What Does It Mean When Your WBC Is Abnormal?

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…•.

Does a high WBC count mean cancer?

While having an elevated or abnormally high white blood cell count does not necessarily indicate leukemia, the source of the condition will need to be identified if it is found to exceed the levels and duration of a normal immune response to an infection.

What does it mean if your white blood cell count is low?

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.

What is an alarming white blood cell count?

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.

Should I worry if my white blood count is low?

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 is a dangerous 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.