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Low leukocytes or leukopenia are conditions when the number of white blood cells in the body has decreased to below normal value. Although the symptoms of leukopenia are not specific, you still have to be aware and recognize their appearance so as not to end in more serious conditions
Leukocytes or white blood cells are an important part of the immune system that plays a role in protecting the body from various infections. Leukocytes are produced by the bone marrow which is then flowed throughout the body. When the number of white blood cells is lacking, the body will become vulnerable to infection.
Recognize the causes of low leukocytes
A person is said to have leukopenia if the number of leukocytes in his body is less than normal limits. The number of normal leukocytes in adults is 4,000-11,000 per microliter (MCl) of blood, while in infants is 9,000-30,000 mcl.
Low leukocytes are generally caused by viral infections that interfere with the work of bone marrow and affect the number of white blood cells, such as HIV and hepatitis. In addition, this condition can also be caused by:
- Congenital abnormalities that cause decreased bone marrow function
- Autoimmune disease that destroys leukocytes or even spinal cord, such as lupus
- Sarcodiosis, which is a condition characterized by the appearance of inflammatory cell buildup or granuloma that is scattered in various parts of the body
- Cancer or other diseases that damage bone marrow
- Side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy
Symptoms of low leukocytes
Symptoms of Leukopenia can indeed not be recognized specifically. However, people who have low leukocytes generally often experience fever, chills or aches, and headaches.
In addition, there are several other low -lower leukocyte symptoms that you must be aware of and need to be examined by a doctor immediately, namely:
- Diarrhea continuously or accompanied by blood
- Severe nausea and vomiting
- Decreased appetite and feel very weak
- Coughing that does not heal
- Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath while resting or doing light activities
- Pain when urinating
To ensure the diagnosis, the doctor will carry out a series of blood tests, especially examination of the number of leukocytes and calculation of leukocytes.
Leukocyte Calculation Examination
There are five types of leukocytes, namely neutrophils, basophiles, monocytes, lymphocytes, and eosinophils. Each type of leukocytes play a specific role for the body, especially in fighting infection. Therefore, the calculation of the number of leukocytes and the calculation of leukocytes is important.
There is no special preparation you have to do before undergoing a leukocyte examination. It's just that you need to tell your doctor if you are taking certain drugs, such as epinephrine, heparin, corticosteroids, antihistamines, kuinidin, or antibiotics, because some types of drugs can affect the number of leukocytes and examination results.
Laboratory or medical personnel will take blood from the blood vessels in your arm as an examination sample. This process only lasts for a few minutes and may cause a little discomfort.
If the examination results show you have leukopenia, the doctor will find out the causes based on the symptoms that appear, medical history, and the treatment you are living.
After knowing the cause of the low leukocytes that you experience, then the doctor can provide appropriate treatment. The doctor may also advise you to do a leukocyte examination regularly.
Low leukocytes can be a sign of a disease. Therefore, if you experience symptoms related to low leukocytes, it is recommended to consult a doctor to get an appropriate examination and treatment.