Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsInfectious Diseases · 2 months ago

Low white blood cell count. What could it mean?

I received blood work done today and had low white blood cell count (3.4) I've been feeling fatigued and dealing with a scratchy throat, but I also have anxiety so I was worried about the cancer thing.

I read that it could be viral, but I'm not running a fever.

All the rest of my blood test was normal, except for a slightly elevated bilirubin level.

3 Answers

  • 1 month ago

    You are right its most likely a viral infection causing the bilirubin  elevation.

    White blood cells(leukocytes ) are the body's defense against infective organisms and foreign substances. To defend the body adequately, a sufficient number of white blood cells must stimulate the right responses, to get to where they are needed, and then kill and digest the harmful organisms and substances.

    Like all blood cells, white blood cells are produced in the bone marrow. They develop from precursor  (stem) cells that mature over time into one of the five major types of white blood cells---neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils and basophils. Normally, a person produces about 100 billion white blood cells per day.

    Usually the number of white blood cells in a given volume of blood is determined automatically by a computerized cell- counting instrument. These instruments provide the total white blood cell count, expressed as cells per microliter of blood, as well as the proportion of each of the five major types of white blood cells. The total white blood cell count normally ranges between 4000 and10,ooo cells per microliter.

    Too few or too many white blood cells indicates a disorder. Leukopenia, a decrease in the number of white blood cells to fewer than 4000 per microliter, makes a person more susceptible to infections or foreign substances, or it can result from cancer, injury, stress, or certain drugs. Most white blood cell disorders involve neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes and eosinophils.

    Source(s): nurse
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  • 2 months ago

    A low white blood cell count, called leukopenia, can result from conditions such as:

    Bone marrow damage, such as toxin, chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

    Bone marrow disorders, such as myelodysplastic syndrome, vitamin B12 or folate deficiency.

    Lymphoma or other cancer that has spread to the bone marrow.

    Autoimmune disorders—the body attacks and destroys its own WBCs (e.g., lupus)

    Dietary deficiencies

    Overwhelming infections (e.g., sepsis)

    Diseases of the immune system, such as HIV.

    Sorry if that freaks you out but you asked...

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  • 2 months ago

    yes, a low WBC is indicative of a viral infection as one cause. YOu need to discuss this with your provider who has the bigger picture

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