A low white blood cell count decreases the number of white blood cells in the blood. A low WBC count is referred to medically as leukopenia.
Depending on the underlying disorder or condition, a low white blood cell count may be conducted by other symptoms. Symptoms can include:
- Recurrent infections that are difficult to treat
- Shortness of breath
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Causes of low white blood cell count
Diseases that can cause a low white blood cell count.
A low white blood cell count can be due to various conditions that destroy bone marrow production. These include:
- AIDS (Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome)
- Aplastic anemia (a condition in which the bone marrow makes insufficient blood cells)
- Bone marrow disease
- Liver diseases such as hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver failure
- An overactive spleen that destroys white blood cells
- Radiation exposure
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Lupus erythematosus
- A viral infection that affects bone marrow function
- Vitamin deficiency
- Widespread infection that depletes white blood cells
I also wrote a tutorial on Leukemia Treatments that you can follow.
A low white blood cell count can also be caused by certain medications that you are receiving for an underlying disease, disorder, or condition, such as:
- Antithyroid drugs
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Radiation therapy
Must read: Can Bone Marrow Transplant Changes DNA?
Anxiety and low white blood cell count
Deviation of white blood cells is correlated with an increased risk of certain mood disorders, including anxiety. In addition, there is an increase in the average number of white blood cells with increasing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Also see this post: Symptoms Of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
What foods increase white blood cells?
Vitamin C is considered to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Almost all citrus fruits are high in vitamin C. With such a variety to choose from; it’s easy to add a squeeze of this vitamin to any meal.
Also, you should eat foods high in protein, such as:
- Lean meats
- Fortified cereal
How to boost white blood cells?
Here are some health tips that help to boost white blood cell count.
- Lavender essential oil boosts the white blood cell count, thus improving your overall immunity.
- Garlic maintains anti-inflammatory properties that boost your immunity by stimulating the production of various white blood cells, which include lymphocytes, eosinophils, and macrophages.
- Spinach is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It also exhibits antioxidant properties. These properties can help in increasing the number of white blood cells.
For more knowledge to click here: Is Spinach Good For You?
- Papaya leaves contain acetogenins, which are important compounds that boost your immunity by increasing your WBC count. Papaya leaf juice serves as an excellent remedy for dengue fever.
- Consume vitamin-rich foods that promote WBC production, such as carrots, cheese, meat, eggs, fish, sweet potato, and citrus fruits. You can also take vitamin supplements after consulting your doctor.
- The probiotics in yogurt boost immunity. They also have stimulating properties that help increase WBC count.
- Omega-3 supplements have immunomodulatory properties that boost your immunity by increasing your WBC count.
- Zinc can help restore the normal functioning of white blood cells.
- The sulforaphane in broccoli can help regulate your white blood cell count.
- Dietary intake of selenium has a positive effect on the production of white blood cells.
- Kiwis contain powerful antioxidants and are also rich sources of potassium and vitamins C and E. All these nutrients play an important role in increasing the number of white blood cells.
- Citrus fruits are rich sources of antioxidants and vitamin C, both of which enhance immune function. They also help increase WBC count.
- Sunflower seeds contain phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin E, and vitamin B 6. These nutrients and antioxidants boost white blood cells to fight infection.
Read this post for more info about vitamins and minerals: What Vitamins And Minerals Are Good For the Brain?
Supplements to increase white blood cells
Drugs that may increase WBC counts include:
- Beta-adrenergic agonists
- Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor
Potential complications of a low white blood cell count
A poorly controlled or untreated low WBC count can be serious and even life-threatening due to increased vulnerability to potentially life-threatening infectious diseases, such as:
- Bloodstream infection
- Fungal infection
- Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infection
- Parasitic diseases
Life-threatening complications of these diseases include:
- Organ failure
- Recurrent and resistant infections that are difficult to treat
- Septic shock
You must read this article: How To Treat Covid Pneumonia
A low WBC count can be serious because it increases your risk of developing a potentially life-threatening infection. If you have a low WBC count, you will probably be advised by your medical professional to avoid situations that expose you to infectious and contagious diseases.
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