We talked about the reds last post.
So, of course – now need to talk about the whites.
Blood that is.
About white blood cell counts
We gave a glowing review to the red blood cells last post. After all, they are plentiful and tend to outnumber the other blood components involved in a CBC – Complete Blood Count with differential lab test.
But – with that being said – the white blood cells also play a critical, life-saving role. Literally.
White blood cells are responsible for keeping the body healthy. Also called leukocytes, they serve as the line of defense for our immune system. When we get sick, fight disease and conquer cancer, the white blood cells go to town. The more white blood cells you have, the more your body is working to fight off something that should not be there.
So what’s normal?
According to the National Institute of Health,
4,500-10,000 white blood cells per microliter (mcL) is normal.
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results. The examples above show the common measurements for results for these tests. Some laboratories use different measurements or may test different specimens.
While labs will have differing limits, you should be able to determine if you are running low or running high based on lab reports.
Am I sick?
You’ll need to sit down with a physician to review your lab work – especially if white blood cell reports show you have too few or too many. Note – if your spleen is gone, you will run on the HIGH side.
Several conditions can be involved if your white blood counts are not normal.
For example, the following may cause LOW white blood cell counts:
- Liver disease
- Bone disease
- Exposure to radiation
These conditions may be indicators of why white blood cells are HIGH:
- Infectious disease
- Extreme stress
How to get white blood cells checked
You won’t necessarily feel anything if your white blood cells are high or low. BUT – having lab work performed routinely comes with the same importance as having red blood cells checked. A blood draw for a CBC test is a “first stop” for determining wellness and figuring out if anything is wrong with you – even if you don’t feel sick.
No insurance needed. No doctor script either. Come request the test yourself.