White blood cells (WBC) play an imperative role in the immune system of a person. Your doctors may ask you to have your white blood cells checked as a part of routine complete blood count (CBC) and further tests are usually required if abnormalities are found in these tests. An abnormally high white cell count in the blood is a clear indication of some underlying blood disorder or infection or something more serious like leukemia. See information for leukemia here:
On the other hand, a low white blood cell count makes a person susceptible to diseases and infections and allow multiplications of the toxic and abnormal organisms in the body that are otherwise dealt with by our immune system.
The highest limit for high white cell count varies from one medical facility to another. A white cell count of higher than 11,000 leukocytes in the blood of an adult is normally considered a high white cell count. While the limit for high white cell count in children varies depending on their size and age.
What causes High White Cell Count?
There are a number of things that lead to high white cell count in the blood. They may vary on the basis of their severity. In order to find true cause it is essential to make diagnosis of one particular disease or condition which is causing high white cell count. Here is the list of all possible causes:
- Sometimes the number of white cells increases to fight off an infection
- Hemolytic Anemia which is a type of iron deficiency may cause high white cell count
- Diverticular Disease or disease of bone marrow cause abnormally high white cell count in the blood.
- HIV/AIDS makes a person prone to more serious infections which trigger high white cell count.
- Chronic infections cause high white cell count in the blood.
- Lupus (SLE) or any other disease of immune system may increase the number of white cells in the blood.
- Side-effects of certain drugs or allergic reactions cause high white cell count.
- Acute Myelogenous Leukemia (AML) a type of blood cancer
- Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia a type of blood cancer
- Certain bacterial infections cause high white cells in the blood.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis a type of connective tissue and autoimmune disease
- Smoking or excessive smoking may cause high white cell count.
- Tuberculosis a disease of lungs is associated with high white cell count in the blood.
- Stress triggers chemical chain reactions in the body which further leads to high white cells count.
- Certain Viral Infections may also cause high white cell count.
Symptoms of High White Cell Count
While there could be many other causes of these symptoms, following are the most symptoms of high white cell count that most people usually complain of;
- Resolved atypical headaches
- Recurring mouth ulcers
- Past yeast or fungal infections
- Lack of appetite
- Unexplained high fever
- Trouble breathing
Treatment for High White Cell Count
A proper diagnosis of underlying cause of high white cell count is usually determined with proper tests ordered by your primary care physician. Upon receiving the results, the doctor makes a proper diagnosis of the condition or disease and treats you accordingly. For example, treatment for infections is based on antibiotic regime while for serious diseases, your doctor may refer you to the disease specialists for disease specific treatment.