Blood contains various types of cells: red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Red blood cells provide the transport of oxygen to the organs. Platelets are responsible for blood clotting in case of injury. As for the white blood cells, their role is to protect the body from the harmful effects of the environment. So, leukocytes in the blood are elevated: causes.
The role of white cells in the body
Protection of our body is largely provided by white blood cells, also called leukocytes. Each liter of blood contains an average of 4 to 10 billion of these cells. Of their total number of these types of emit:
- Lymphocytes. They produce antibodies and destroy cells that are a threat to the body.
- Monocytes phagocytose external agents, bacteria, fungi and dead cells.
- Neutrophils are the most numerous and play the same role as monocytes.
- Basophils are not very numerous and are involved in the immune response. They promote the release of hormones such as histamine and serotonin.
- Eosinophils phagocytic foreign bodies and intervene in case of allergies.
An increase in the number of white cells in the blood can be both physiological and pathological. Physiological growth of leukocytes can provoke physical and psycho-emotional stress, food intake, hot bath. Pathological processes in the body associated with the manifestation of a disease, also provoke changes in the composition of the blood.
High levels of white blood cells are known as leukocytosis. A rise in white blood cells is a sign that our body is fighting infection or a virus. Concentration from 10,000 to 15,000 units / ml of blood is called moderate, above 15,000 - significant. And if it is over 20,000, then additional research is required.
Possible causes of high white blood cell count:
- infections, viruses, bacteria;
- iron deficiency;
- an episode of intense stress or overwork;
- consumption of antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs;
- serious reactions to allergens;
- the presence of tumors or leukemia;
- inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis;
- other diseases: measles, myeloid splenomegaly, whooping cough, asthma, viral pneumonia.
Why do white blood cells increase in children?
Children have a higher level of white blood cells from birth. Thus, in newborns, they reach 30,000 units / ml, and in the case of infection or other pathological changes, even this threshold can be exceeded. Moreover, the concentration of white cells in the child’s blood is variable and changes with age, reaching normal values by the age of 15:
- in newborns - 9000-30000 units / ml;
- at preschool children - 6000-17500 units / ml;
- at schoolchildren - 5000-15000 units / ml.
The reason for the increase in leukocytes in the blood of a child of five days old can be such a serious pathology, as congenital leukemia. However, this disease, fortunately, is extremely rare. The most common causes of increased white blood cells in children can be:
- various infectious invasions and associated inflammations;
- unhealthy diet;
- psycho-emotional outbursts;
- stressful situations;
- excessive physical exertion;
Increased rates in adults
The appearance of leukocytosis is most often due to the representatives of the stronger sex due to inflammatory processes in the kidneys, bladder, prostate, ureters. Other causes of increased white blood cells in men include:
- long-term treatment with antibiotics and other anti-inflammatory drugs;
- unbalanced nutrition;
- physical overload;
- splenectomy or spleen removal surgery.
The normal concentration of white cells in the female blood is 3980-10400 units / ml. The reasons for high leukocytes in the blood of women can be both already mentioned above and those associated with the peculiarities of a female nature. So, in physiological terms, white blood cells increase in connection with menstruation.
Pathological causes of elevated leukocytes in women in the blood include:
- viral and bacterial infectious diseases;
- purulent processes and inflammations;
- internal hemorrhage;
- oncological diseases;
- blood disorders;
The cause of increased leukocytes in pregnant women in the blood is primarily a hormonal shift. Also, pregnancy leukocytosis can lead to this. It is explained by the fact that white blood cells accumulate in large numbers in the submucosa of the uterus. Thus, the body of a pregnant woman protects the uterus and the developing fetus from external infection.
Any blood pathology during pregnancy carries a threat to the fetus, increasing the risk of spontaneous abortion, premature birth, the development of congenital malformations and chronic diseases in the child.
Leukocytosis - what to do?
The first step is to contact a hematologist and make a detailed blood test, which will allow to study its leukocyte formula and determine the true cause of the disease. You may need a full medical examination.
The causes of the disease that are in the physiological plane can be eliminated as follows:
- eliminate strong physical exertion;
- avoid high emotional background;
- to establish proper nutrition;
- avoid the effects on the body of a sharp temperature difference.
To solve the problems of a pathological nature, depending on the disease, you can apply:
- antibacterial agents;
- supportive therapy for internal organs;
- purification of blood from leukocyte excess - leukapheresis.
The order of treatment and use of necessary drugs for leukocytosis is determined by a hematologist, and you need to strictly adhere to its instructions. Be healthy!