner's office, a hospital or a blood lab.

  • Order the test to be sent for evaluation. This would typically be done by the doctor to gather information for a diagnosis when a patient is not feeling well, or routinely during a physical or hospital visit.

  • Read the results for interpretation. A normal white blood cell count range is between 4,500 and 10,000 white blood cells per microliter (mcL), according to the National Library of Medicine.

  • Evaluate possible causes of a high count -- above 10,000 mcL -- in partnership with your doctor. Consider lifestyle factors that might be affecting your blood, or treatments or drugs that should be pursued. High white blood cell counts could indicate any of the following, according to the Mayo Clinic: leukemia, measles, myelofibrosis, infection, rheumatoid arthritis, smoking, stress or whooping cough.

Tips & Warnings

  • Doctors are trained to read results from blood tests. Work with your doctor, rather than relying on self-diagnosis, to ensure your tests and results are properly interpreted.
  • Ranges that are considered normal can vary among laboratories.


  • Photo Credit Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet


You May Also Like

  • What Is the Normal Range of WBC?

    What Is the Normal Range of WBC?. WBC is an acronym for white blood cells. These cells, also called leukocytes, ... is...

  • Normal White Blood Count in Children

    If your child has a high white blood cell count, her pediatrician will order tests to pinpoint the cause. Why Get Tested....

  • How to Read Your Blood Count Levels

    The normal range of white blood cells is between 3.3 and 8.7 K ... A low white blood cell count is a...

  • How to Interpret a WBC Differential Count

    How to Interpret a High WBC Count. White blood cells work to fight off infections. ... White blood cells (WBC) are found...

  • Foods That May Lower WBC

    A low white blood cell (WBC) count leaves the body highly vulnerable to infection. A leukocyte count above the normal range is...

  • Does a High WBC Mean Cancer?

    White blood cells (leukocytes) fight infections. More white blood cells are produced when a foreign organism is detected. A high white blood...

  • How to Reduce WBC Count

    White blood cells (WBC) are found in your blood and lymphatic system, and function to fight off viral or bacterial infections in...

Related Searches

Read Article

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Finance Editor

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