A low white blood cell count is an indicator of serious infections, bone marrow deficiency, autoimmune disorders and certain types of cancer, according to MedlinePlus. Several types of medications, such as anti-seizure drugs and chemotherapy drugs, also cause decreased WBC counts.Know More
White blood cells help the immune system fight infections, explains MedlinePlus. A normal WBC count ranges from 4,500 to 10,000 cells per microliter. Mononucleosis, spleen disorders, liver diseases and lupus are some of the causes of a reduced WBC count. Antibiotics, diuretics and anti-thyroid drugs can also reduce the number of WBCs in the blood.
There are five major types of white blood cells, notes the University of Rochester Medical Center. Basophils let other white blood cells know when a foreign substance has entered the bloodstream and participate in the body's immune response by releasing histamine and other chemicals. Eosinophils participate in the allergic response, destroy parasites and kill cancer cells. Monocytes break down bacteria, preventing infections from getting out of control. Lymphocytes defend the body against infections by producing antibodies to certain organisms. Neutrophils are the first WBCs to respond when a foreign substance infects the body. They help the body fight infection by digesting fungi and bacteria.Learn more about Medical Ranges & Levels
Conditions or diseases that harm or damage bone marrow function or that directly destroy white blood cells are the common causes for low white blood cell count, according to Mayo Clinic. Such conditions or diseases may include blood disorders, cancer and drug abuse.Full Answer >
A low white blood cell count can be related to a number of causes, including viral infections, cancer and diminished immune system function, according to MayoClinic. Detailed blood screening is the first step necessary to determine the specific cause.Full Answer >
A congenital or autoimmune disorder, cancer, a viral infection, an overwhelmingly strong infection, or certain drugs may cause a low white blood cell count, Mayo Clinic advises. Damage to bone marrow, which produces white blood cells, or to white blood cells themselves reduces white blood cell levels.Full Answer >
The causes of a low white blood cell count include autoimmune disorders, severe bacterial infections, disorders of the spleen and liver, bone marrow deficiency, and some viral illnesses, states MedlinePlus. The immune system uses white blood cells to fight off infections.Full Answer >