What Does Low White Blood Cell Count Mean?

It is very important for a person to maintain a healthy immune system and white blood cells (WBC) are responsible for this. They fight against harmful bacteria, abnormalities in bone marrow, blood and in the lymphatic system. Low white blood cell count is an indication that a person is suffering from poor immune system and can be prone any kind of illness or infections. The presence of less number of white blood cells is also known as Leukopenia

A healthy human being may consist of around 4,000 to 11,500 leukocytes per ml of blood. A low white blood cell count is defined as less than 3,500 white blood cells per microliter of bloodThere are many kinds of WBC’s that are required to protect the body from virus, fungus, allergic reaction and parasites. Low WBC count can cause aplastic anemia, infectious diseases, leukemia and hyperthyroidism. This condition can also be caused due to the side effects of certain treatments like radiation and chemotherapy.


  • Human body tends to lose resistance and can catch any kind of infection easily.
  • Fever is the main indication and the areas of gastrointestinal system and bladder are the main areas for potential infection.
  • Symptoms like diarrhea, rectal bleedings, stomach cramps and urination problems may occur due to low white blood cells count.
  • Sore gums, mouth ulcers, throat infections, headache, sneezing are the main indications of the sinus infection and leukemia.

Causes of this Condition

Congenital immune system disorders, bone marrow disorders, cancer and viral infections are a few causes of less number of leukocytes. Usage of certain drugs like anti psychotics, clozapine and immunosuppressants can also lead to a drop in the white blood count. This condition in children can be caused due to various serious ailments which can turn fatal and can also be life threatening at times. Read on to know more about the other causes of this condition.

  • Low white blood cells count can be caused due to many reasons and medical conditions are considered as the major factors.
  • A person suffering from cancer goes through this condition.
  • The condition of leukemia can damage large number of white blood cells along with tissue that builds the bone marrow.
  • This can lead to very few healthy WBC’s causing damaged and mutated cells.
  • The WBC count can be known by extracting the tissue of bone marrow and by conducting certain tests.
  • The condition of leukemia can be treated with the help of chemotherapy, bone marrow transplants and radiation therapy. These treatments are responsible for the condition of low WBC count as they destroy normal cells along with healthy WBC’s.
  • Long term usage of medications like antidepressants and antipsychotic drugs can cause this condition.
  • Mineral and vitamin deficiencies can lead to this condition.
  • Typhoid fever, malaria and influenza can sometimes result in low WBC count.

What Does Low WBC Count Indicate?

  • This condition indicates the presence of serious viral, fungal and bacterial infections that can attack the immune system of a person.
  • In some cases, this condition can also indicate Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, you need to consult your doctor for a complete medical examination to confirm.
  • Diseases that cause low white blood cells are lupus, spleen and liver diseases, deficiency of vitamins and deficiency of minerals such as Zinc and Copper.
  • Some of the most common causes are Aplastic anemia, Autoimmune and Chemotherapy.
  • Medications that include antibiotics, immunosuppressive drugs and chemotherapy drugs cause leukopenia.
  • It can sometimes cause congenital disorders which include myelofibrosis and lupus. These conditions can attack the defence mechanism of the body damaging the WBC’s and bone marrow.
  • The condition of low WBC count can lead to aplastic anemia. This is advanced condition where the bone marrow will not be able to produce white blood cells further.
  • Hypothyroidism is another condition that leads to leukopenia due to the excess production of thyroid hormone.
  • Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and congenital disorders can damage the functioning of the bone marrow.


  • It is important for a person suffering from leukopenia to undergo certain tests in order to know the exact low white blood count causes and to provide the necessary treatment.
  • Growth factors including Cytokines, play an important role in stimulating the bone marrow to produce more number of white blood cells.
  • The infectious diseases can be treated with the help of antibiotics.
  • Filgrastim and perfilgrastim are the two most commonly recommended and prescribed drugs for lukopenia.
  • Antibiotics and balanced nutritious diet helps in increasing the white blood cells count.
  • Make sure that you consult a doctor regularly and keep a check over the leukocytes level in order to stay healthy and free from disorders.

Tips to Improve Leukocyte Count

Along with the above mentioned treatment options, a person suffering from this condition can also opt for a few tips that will help in improving the white blood cell count effectively.

  • Diet: Make sure that you will balance your meal strictly in order to follow a healthy diet. Diet is the most important aspect that will help you keep your body healthy and strong. You can increase the count of white blood cells by including 2/3 of your diet with whole grains, beans and fresh vegetables. You can also include fish and lean meat in your diet.
  • Vegetables: Make sure you include vegetables that will help in increasing the leukocytes count in your diet. Certain vegetables like carrots, pumpkin, spinach, cauliflower and broccoli have the ability to increase these blood cells count easily.
  • Exercise: Physical activity is another important aspect that every person should keep in mind to live a healthy life. Include at least 30 minutes of physical activity in your daily routine. You can even indulge yourself in walking or gardening everyday. Exercise will help in pumping your blood effectively and this can further increase the leukocytes count.
  • Green Tea: This is another healthy way of increasing the blood cell count. Green tea plays an important role in stimulating the white blood cells. You can also opt for decaffeinated green tea for better results. Drink at least 1 or 2 cups of this tea every day for better results.
  • Multivitamins: Taking multivitamins according to your gender and age will be of great help. You can take Zinc supplements to overcome this condition as zinc helps in increasing leukocytes.

One can follow the above mentioned steps in order to increase the count of leukocytes and to live a healthy and happy life!’>

2 responses to What Does Low White Blood Cell Count Mean?

  1. Dalene was diagnosed with low wbc and cannot afford to have further tests. Please advise. Many thanks

  2. How can a low wbc lead to HIV? This is one of the problems with the Internet. Anyone with a computer can perpetuate this ignorance on the Internet. Imagine someone with low white blood count reading that and freaking out because they can get HIV from having a low WBC. I agree that it can be indicative of the HIV infection but it can NEVER lead to HIV.

    These statements are erroneous.
    •This condition can also lead to Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
    •It can sometimes cause congenital disorders which include myelofibrosis and lupus. These conditions can attack the defence mechanism of the body damaging the WBC’s and bone marrow.
    •The condition of low WBC count can lead to aplastic anemia. This is advanced condition where the bone marrow will not be able to produce white blood cells further.

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