Everything you need to Know about White Blood Cells
Produced in the stem cells located in the bone marrow, white blood cells play a crucial role in the body. They are also referred to as leukocytes. After they have been produced, 80 to 90 percent of the white blood cells are stored in the bone marrow. When you have an inflammatory condition or have an infection, your body releases them to beef up its immunity.
This article explores the various white blood cell types and the roles they play.
Types of White Blood Cells
According to professionals, three types of leukocytes exist. Here, we discuss each of them in detail.
These white blood cells consist of small granules that contain proteins. There are three sub-categories of granulocyte cells:
- Basophils: These make up one percent of the total white blood cells in your body. Typically, they increase in number in reaction to allergies.
- Eosinophils: Sometimes, some of the infections you have may be caused by parasites. These white blood cells respond to such infections. They are also crucial in overall immune response and inflammatory response in your body.
- Neutrophils: They are the most prevalent leukocytes in the body. Like scavengers, they surround and engulf any fungi or bacteria present in your body.
Under this category, there are:
- B Cells/ B-lymphocytes: They are responsible for the production of antibodies that fight infection-causing germs.
- T Cells/ T-lymphocytes: They recognize and eliminate infection-causing cells.
- Natural Killer Cells: They attack and kill viral cells, including cancer cells.
These white blood cells make up two to eight percent of the total white blood cell count in your body and are produced when the body suffers from chronic infections. Monocytes target the infection-causing cells and destroy them.
White Blood Count
Here are the normal white blood cell ranges per cubic millimeter based on age:
- Newborn: 13000-38000
- Two-week-old Infant: 5000-20000
- Adult: 4500-11000
- Pregnant women in the third trimester: 5800-13200
High WBC Count
A person is said to have a high white blood cell count if the number of white blood cells they produce exceeds the required amount. This condition is referred to as leukocytosis and could indicate any of the following conditions:
- Allergic responses
- Heart attacks, trauma, burns, and other conditions that cause the death of cells
- Inflammatory conditions like vasculitis, rheumatoid arthritis, or inflammatory bowel disease
- Bacterial, fungal, viral, or parasitical infections
There are also surgical procedures that kill cells, resulting in a high WBC count.
Low WBC Count
A person with a low white blood cell count produces fewer white blood cells than required, and this condition is called leukopenia.
Some of the conditions that cause leukopenia include:
- Autoimmune conditions like HIV and lupus
- Damage to the bone marrow that may result from radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or exposure to toxins
- Disorders of the bone marrow
- Deficiencies in Vitamin B12
Conditions Affecting White Blood Cells
The following conditions can alter the number of white blood cells in a person’s body:
- Aplastic anemia: With this condition, the body destroys its stem cells located in the bone marrows. Stems play a crucial role in producing new white blood cells, platelets, and red blood cells.
- Evans Syndrome: The immune system of patients with this autoimmune condition destroys healthy cells.
- HIV: People with HIV have a low amount of CD4 T cells.
- Leukemia: This is a form of cancer that affects the bone marrow and blood. It is caused by the rapid multiplication of white blood cells and their inability to fight off infections.
- Primary Myelofibrosis: The condition causes overproduction of some blood cells and scarring in the bone marrow.
- UTIs or Kidney Infections: Urinalysis is a test conducted to check for leukocytes in urine. Positive results indicate inflammation in the kidney or urinary tract.
Functional Leukocyte Observation (FLO)
At Reddy Natural Medicine in Lafayette, CO, our doctors carry out FLO to ascertain your white blood cells’ functionality. The observation helps the doctor see if they are working and wiping away bacteria, fungi, and parasites.
During FLO, the doctor takes a drop of blood and observes it under a special microscope. Because the microscope is heated to body temperature, the blood is kept alive and active. This way, the functioning of leukocyte can be observed. If the leukocytes are functioning, the doctor takes a drop of blood and observes it under a special microscope. Because the microscope is heated to body temperature, the blood is kept alive and active. This way, the functioning of leukocyte can be observed. If the leukocytes are functioning correctly, they will swim in the sample.
FLO also allows your doctor to see patterns of inflammations and nutritional deficiencies, not forgetting infection signs.