Sunday, October 1, 2023

Signs Of Low Blood Count

Causes Of A Low White Blood Cell Count

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Common causes of a low white blood cell count are:

  • Medications and cancer treatments, such as some antibiotics, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy
  • Bone marrow cancers and bone marrow disorders, including aplastic anemia and multiple myeloma
  • Infectious diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus and severe infections

White blood cells are made in the bone marrow and circulate throughout the body. Diseases, toxins, medications, or medical treatments that harm the bone marrow can prevent enough white blood cells from being produced. Some medical conditions can also cause the destruction of white blood cells.

Usually, having low white blood cells is a sign of chronic disease. But sometimes medications or infections can temporarily cause this problem due to the destruction of white blood cells. This should resolve once the infection clears up or the medication is discontinued.

Benign ethnic neutropenia is a cause of inherited chronic neutropenia . It is seen mostly in people of African, Middle Eastern, and West Indian descent worldwide. It does not increase a person’s risk of infection.

Normal Low And High Hemoglobin

You can find out your hemoglobin level through a blood test. Here is information on normal, low, and high hemoglobin levels:

  • Normal hemoglobin level: 13.2â16.6 grams per deciliter for males and 11.6â15 g/dL for females
  • Low hemoglobin level: Any levels lower than 13.2â16.6 g/dL for males and 11.6â15 g/dL for females
  • High hemoglobin level: Any levels lower than 13.2â16.6 g/dL for males and 11.6â15 g/dL for females

Blood Transfusions To Treat Anemia

A blood cell transfusion is a safe and a common way to treat anemia in people with cancer. It can help the patient feel better and helps oxygen get to vital organs. While blood transfusions can help symptoms very quickly, sometimes the relief is temporary depending on the cause of anemia.

Whether a blood transfusion might be needed depends on how severe your symptoms are and your hemoglobin level. A transfusion might be done if your hemoglobin level reaches a certain number or if your symptoms get too bothersome

A blood transfusion requires careful matching of donated blood to the recipients blood. Blood products are tested to be sure they are safe and the same kind of blood type as the recipient. But, receiving a blood transfusion also has some risks

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When To See A Healthcare Provider

If you have been diagnosed with low white blood cells, its helpful for you to know the signs of complications and to get medical attention if you start to develop problems. You wont be able to feel any direct effects of a low white blood cell count, so you may need periodic testing to monitor your count.

Get prompt medical attention for any of the following:

  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea
  • Signs of dehydrationsunken eyes, dry skin, decreased urination
  • Confusion, lethargy
  • Painful, red, or pus-filled wound
  • Shortness of breath

Infection And Low White Cell Counts

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A severe or prolonged low white cell count puts you at an increased risk for infection, therefore your doctor may prescribe growth factors that can stimulate your marrow to make new white cells to prevent or reduce infections. The growth factors can also be used to help the marrow recover after marrow transplantation and stem cell transplantation.

Growth factors called colony-stimulating growth factors may cause mild bone pain, usually in the lower back or pelvis, about the time the white cells start to come back in the marrow. This mild pain lasts only a few days and your doctor can prescribe a painkiller. Be aware, however, that doctors are cautious when prescribing these medications for people with cancer that involves the bone marrow, because growth factors might stimulate cancer cell growth.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® is a global leader in the fight against cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world, provides free information and support services, and is the voice for all blood cancer patients seeking access to quality, affordable, coordinated care.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is a 501 organization, and all monetary donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent allowed by tax laws. Please check with your financial advisor if you have more questions. Tax Identification Number: 13-5644916

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Chronic And Acute Anemia

Anemia is a condition that is caused by a decrease in the production of either RBCs or hemoglobin. The symptoms of anemia, which we will discuss shortly, are caused by loss of blood, the destruction of RBCs, or the abnormality of hemoglobin in the blood.

Two general kinds of anemia exist: long-term or short-term .

The physiology of individuals suffering from chronic anemia may adapt to low oxygen levels, which can make the condition difficult to detect without proper blood tests.

In the case of acute anemia, people often experience a quick escalation of symptoms, even with relatively mild changes in the bodys hemoglobin levels.

What Causes Low Blood Cell Counts

Common cancer-related causes of low blood cell counts include:

  • Chemotherapy. Certain chemotherapy drugs can damage your bone marrow — the spongy material found in your bones. Your bone marrow makes blood cells, which grow rapidly, making them very sensitive to the effects of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy kills many of the cells in your bone marrow, but the cells recover with time. Your doctor can tell you whether your specific chemotherapy treatment and dose will put you at risk of low blood cell counts.
  • Radiation therapy. If you receive radiation therapy to large areas of your body and especially to the large bones that contain the most bone marrow, such as your pelvis, legs and torso, you might experience low levels of red and white blood cells.
  • Cancers of the blood and bone marrow. Blood and bone marrow cancers, such as leukemia, grow in the bone marrow and don’t allow normal blood cells to develop.
  • Cancers that spread . Cancer cells that break off from a tumor can spread to other parts of your body, including your bone marrow. The cancerous cells can displace other cells in your bone marrow, making it difficult for your bone marrow to produce the blood cells your body needs.

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If I Have A Low Blood Count How Will This Be Diagnosed

A low blood count is diagnosed using a test called a full blood count, where your blood levels are compared with the population average. This is performed in a lab and involves considering many factors, including your intake of caffeine, tobacco, alcohol, your diet, and even the time that you have a blood sample taken.

If the doctor has detected a low blood count, it is likely that you will be referred to a haematologist for more tests to reach a diagnosis, and more specifically, to look for an infection or inflammation.

Treatment will depend on the underlying condition found, but in the case of a low white blood cell count, you may be given treatment to boost your white cells to help you fight off disease. You will also be given advice on how to avoid infections.

Symptoms Of Low White Blood Cell Count

Low white blood cell count, fatigue and flu-like symptoms, battling cancer

Low white blood cell count is medically known as âleukopenia,â and it is almost always related to significant reductions in neutrophils, a type of white blood cell. Neutrophils are designed to fight specific infections, particularly bacterial infections, and low neutrophil count is known as âneutropenia” .

So what happens when your white blood cells are low? Most people with a low white blood cell count will not experience any symptoms. Typically, when white blood cell levels are abnormally low, you may be more prone to infections. Common signs of an infection are chills, sweating, and a fever over 100.5° Fahrenheit .

A low neutrophil count will usually result in persistent fevers and infections affecting various organ systems. Neutropenia can make you more prone to:

  • Bladder infections
  • Increased coughing and trouble breathing because of lung infections
  • Nasal issues and sinus infections

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How Do Healthcare Providers Diagnose Leukopenia

Healthcare providers diagnose leukopenia by doing complete blood counts . They may do additional tests if they think you may have an infection. Those tests may include:

  • Urine tests: These tests may help healthcare providers determine whats causing your infection.
  • Chest X-ray: They may order this test if they think you have pneumonia.

How Do Healthcare Providers Treat Anemia

First, your healthcare provider will determine if you have anemia caused by a poor diet or a more serious health problem. They may refer you to a hematologist, a healthcare provider who specializes in blood disorders. Here are some examples of common anemia treatments:

  • Healthcare providers may recommend changing your diet or taking supplements if you have iron-deficiency anemia or pernicious anemia.
  • If you have anemia because you have a chronic disease, your provider will treat the underlying condition. They may prescribe medication to boost red blood cell production.

Providers may use medications like immunosuppressants or treatments like blood transfusions to treat anemias that happen when you have abnormal red blood cells, like aplastic anemia or hemolytic anemia.

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What Causes Low Blood Counts

The most common reason cancer patients experience low blood counts is as a side effect of chemotherapy. Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy works by destroying cells that grow rapidly, a characteristic of cancer cells. Unfortunately, chemotherapy also affects normal cells that grow rapidly, such as cells in the bone marrow that produce red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Things You Can Do Yourself

Pin on Blood Disorders

If your diet is partly causing your iron deficiency anaemia, your GP will tell you what foods are rich in iron so you can eat more of them.

Eat and drink more:

  • dried fruit like apricots, prunes and raisins

Eat and drink less:

  • foods with high levels of phytic acid, such as wholegrain cereals, which can stop your body absorbing iron from other foods and pills

Large amounts of these foods and drinks make it harder for your body to absorb iron.

You might be referred to a specialist dietitian if you’re finding it hard to include iron in your diet.

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Unusually Pale Complexion And Nails

The skin is the largest organ in the human body. A healthy complexion has a glow, which is due to the capillaries under the skin that lend a pink touch.

With anemia, those capillaries lose red blood cells or function inefficiently and dont have the natural pink tint. The skin may even take on a yellowish tone.

Therefore, pale skin is a common sign of anemia. It can be all over the body or limited to one area, such as the face, gums, or inside the lips or lower eyelids.

Likewise, fingernails that are all-white, yellowish, or thin may indicate anemia. Other signs can be abnormalities such as upwardly or inwardly curved nails, raised ridges, and brittleness. Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and will likely perform tests.

Check If You Have Iron Deficiency Anaemia

Symptoms can include:

  • tiredness and lack of energy
  • shortness of breath

Less common symptoms of iron deficiency anaemia include:

  • hearing ringing, buzzing or hissing noises inside your head
  • food tasting strange
  • hair loss you notice more hair coming out when brushing or washing it
  • wanting to eat non-food items, such as paper or ice
  • finding it hard to swallow
  • painful open sores in the corners of your mouth

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Chest Pains And Palpitations

A rapid heartbeat and palpitations along with feelings of anxiety may be connected to a lack of oxygen in the blood.

A consistently rapid heart rate is not good for your heart or for the rest of your body. When theres a low level of oxygen in the blood, the heart works extra hard to compensate. This puts a lot of pressure on the heart, which can cause it to beat faster, irregularly, and experience pain.

Untreated anemia can exacerbate underlying cardiovascular issues. Extreme cases can lead to an enlarged heart, heart murmurs, or even heart failure.

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Blood Counts

Low White Blood Cell Count |Symptoms |Causes |

The symptoms of bone marrow failure diseases like aplastic anemia, MDS and PNH are caused by low blood counts. The specific symptoms depend on which type of blood cell is affected. Read the section below to see the symptoms for each type of cell.

You may have many of these symptoms or just one or two of them. And you may get a new symptom at any point in the course of your illness.

A low red blood cell count is called anemia. If you have a low red blood cell count, you may:

  • Feel a little tired or very tired.
  • Feel less alert or have trouble concentrating.
  • Have a loss of appetite or lose weight.
  • Have paler-than-normal skin.

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Symptoms Of Anemia You Shouldnt Ignore

Anemia is a common blood disorder affecting more than 1.6 billion people worldwide. It occurs when the number of healthy red blood cells that carry oxygen through the body drops to an abnormal level, or if the cells dont contain enough hemoglobin.

The majority of the approximately 3.5 million Americans with anemia become anemic over time through inadequate iron or low vitamin B-12 levels . Both of these, along with folate , is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells.

Those who are most susceptible to anemia are children, females with menorrhagia , and pregnant women. People who suffer chronic diseases like ulcers, or people who have recently undergone surgery, may also become anemic. People with African ancestry are especially susceptible to sickle cell anemia, in which the red blood cells are curved like sickles.

What Are The Complications Of Low Blood Cell Counts

Low blood cell counts may delay your next round of treatment or lead your doctor to reduce medication dosage or prescribe a new medication. Monitoring your blood cell counts allows your doctor to prevent or reduce your risk of complications.

The most serious complications of low blood cell counts include:

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Causes Of Iron Deficiency Anaemia

In pregnancy, iron deficiency anaemia is most often caused by a lack of iron in your diet.

Heavy periods and pregnancy are very common causes of iron deficiency anaemia. Heavy periods can be treated with medicine.

For men and for women whose periods have stopped, bleeding in the stomach and intestines is the most common cause of iron deficiency anaemia. This can be caused by:

  • inflammation of the bowel or food pipe
  • cancers of the bowel or stomach but this is less common

Any other conditions or actions that cause blood loss could also lead to iron deficiency anaemia.

When Should I See My Healthcare Provider

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If you have anemia, you should check with your provider if your symptoms get worse despite treatment or if you notice changes in your body that may be new symptoms of anemia.

When should I go to the emergency room?

Anemia may increase your risk of a heart attack. Call 911 if you have the following symptoms:

  • Trouble breathing.

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What Causes Leukopenia

People may develop leukopenia because they have certain medical conditions, take certain medications or have malnutrition and/or dont get enough of certain vitamins. Medical conditions include:

What Is The Hematocrit

The hematocrit is specifically a measure of how much of the blood is made of red cells. The hematocrit is a very convenient way to determine whether the red blood cell count is too high, too low, or normal. The hematocrit is a measure of the proportion of blood that is composed of the red blood cells.

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Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Anemia is a heterogeneous condition caused by a variety of diseases. Identifying the cause of anemia and treating it appropriately is very crucial in the management of anemia. This requires interprofessional teamwork between the patient, the patient’s primary care provider, and consultant physician based on the cause, such as a gastroenterologist, nephrologist, cardiologist, hematologist, or gynecologist. Taking all necessary medications along with lifestyle modifications and frequent follow up with the team of doctors is essential to prevent the development of complications. Pharmacists provide education to patients about compliance and side effects of medication, as well as checking for drug interactions. Nurses assist with the education of patients and arrange followup laboratory evaluations and appointments. Only with collaborative interprofessional care can anemia cases achieve optimal outcomes.

How Do You Fix Low Hemoglobin

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Healthcare providers treat low hemoglobin by diagnosing the underlying cause. For example, if your hemoglobin levels are low, your healthcare provider may do tests that reveal you have iron-deficiency anemia. If thats your situation, theyll treat your anemia with supplements. They may recommend you try to follow an iron-rich diet. In most cases, treating the underlying cause of anemia will bring the hemoglobin level up.

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