Quick Answer: Is A Low White Blood Count Serious?

When should I be worried about low white blood cells?

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..

What foods to avoid if you have low white blood cells?

If you have neutropenia, you should avoid raw meat, eggs and fish, moldy or expired food, unwashed or moldy fruit and vegetables, and unpasteurized beverages, including fruit and vegetable juice, beer, milk, as well as unpasteurized honey.

Is low white blood cells a sign of cancer?

A person with cancer can develop a low WBC count from the cancer or from treatment for the cancer. Cancer may be in the bone marrow, causing fewer neutrophils to be made. The WBC count can also go down when cancer is treated with chemotherapy drugs, which slow bone marrow production of healthy WBCs.

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.

How low is too low for white blood cells?

In general, for adults a count lower than 4,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood is considered a low white blood cell count. For children, that threshold varies with age.

How fast can white blood cell count change?

In a person with normally functioning bone marrow, the numbers of white blood cells can double within hours if needed. An increase in the number of circulating leukocytes is rarely due to an increase in all five types of leukocytes.

What do Leukemia spots look like?

During the progression of leukemia, white blood cells (neoplastic leukocytes) found in bone marrow may begin to filter into the layers of the skin, resulting in lesions. “It looks like red-brown to purple firm bumps or nodules and represents the leukemia cells depositing in the skin,” Forrestel says.

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.

How can I raise my white blood cell count?

Poultry and Lean Meats. Foods high in protein, such as lean meats and poultry, are high in zinc — a mineral that increases the production of white blood cells and T-cells, which fight infection. Other great sources of zinc are oysters, nuts, fortified cereal, and beans.

How do you treat low white blood cell count?

Medications can be used to stimulate your body to make more blood cells. Or you may be prescribed medications to clear up the cause of the reduced cell count, such as antifungals to treat fungal infections or antibiotics to treat bacterial infections.

Does alcohol affect white blood cell count?

Alcohol abuse can mess with the nutrients in your body and with WBC counts, too. Spleen problems: The spleen also makes WBCs. Infections, blood clots, and other problems can make it swell and not work the way it should. This will drop your WBC count.

Does coffee affect white blood cell count?

Conclusions. The pronounced increase in the white cell count in the group receiving caffeine appeared to be caused by greater muscle stress and consequently more intense endothelial and muscle cell injury. The use of caffeine may augment the risk of muscle damage in athletes.

What viral infections cause low white blood cell count?

Conditions that may cause leukopenia Viral infections: Acute viral infections, such as colds and influenza may lead to temporary leukopenia. In the short term, a viral infection may disrupt the production of white blood cells in a person’s bone marrow.

What happens when you have a low white blood cell count?

White blood cells are produced by your bone marrow to help your body fight infection. If you have fewer than normal white blood cells, you have a higher risk of getting an infection. When you have a low white blood cell count, your immune system isn’t working as well as it should.

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.