White Blood Cell Count (WBC), Low, High
all about white blood cells. why white blood cells count is high? why white blood cell count is low? foods that helps white blood cell count. White Blood Cells (WBC) are the immune cells of our body which are a part of blood. They are also known as ‘leukocytes’. Although they make up only 1% of the components of the blood, they have a very crucial role to play in our body. They are continuously at war with any bacteria or virus that enters our body, thus forming the first line of defense against any foreign invader that’s a threat to your health.
These WBC are made in the bone marrow and stored in the blood and lymphatic systems till they are needed to fight any type of infection. Their ratio against red blood cell (RBC) is 1 : 600. Because WBC has a short life span so your body has to continuously produce them. A healthy diet is a key to making these WBC and staying fit and robust.
There are different kinds of WBC which range from those which recognize the foreign bodies to the ones which reach to the site and destroy and ingest them. The different types of WBC are :
Neutrophils : More than half of the white blood cells are Neutrophils. They are those powerful WBC which signal the other types of WBC of the invaders and go ahead and digest and kill the bacteria and virus.
Eosinophils : They are primarily accountable for destroying parasites, cancer cells and also are a part of allergic responses especially to pollen.
Basophils : These form only 1% of the WBC. They play a role in alerting the body to infections by secreting chemicals like ‘histamines’ and controlling body’s responses to allergies, especially that of asthma.
Lymphocytes : These are very important type of WBC which are responsible for making antibodies that help the body defend against different types of harmful bacteria, virus and other threats.
Monocytes : They form 5% of the WBC in your blood. their most important function is to break down the bacteria as well as ingest and clean up the dead cells and thus are often termed as ‘vaccum cleaner’. They usually have a longer life span than other types of WBC.
What is the Normal WBC count?
Checking the number of white blood cells us usually a part of CBC (Complete Blood Cell) test. A normal white blood cell count for a healthy adult is usually between 4,000 and 10,000 cells/MCL.
When is WBC Count High?
An increase in white blood cells is known as leukocytosis. A higher WBC count than normal usually indicates an infection signaling that your body has been attacked by bacteria or virus. As a counter effect, the body multiplies the number of WBC so as to fight and destroy the invaders.
Few factors which contribute to a high WBC count are :
• Infections like tuberculosis
• Tissue damage (eg. Burns)
• Tumors in the bone marrow
• Drugs such as corticosteroids
When is WBC Count Low?
When the number of white blood cells is too low it is termed as leukopenia. This condition indicates may indicate severe infections. A low WBC count is a signal that your body’s immune cells are being destroyed by the threats more faster than they are being made or the body is producing few of them. In simple words, it means that the bacteria or virus have increased or multiplied to a number which is now destroying your immune cells and your immune system has weakened.
Most common factor which contribute to low WBC count are:
• Severe Infection
• Bone Marrow Damage
• Auto Immune Disorders
• Excessive exercise
• HIV / AIDS
• Cancer & Radiation Therapy
• Liver and spleen diseases
• Some specific medicines like cancer treating drugs or antibiotics
Diagnosis of High / Low WBC count
Your doctor who preferable knows your medical history is the best person to diagnose high / low WBC levels. S(he) will recommend a treatment plan to you after determining the cause. It is very likely that you may need to repeat the blood test periodically to run a close check at the WBC levels.
If your WBC count remains high / low, this indicates that your condition has worsened. Your doctor might change the treatment or the medication till your WBC count returns to normal or may suggest you to visit a specialist. A low WBC count in very severe diseased conditions is slightly difficult to bring back to normal.
Can Diet Help in Improving WBC Count?
Well, to a certain extent yes. Healthy eating is always a ladder to a healthy YOU. First basic rule is to avoid all the junk, refined and canned products from your food list. Yes, you are right…. This list is quite immense. It includes bread, pasta, burger, chips, canned juices, sugary foods, cakes, mithais and so on….
So the next question is what to eat then? Turn to the colourful Nature’s basket of fruits, veggies, unrefined cereals and sprouts. These are rich in :
• Vitamin C
• Vitamin E
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin B12
• Zinc, and
• Other antioxidants
All these nutrients together work to build the health and the number of WBC in the blood, thus strengthening your immune system.
WBC Count and Exercise
If you check your WBC count immediately after exercise, your count might be actually high. But there is nothing to worry about it. In a way, this strengthens your immune system and allows your body to identify disease causing organisms more easily than normal circumstances. However after exercise, the count drops back to normal. But excessive athletic training (marathon, ultra athletes, triathletes) can result in a significant decrease in WBC count. However this isn’t really a cause of worry. Discuss it with your doctor and trainer and chalk out a balance between antioxidant you pop up and your exercise regime.
Recipe Suggestions to Boost WBC Count
1. Sprouts and Palak Idli
2. Coconut Chia Seeds Pudding with Mixed Fruits and Walnuts
3. Flax Seed Shakarpara
4. Flaxseeds Dry Chutney
5. Tomato Salsa
6. Oats Methi Multiflour Khakhra
7. Orange Tabbouleh
8. Jowar Palak Appe
9. Chana Dal Pancakes
10. Pineapple Cucumber Salad
11. Broccoli Soup
12. Orange, Grapefruit and Mint Salad
13. Carrot and Red Pepper Juice
14. Bajra, Whole Moong and Green Pea Khichdi
15. Anti- Cancer and Anti- Inflammation Spinach Juice
16. Nachni Paneer Pancake
17. Jowar Methi Roti