Elevated White Blood Cell Count

Elevated White Blood Cell Count

The WBC or white blood cell count in your body focuses on the amount of white blood cells that are present in your blood. The white blood cell also goes by the name leukocytes and is primarily functioned to fight off infections or allergens. These cells usually attack the external agent that is harmful for the body, be it external or internal and destroys or depletes them to ensure quick recovery from the said infections. Compared to the red blood cells or RBCs the white blood cells are fewer in count but they are sized larger than the red ones.  The condition elevated white blood cell count may occur in the event of a bacterial infection.

Related post: White Blood Cells in Urine Overview

Elevated white blood cell count- definition and statistics

Elevated white blood cell count usually varies from laboratories to laboratories where the exact statistic is different. However, the cells should be limited within 4,300 to 10,800 cells for every cubic millimeter of blood. Elevation experienced in the blood cell count may therefore vary from one person to another. Usually for a normal adult, elevation of white blood cell occurs if the count is over 11,000 WBCs in a micorliter. The same cannot be calculated for children. There count differs and changes along with size and age.

Why the elevated white blood cell count is important?

The need to calculate the elevated white blood cell is important and to justify the statement given below is some of the many reasons as to why the spike in the blood count occurs

  1. Stress

If you experience elevated white blood cell count, you can blame the condition on immense physical stress or emotional distress of the serious kind.  Anxiety or over exerting oneself may be one of the many reasons. The reason behind this is the stress hormone on experiencing stress boosts itself along with the other hormones which can be related to the increase in white blood cells in your blood stream.

  1. Infection

Often a bacterial or viral infection is deemed to be the main cause for elevated white blood cell count. However, parasitic or fungal infections are not far behind in the race. Owing to the infection the immune system’s natural response is to increase the WBC count. It triggers a sensation in the marrows that allows the bone marrow to release extra white blood cells so that they can identify and attacks the harmful agents. If the infection is viral in nature, the increase in the blood cell will be eminent during the initial stages when the immune system uses the white blood cells as the soldiers to fight off the virus.

  1. Inflammation

Disorders that end up in inflammations usually are the reason why your blood cell count may increase. Rheumatoid arthritis or inflammation caused by tissue damage or injury may be taken into account. Asthma, burns, surgeries, allergies or heart attacks are some of the instances. Also the condition COPD, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a disorder often caused by frequent smoking. The arrival of this condition makes the air and lung passages swell up.

When the inflammation sets in the immune system in the body releases a chemical message which is filled in WBCs straight from the bone marrow to the fight destination, i.e. the inflamed area.

  1. Bone Marrow Diseases

A bone marrow illness or disorder can be related to the elevation of the white blood cell count but this only pertains to serious cases.

  • A disorder as such would be a condition when the bone marrow produces large amount of white blood cells and releases it into the blood stream. This condition is known as
  • Polycythemia Vera is yet another bone marrow disorder where owing to an abnormal gene, the red and the white blood cells experience a spike in their production.
  • Myelofibrosis is yet another cause and this time the bone marrow is replaced or substituted with scar tissues. This usually causes the blood cell production to experience a hike and if there is any persistent inflammation, the white blood cell would experience a hike in the initial stages itself.
  1. Other Causes of Elevated White Blood Cell Count
  • Reaction to medicines- some medications often results in the release of white blood cells. Some of these drugs are related to the curing of the cancer, inflammation, mental health condition etc.
  • Immunity diseases- disorders in the immune system may lead to increase in the production of white blood cells. Some of these are autoimmune disorders or Crohn’s and even Grave’s. Monitoring of your condition is of paramount importance now.
  • Exercise- if you test your blood immediately after you exercised it would show a spike in the level of the white blood cells. The intensity and the time span of the workout session has toll on the spike levels and this is nothing to be alarmed about .

When does elevated white blood cell count become a worry?

In case you are suffering from an infectious disorder or illness, the spike or the elevation in the white blood cell is completely natural though not healthy. Once the infection or the disorder mends or repairs itself, the level of your white blood cell should go back to normal by itself.

A visit to the hematologist is essential in the event of experiencing elevated white blood cell count without any infection or illness occurring in the near past. The hematologist will put you through some tests and check up procedures to diagnose the exact reason as to why the body is producing an excess of the WBCs. A professional can easily identify and treat the situation.

Note: A vital part that determines the level of your white blood cell is your diet. To ensure the levels are in check and proper one should at all times avoid calories, fat, sugar and salts. Food items rich in antioxidants or the ones with low glycemic values will be apt for you at this time. Opt for food items that can contain or control the inflammation and always help yourself to at least six servings of vegetables and fruits each day. Garlic, vinegar, spices, olive oil, black and green tea, grapes and herbs are some food items that can contain an inflammation or help you tone it down.

Here in the video we have discussed some more about the elevated white blood cell count condition-

Blood in Mucus

Blood in Mucus

Spitting up blood in mucus or haemoptysis is an issue that is faced by millions of people worldwide on a daily basis and can be categorised into something that is not so dangerous and something that needs medical attention right away. Blood in mucus can be caused due to lung disease, respiratory infection, blunt force trauma and so on and requires immediate attention on the severity of the bleeding. Blood can be available in large or small quantities depending on the range of the affected area. Blood in mucus can also be found in the nasal tract when blowing your nose which shows that the area affected is not only in your respiratory region.

Related Post: Mucus in Stool Overview

Blood in Mucus Causes

In most issues it is seen that blood in mucus is caused most importantly by respiratory issues that should be located and treated by a doctor right away so that any issues can be avoided in the future.

  • Actinomycosis lung abscess
  • Arteriovenous malformation
  • Blastomycosis lung abscess
  • Bronchiectasis
  • Broncholithiasis
  • Bronchogenic carcinoma
  • Cognestive heart failure
  • Goodpasture’s syndrome
  • Influenza
  • Lung abscess
  • Lung cancer
  • Lupus pneumonitis
  • Mitral stenosis
  • Nasopharyngeal bleeding
  • Pulmonary edema
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Pulmonary infarction
  • Pulmonary tuberculosis
  • Pneumonia
  • trauma
  • Tuberculosis
  • Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Upper respiratory inflammation
  • Wegener’s granulomatosis

Symptoms

Haemoptysis is an issue that can cause other issues other than blood appearing in mucus. These issues can increase over time so it is best to understand the root cause of the problem.

  • Blood in bright red
  • Breathing rapidly
  • Breaths come out in short intervals
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing incessantly
  • Fever
  • Frothy or semi-coagulated-looking blood
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

It could be possible that coughing up blood may be the result of something more sinister in your body. in an event that you are coughing up blood for more than a week with a painful chest and sore throat it is better that you take the help of your doctor immediately. It is also better that you take the help of your doctor when you are having issues such as soaking sweats at night, issues performing any daily task, weight loss or even fever that is above 101 degrees. The people that require treatment for coughing up blood are hospitalised till the coughing subsides and the root cause of the problem is identified.

Treatments

  • In a last resort medication can be injected into damaged blood vessels in order to stop the bleeding.
  • Postural drainage.Take help from a doctor to get yourself into a position that helps you to spit out excessive blood rather than take it in.
  • Anti-tussives.Doctors provide adequate cough medication to help you prevent your blood vessels from bursting due to excessive coughing. This medication can be matched with antibiotics to help you get rid of blood in mucus effectively.
  • Blood transfusion.This is only meant for dire situations where the patient is facing too much blood loss. A blood transfusion can be administered to help balance blood levels in the body during an excessive event of blood in mucus. It is always better to visit a safe blood bank in this situation.
  • Bronchodilators are very useful in situations where the lung passages must be cleared for a direct flow of air. This is a great method for people who have recently undergone lung surgery as it helps to bring up the blood.
  • Oxygen supply.Oxygen supply is very necessary at this time and that is why a mask or even a tube can be used to provide a steady flow of oxygen to the lungs during the event of blood in mucus.

Blood in Nasal Mucus

There are two reasons why you may face blood in mucus and that would be caused by upper nose bleeding and lower nose bleeding. Though both cause bleeding in the nose at the end of the day you would only need to get medical attention when going through effects of lower nose bleeding as it is caused by a nasal infection of the lower partition of the nose that separates the membrane.

Causes

  • Blood in mucus is most commonly found due to respiratory infections or nasal infections but it is also quite commonly found due to blunt force trauma to the nasal region.
  • A nasal infection or upper respiratory infection may lead to your respiratory tract to start working excessively causing you to start blowing your nose on an excessive level. This not only irritates your respiratory tract but it also causes blood to appear in your mucus.
  • It is seen that in some cases the lack of humidity in the air can very effectively cause the nasal passages to actually become inflamed. This makes the vessels in the nasal area enlarged which promotes blood to be found in the mucus when you actually blow your nose.
  • Issues such as lung tumours, sinusitis, and infections of the nasal tract can cause issues that lead to blood in mucus.

In most cases that are recorded, blood present in mucus is not a life threatening issue and will dissipate over time once the root of the problem is found and managed.

Treatments

  • Pinching your nose with your thumb and index finger for a period of 10 to 15 minutes is the best way to get rid of bleeding easily..
  • Keeping your head high during the period of bleeding not only stops further bleeding from occurring but also encourages the blood to clot..
  • An ice pack wrapped in a cloth and applied to the nostril is a good way to stop the bleeding.
  • Swabbing with a lubricant helps to stop the bleeding which is normally instigated by a dry nose.

It is always better to contact your doctor immediately if your nose has been bleeding for more than 15 minutes.

Difference Between Arteries and Veins

difference between arteries and veins

Arteries and veins are the essential part of the body that performs the similar functions but different in nature. Here it is the point of study in the human body where the blood transportation is committed by veins and arteries. These organs are responsible for borrowing blood from one point to another but the characteristics and properties of blood are invariant in the category. Oxygenated bloods are carried away from the heart to the remaining part of the body by the arteries while the deoxygenated blood are reverting to the heart via veins. The protective coverings and linings of arteries are different from veins and comparatively the veins comprise of thinner walls. These two organs of the human body are just opposite in functions and studied elaborately in biological science. Both of them are essential in terms of carrying the body fluid from one part to another part to keep the balance of purity of blood. Moreover, the structural outlook also evokes their differences and shows their usual difference between arteries and veins.

Difference Between Arteries and Veins

There are innumerable differences between the blood carriers of our body system. There are two types of carriers such as veins and arteries. Both of them have the tendency to flow the body fluid but are different from each other by the type of fluid. They have different appearance and functions. The major differences between arteries and veins are compiled below.

Arteries:

  • Arteries are generated to carry the oxygenated blood from the heart centre to the rest part of the body.
  • The wall of arteries is made of 3 existing layers and that is why it is much 3thicker than the normal diameter of veins.
  • Arteries have 2 different patterns of vessels and they are respectively systemic arteries and pulmonary arteries.
  • When the oxygen level is reduced in the blood level, the possibility of blockage will increase in arteries.

Veins:

  • The main objective function of veins is that it carries deoxygenated blood from rest of the body cell to the lung.
  • It is generally made of less thick layers and that is why it looks thinner than arteries according to the structure.
  • Veins are also composed of two distinct types of blood vessels, which are defined by Pulmonary veins and systemic veins.
  • Clotting of blood is one of the common health issues that happen in veins due to any external or internal damage.

Now let’s get the detailed information about all the difference between arteries and veins:

  1. The Blood They carry
  • Arteries

It is biologically proved that arteries are designed to carry oxygen-rich blood by default. They take away the oxygenated blood from the centre of the human heart to the cell or tissues of the rest part of the body. The main part of the artery that is the junction point of heart and artery network is called aorta and comes out of the heart to oxygenate our body with sufficient pure blood. The body needs the oxygenated blood to perform other biological functions and that need is completed by the valuable service of arteries. The requirement gets fulfil by the artery, which carries oxygen mixed blood from the heart to rest body cells or tissues.

  • Veins

On the opposite end, veins are known for carrying carbon dioxide rich blood or deoxygenated blood from the various tissues or cells to the right atrium. Then biologically the procedure will follow to enter the blood fluid into the right ventricle and eventually into the lungs for soaking oxygen and to convert it to carbon dioxide. Meanwhile, the blood generally flows to left atrium via the pulmonary path. Following the continuing procedure, it enters from left atrium to left ventricle and collects oxygen again according to the biological procedure. This will help you know the difference between arteries and veins.

2.Structure

  • Arteries

The artery has been made of three different layers, which are termed as respectively tunica internal, tunica media and tunica external. Due to these three layers, the walls of arteries are much bulky and thicker than veins. Moreover, the operating pressure of this artery is too high than that of veins. In addition, according to the structural difference, the arteries do not consist of any valve as like as veins.

  • Veins

Compared to arteries, veins are made of the thinner wall. In between the thinner layers of veins, the maximum thick wall is known as tunica adventitia. The construction of veins comprises of one directional valve that is a semi lunar valve, which helps to prevent the backwards flowing of body fluid when it generally travels to the lungs or heart. One of the most common and biological differences between veins and artery is that the inner pressure of blood flow in veins is much lesser than that of arteries. As a result, the portion of smooth type muscles inside the wall of veins is not developed so well as equivalent to the development inside the arteries.

3.Types of Blood Vessel to understand difference between arteries and veins

  • Arteries

Arteries are made of two various types of blood vessels such as pulmonary blood arteries and systemic blood arteries. The functions of these types of arteries are different and distinct from each other.  Systemic arteries are found to carry out the oxygen-rich blood from the heart to tissues of the rest part of the body. On the other hand, the second type of arteries like pulmonary artery is known to borrow deoxygenated blood. They carry it out from the right ventricle (of heart) to lungs to repeat the process of oxygenation this volume of blood again.

  • Veins

Veins consist of two different types of blood vessels and they are respectively pulmonary veins and systemic veins. Systemic veins are responsible for carrying out so little oxygenated blood from body cells to lungs or heart. Moreover, it consists of deep and superficial systemic veins. Nevertheless, the pulmonary veins are known to carry oxygenated blood from lungs to the part of the left atrium of heart. This process is the initial step to release the pure blood via arteries to the whole body.

4.Diseases

  • Arteries

The main disease that arteries can face is the blockage due to which a serious health injury can appear. It is susceptible to get attacked by cholesterol plaques, which is termed in biology as atheroscleotic arterial vascular disease. If the blockage happens once, it can reduce the supply of oxygen to the required domain of body results in damaging definite body parts. This helps in the difference between arteries and veins.

  • Veins

Veins disease does not include cholesterol plaque but in opposite sense can avail the disorder of thrombosis that is related to clotting of blood. The appearance of thrombosis in deep veins can become so much dangerous for human and are called deep vein thrombosis.

How Are Arteries and Veins Connected?- Understand the difference between arteries and veins

Although, there are lots of differences between arteries and veins according to their structure and functions, they are connected with each other at some points. The formation of capillaries is generated at the last pint of the extension of veins and arteries where they get small and thin enough to get connected with each other. At the capillary point, both the blood vessels are connected. At the capillary point the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide happens and from that point, the blood is brought back to the heart with the intention of purification.

Lipid Profile

lipid profile

What is lipid profile? Have we ever questioned ourselves when the doctor prescribes this test in your prescription? Lipid profile in very simple terms is the way to check any abnormalities in lipids. The amount of triglycerides as well as cholesterol is checked in this panel of blood tests for the doctor to understand of what exactly is going on in your blood. Normally, cholesterol & triglycerides are bad for health and blocks the arteries of the heart making you highly prone to heart strokes and attacks. There are a lot of other ill-effects of high ranging cholesterol in the blood.

Lipid profile helps you keep a good track on the blood cholesterol levels and helps you perfectly in keeping away deadly lifestyle diseases. It is very important to be aware of this particular lipid profile test to keep yourself safe. To know more keep reading below-

The Components of Lipid Profile

As we all know, lipid profile is a series of tests that has many components as a part of the structure. The details are as follows-

  1. Total Cholesterol
  2. LDL (Low density lipoprotein) and HDL (High density lipoprotein)
  3. Triglycerides
  4. VLDL – Very Low density lipoprotein
  5. The Ratio of Cholesterol: HDL

There are 7 Types of Lipid Profile Tests :

  1. Serum total cholesterol
  2. Total lipids
  3. Serum triglycerides
  4. Total cholesterol/HDL and cholesterol ratio
  5. Serum HDL cholesterol
  6. Serum phospholipids
  7. Electrophoretic fractionation to determination %age of

(a) Chylomicrons

(b) LDL(low density lipoprotein)

(c) VLDL(very low density)

(d) HDL(high density)

When to take a Lipid Profile Test?

Any adult who does not have any history of bad cholesterol levels or genetic history in parents/grandparents can get a complete lipid profile done every 4-6 years. A single test of cholesterol can be taken in such a case, and if there is any discrepancy related to the levels of cholesterol, then the entire lipid profile can be tested for.

For any adult who had a history of cholesterol or is genetically more prone to it can get the lipid profile test done once every 6 months- 1 year depending on the signs and symptoms of cholesterol in the body.

Risk Factors that lead to Cholesterol Levels

  1. Smoking Cigarettes
  2. Low HDL Cholesterol
  3. Age (for males- 45 years plus, females-50 years or older)
  4. Hypertension
  5. Diabetes
  6. Family history and genetics of the person

What is the significance of the results?

Normally, lipid profile checks how healthy the heart of a person is and how prone he/she is to heart diseases and strokes. The practitioner will overall check all the factors of the results and give a verdict on how prone the patient is to heart problems and whether any form of treatment is required or not. This treatment is to lower the risk of the person to heart strokes and attacks.

The National Cholesterol Education Program in 2002 had laid down the guidelines based on which the results can be measured. They also gave guidelines on the treatment procedure.

However. Things have changed and so have the cholesterol-lowering therapies that prove to be effective. An evidence based risk calculator is used to identify such people who are highly prone to the cholesterol issues looking into all their environmental factors and by seeing how well they will benefit from these therapies. The age group for this system is 40-79 years.

The factors considered for this therapy includes age, blood pressure, HDL, gender, total cholesterol, habits of smoking, diabetes etc. This finally determines the Lipid-lowering drug therapy to be given.

The Threshold of the Lipid Profile Test

LDL Cholesterol
Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL (2.59 mmol/L); for those with known disease (ASCVD or diabetes), less than 70 mg/dL (1.81 mmol/L) is optimal
above or Near optimal: 100-129 mg/dL (2.59-3.34 mmol/L)
Borderline high: 130-159 mg/dL (3.37-4.12 mmol/L)
High: 160-189 mg/dL (4.15-4.90 mmol/L)
Very high: Greater than 190 mg/dL (4.90 mmol/L)

Total Cholesterol
Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL (5.18 mmol/L)
Borderline high: 200-239 mg/dL (5.18 to 6.18 mmol/L)
High: 240 mg/dL (6.22 mmol/L) or higher

HDL Cholesterol
Low level, increased risk: Less than 40 mg/dL (1.0 mmol/L) for men and less than 50 mg/dL (1.3 mmol/L) for women
Average level, average risk: 40-50 mg/dL (1.0-1.3 mmol/L) for men and between 50-59 mg/dl (1.3-1.5 mmol/L) for women
High level, less than average risk: 60 mg/dL (1.55 mmol/L) or higher for both men and women

Fasting Triglycerides
Desirable: Less than 150 mg/dL (1.70 mmol/L)
Borderline high: 150-199 mg/dL(1.7-2.2 mmol/L)
High: 200-499 mg/dL (2.3-5.6 mmol/L)
Very high: Greater than 500 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L)

Non-HDL Cholesterol
Optimal: Less than 130 mg/dL (3.37 mmol/L)
Near/above optimal: 130-159 mg/dL (3.37-4.12mmol/L)
Borderline high: 160-189 mg/dL (4.15-4.90 mmol/L)
High: 190-219 mg/dL (4.9-5.7 mmol/L)
Very high: Greater than 220 mg/dL (5.7 mmol/L)

What else should be known about lipid profile?

Normally, the lipid profile tests are done in fasting conditions. However, there are various researches going on where the professionals want to take samples of the non-fasting nature to get the correct measure of triglycerides in the blood.

Collection Details of Lipid Profile

  • Patient preparation – Fasting specimen
  • Specimen – Blood
  • Collection method – Routine venipuncture
  • Storage/transport temperature – Refrigerated
  • Stability (after separation) – Ambient: 72 h; Refrigerated: 1 week; Frozen: 3 months

What Do White Blood Cells Do?

White Blood Cells

White blood cells or Leucocytes

White blood cells are present in our blood and form the majority of our immune system. Our immune system is heavily dependent on these cells as these are the ones responsible for destroying parasites and other foreign bodies in our blood, thus protecting our body from diseases and infections. White blood cells are also known as Leucocytes among doctors and scientists. There are many types of WBCs in our blood, two of the major types being granulocytes and agranulocytes. These two types of WBCs have their own special role to play in the protection of the human body against harmful intruders. In this article, we are going to do a thorough study of these two types of leucocytes to have a better understanding of the workings of the human immune system.

White Blood Cells

Granulocytes

Granulocytes make up about 70 to 75% of the white blood cells in our body. Granulocytes contain small and visible granules in their cytoplasm, which get replaced every 12 hours. They are further divided into 3 main groups.

 

  • Basophils – Basophils are present in very low quantities in our white blood cells, forming only about 1% of the WBCs. However, despite their low quantities, these are as vital to our immune system as the other categories of granulocytes. Basophils release histamines in our body which help in the natural treatment of infections. Histamines are also responsible for initiating the inflammatory reaction of our body.
  • Eosinophils – Eosinophils make up 4% of the WBCs of our body. Their job is to ward off infections and parasites that give rise to allergies. The levels of eosinophils increase tenfold when the body suffers from any kind of allergies. For example, if you get your WBCs tested during hives or allergy induced asthma attacks, you will notice that the eosinophils levels have increased.
  • Neutrophils – Neutrophils form majority of the white blood cells or leucocytes in our body. With almost 65% of our WBCs being neutrophils, these protect us from all sorts of fungal and bacterial attacks. Also known as polymorphonuclear leukocytes or PMN, these affect the inflammatory system of the body. Elevated levels of neutrophils mean that the body is under the attack of some bacterial or fungal disease or infection.

Agranulocytes

Agranulocytes, as indicated by their names, do not contain any kind of granules in the cytoplasm of their cells. They do not have any membrane covering around the cells either, which is a distinguishing characteristic of granulocytes. They are of mainly 2 types, namely lymphocytes and monocytes.

  • Lymphocytes – Making up around 25% of our white blood cells, lymphocytes are the most important type of agranylocytes. There are, in turn, 3 different types of lymphocytes present in our blood, called T cells, B cells and NK cells.
  1. T cells – The T cells are divided into two major types called the CD4 and CD8. The CD4 T cells’ main function is to coordinate with the other cells to destroy the foreign elements attacking the body. They are the ones which defend the body against outside parasites like germs and bacteria to keep diseases at bay. On the other hand, the CD8 T cells are the main destroyers of the body. Their job is to go ahead and attack and kill any foreign intrusion in the blood and defeat the unknown cells.
  1. B cells – The B cells have the job of producing antibodies whenever the body is invaded by infectious germs and bacteria. These antibodies destroy the germs and other foreign elements entering the body by clinging to them and then chemically reacting with them to tear them apart completely.
  1. NK cells – The NK cells, also known as natural killer cells, have the same function as the CD8 cells. They are meant to destroy the enemy cells and keep the body protected from all kinds of foreign intrusion. Unlike CD8 cells, however, the NK cells do not need activation of any sort and can work on their own.
  • Monocytes – Monocytes are a kind of agranulocytes which have a larger life span than all other white blood cells. These cells have a special job to take care of, and that is to search our entire body for waste materials and germs which are hidden in our blood stream. They are basically the patrol guards of our body. The monocytes do a thorough search of our blood stream for such foreign elements, and when they find any previously undetected bacteria, fungi or virus, they attach themselves to the foreign element and tear them apart, break them down and consume them wholly, erasing all traces of the elements.

Sometimes, when they are unable to wholly consume these elements, they leave small bits and traces of these in the blood stream, bringing them to the notice of the T cells. The T cells then study the chemical nature of these foreign elements and make sure that any further intrusion of such elements are prevented at all costs.

Monocytes can be subdivided into a special type of cells called macrophages. These are basically enhanced forms of the same monocytes and share the same function as them as well. When the monocytes leave the normal blood stream of the human body, and enter the tissues, they transform into macrophages and protect the various tissues of the body.