What Are White Blood Cells And What Do They Do?

Do white blood cells kill viruses?

White blood cells: Serving as an army against harmful bacteria and viruses, white blood cells search for and attack and destroy germs to keep you healthy..

What happen if white blood cells are high?

A high white blood cell count usually indicates: An increased production of white blood cells to fight an infection. A reaction to a drug that increases white blood cell production. A disease of bone marrow, causing abnormally high production of white blood cells.

What is a good white blood cell count?

How many white blood cells (WBCs) someone has varies, but the normal range is usually between 4,000 and 11,000 per microliter of blood. A blood test that shows a WBC count of less than 4,000 per microliter (some labs say less than 4,500) could mean your body may not be able to fight infection the way it should.

What diseases cause high white blood cell count?

The following conditions can cause white blood cell counts to be high:Viral or bacterial infection.Inflammation.Excessive physical or emotional stress (such as fever, injury, or surgery)Burns.Immune system disorders such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.Thyroid problems.More items…•

Can stress cause low white cell count?

In addition, stress decreases the body’s lymphocytes — the white blood cells that help fight off infection. The lower your lymphocyte level, the more at risk you are for viruses, including the common cold and cold sores.

What are the 2 types of white blood cells?

Medical Definition of White blood cell There are several types of white blood cells (leukocytes). The two most common types are the lymphocytes and neutrophils (also called polymorphonuclear leukocytes, PMNs, or “polys”).

Can you live without white blood cells?

If you had no white cells, you would get lots of very serious infections. White blood cells can find germs that enter your body and destroy them, which keeps them from making you sick. Some white blood cells make antibodies, which are special molecules that can stick to germs and make them harmless.

What are the 3 things white blood cells do?

Types of white blood cellsMonocytes. They have a longer lifespan than many white blood cells and help to break down bacteria.Lymphocytes. They create antibodies to fight against bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful invaders.Neutrophils. They kill and digest bacteria and fungi. … Basophils. … Eosinophils.

What is the main job of the white blood cells?

The main job of white blood cells, or leukocytes, is to fight infection. There are several types of white blood cells and each has its own role in fighting bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infections.

Why are white blood cells so important?

WBCs, also called leukocytes, are an important part of the immune system. These cells help fight infections by attacking bacteria, viruses, and germs that invade the body. White blood cells originate in the bone marrow but circulate throughout the bloodstream.

What happens when you have a low white blood cell count?

White blood cells are produced by your bone marrow to help your body fight infection. If you have fewer than normal white blood cells, you have a higher risk of getting an infection. When you have a low white blood cell count, your immune system isn’t working as well as it should.

Which foods increase white blood cells?

Vitamin C is thought to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections….1. Citrus fruitsgrapefruit.oranges.clementines.tangerines.lemons.limes.

Is a white blood cell count of 13 high?

The specific number for high (above normal) white blood cell count varies from one lab testing facility to another, but a general rule of thumb is that a count of more than 10,500 leukocytes in a microliter of blood in adults is generally considered to be high, while 4,500-10,500 is considered within the normal range.

What is the most common reason for low white blood cell count?

A low white blood cell count usually is caused by: Viral infections that temporarily disrupt the work of bone marrow. Certain disorders present at birth (congenital) that involve diminished bone marrow function. Cancer or other diseases that damage bone marrow.

When should I be concerned about low white blood cell count?

A truly low white blood cell count also puts you at higher risk for infections — typically bacterial infections. But viral infections also may be a concern. To help reduce your infection risk, your doctor may suggest you wear a face mask and avoid anyone with a cold or other illness.

What are white blood cells and what are their functions?

White blood cells (leukocytes) are immune system cells that protect the body against diseases and foreign invaders. While they vary in size, they are generally the largest cell type found in the blood. White blood cells reside throughout the body, including in the lymphatic system and in the blood.

Is a low white blood count serious?

A low WBC count can be serious because it increases your risk of developing a potentially life-threatening infection. Seek prompt medical care if you have a low WBC count and have signs of an infection, such as a fever, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, or skin lesions.