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What are white blood cells? Common questions and answers

What are white blood cells? Common questions and answers

White blood cells defend us against diseases and infections, and in fact, they are crucial for our immune system. But how does it work? In this article, you will get answers to that and several other common questions about white blood cells.

Quick version

What are white blood cells?

White blood cells, also known as leukocytes, are a central part of the body's immune system and play a crucial role in defending the body against infections and diseases. These cells are found in the blood and tissue fluid and are part of the body's defense against foreign substances and microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens.

What do white blood cells in the urine indicate?

Normally, there shouldn't be significant amounts of white blood cells in the urine. When white blood cells are detected in a urine sample, it may indicate an infection in the urinary tract or, in the worst case, kidney problems.

What can elevated levels of white blood cells indicate?

Elevated levels of white blood cells in the blood, also called leukocytosis, can be a sign of an underlying infection or inflammation in the body. It can also be a sign of other conditions, such as certain forms of cancer.

What are the symptoms of low and elevated levels of white blood cells?

When white blood cell levels are too low, a condition called leukopenia, it can result in increased susceptibility to infections and a general feeling of fatigue and weakness. Conversely, elevated levels of white blood cells can cause symptoms such as fever, sweats, weakness, and loss of appetite, depending on the cause of the elevation.

What happens to white blood cells in cancer?

Elevated levels of white blood cells can sometimes be a sign of certain types of cancer, especially leukemia and lymphoma. In these cases, the bone marrow produces abnormal amounts of white blood cells that do not function properly. Therefore, it is important to carefully evaluate elevated levels of white blood cells to rule out or confirm the presence of cancer.

What do white blood cells do and how do they defend us?

White blood cells have several important functions in the body. They fight infections by phagocytizing (eating up) foreign microorganisms, producing antibodies to combat bacteria and viruses, and by activating other parts of the immune system to strengthen the body's defenses. Their ability to recognize and fight foreign substances is crucial for maintaining health and well-being.

How can you increase white blood cell counts and what happens if you have too few?

To increase white blood cell levels, doctors may prescribe treatments such as medications or vitamins, depending on the cause of low levels. In severe cases of low white blood cells, bone marrow transplantation may be an option. If white blood cell levels are too low, it can result in impaired ability to fight infections and increase the risk of serious complications.

How to test your white blood cell levels

Testing your white blood cell levels is an important part of monitoring your health and immune function. Through a simple blood test, the number of white blood cells in your blood is analyzed, and you will find out if they are within normal reference ranges and whether you have low or elevated white blood cells. Learn more here blood test of white blood cells.

Analysis of white blood cells can help identify any infections, inflammations, or other health issues that may affect your immune system.

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