06/07/2011 - Questions and Answers

High White Blood Cell Count: Why is my white blood cell count too high?

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Why is my white blood cell count  too high?

White Blood Cell Count (WBC Count)

White blood cell count, also known as Leukocyte count or WBC count,  or White count.There are five main types of white blood cell counts: neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils.
A white blood cell (WBC) count is the number of white blood cells per volume of blood reported in thousands in a microliter or millions in a liter of blood.

Do you have a high white blood cell count? There are a variety of reasons for a high white blood cell count. A white blood cell count is high when leukocytes (white blood cells) are helping your body to fight an infection in your bodythere are more disease fighting cells in your body. A high white blood cell count is also called leukocytosis. But It is important to be aware that a high white blood cell count does not identify a specific problem...

Question: What causes a high white blood cell count?

What causes a high white blood cell count? I am worried because my doctor tells me my white blood cell count is too high.

In this article:
Causes of High White Blood Cell Count
Treatments for High White Blood Cell Count
Information related to the article "High white blood cell count"

Answer

We can explain to you the various possible causes of a high white blood cell (WBC) count, but you need to be investigated by your own doctor, who knows you, your medical history and can treat you appropriately only after a diagnosis has been made.

Causes of High White Blood Cell Count

White blood cells (leukocytes) help fight infection in your body. A normal white blood cell count

is between 4,500 and 10,000 cells per microliter. A high white blood cell count (leukocytosis) isn't a specific disease. But it may indicate an underlying problem that requires medical evaluation. There are several possible causes for a high white blood cell count.
Causes of a high white blood cell count include: Infection - Severe physical or emotional stress - Use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids, antibiotics or anti-seizure drugs - Chronic bone marrow diseases such as a myeloproliferative disorder ( The chronic myeloproliferative disorders are polycythemia vera (PV), myelofibrosis (MF), essential thrombocythemia (ET), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) ) - Acute or chronic leukemia - Tissue damage, such as from burns. 

A Low-grade fever is not serious unless it becomes chronic with accompanying symptoms. The body uses this fever to fight infection, whether it be viral or bacterial. It is not necessary to treat a low-grade fever with medication. It is important to be aware, as mentioned above that a high white count does not identify a specific problem. Instead, it may indicate an underlying condition and should be evaluated by your doctor.

Treatments for High White Blood Cell Count

The treatment for leukocytosis, or a high white blood cell count, depends upon the cause. Only an investigation by your doctor can identify the appropriate treatment.

The tests performed to find the cause for an elevated white blood cell count will vary depending on the individual, his/her clinical presentation, and his/her medical history. Sometimes blood tests or an investigation of the medications an individual is taking may be enough to determine the cause. Individuals who present with symptoms or other abnormal laboratory tests that are concerning for a bone marrow disorder may require a bone marrow biopsy, a procedure used to remove soft tissue from inside the bone, for further analysis.

If you are concerned about a high white blood cell count, talk to your doctor to find out what tests might be appropriate for you.

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Created on: 10/30/2006
Reviewed on: 06/07/2011

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Anonymous wrote 1 year 38 weeks ago

my son has boiling problem temp reach 104f some time and get into stroke.his TLC is 12,650cmm 4000-11000.what is the problem and how it can remove?

Anonymous wrote 1 year 39 weeks ago

hi there is a count of 20,200.00. but the normal range is 4000.00 to 11,000.00. is it any serious?

Anonymous wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

Normal white blood cell count is between 5,000 and 10,000 (5&10) however if you have an infection in your body, you will produce more white blood cells to try and combat the infection.

I had a friend who was admitted to A&E as he had a severe pain near is spine/pelvis. His white blood cell count was 50,000 when they started the IV (antibiotic drip) next day the cell count went to 138,000 then down to 101,000 following day and then 65,000 today. He had an MRI scan that did not show anything they think it could have been an abscess near his spin/pelvis.

In most cases if you have a high white cell count the hospital will do a white blood cell trace/tack to find out where your white cells are going and what they are attacking.

They nurse will take some blood, send it to the lab and they will tag some of your white cell’s with small amount of radiation then inject the blood back into you, and under a x/ray system they can track the cell to see what is doing and what its attacking i.e. the infection.

If you worried about having a high white cell count ask your doctor for a white blood cell trace this will find the issues straight away.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

i have a question i'm 25 years old and for about 3 years now i have high white blood count over 22 i have 2 blood disorders and been to 4 hemotologits and they ran tests and cannot find out why it is so high maybe someone like a real doctor can answer this cause trust me i've done everything i could and still no answer!!!

Anonymous wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

My son is 9 years old and gets boil infections for quite sometime...The doc said his WBC count is on higher side and gave him antibiotics...What can I do to prevent his boils and get his WBC to normal position and why does this happen ??

Anonymous wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I am a 27 year old mother of four. I wasn't feeling well last month and checkedin to the ER. My Bp wa 169/101 my heart rate was 135. My ECG showed Sinus Tachycardia. My labs showed WBC 16. + D-Dimer (no clot seen) elevated ACE/ACG levels. PCP did not seem to concerned. Went back for F/u 2 months later BP 135/105 HR 135/140. My ECG shows Sinus Tachycardia again. When I asked how it was she said fine perfect. Just still show Sinus Tachycardia.WBC 15. MCV 81.3 Low.
Low BUN. Again PCP is not concerned. I am concerned. What could it be?

Anonymous wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

Thanks for providing nice information about WBC count, It's very interesting research. I have Lymphoma since 7 months, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma or NHL is the cancer affecting the lymph nodes that constitute the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system dons crucial role in the immune system and is present all through the body. NHL leads to the cells present in the lymphatic system growing uninhibitedly or the cells fail to have normal fatality as that of the other normal cells.
http://www.cancery.com

Anonymous wrote 1 year 43 weeks ago

i was mis diagnosed as the flu and and sent home, turned out i have CML and was shocked to be 22

Anonymous wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I came across your reply while researching something for a relative. I am a 59 yr old woman but was diagnosed with CML when I was 35. I had a BM transplant in and am doing very well. There are some really good new meds for CML (im a nurse) I know how scary this time is for you, just wanted to offer some reassurance. Connie F.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

my name is Brenda Taylor i am worrie about my husban Lloyd Taylor he is 52 years old
he get cold and get hot all the time , he well go days with out eating and loseing weidht fast he sleep a lot,and his white blood cells was hi pl tell me what i can do to help him it like he don,t like nothing i cook anny more it test funny he tell me and he did eat anny thing i cook it just he been getinging sicker every day and i am worrie about all this

Anonymous wrote 1 year 43 weeks ago

have you found anything out yet my wife has same simptons. her thyroid is messed up and has high white blood cell count.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Get to your doctor ASAP or if your really worried take him straight to A&E, Keep a check on his temperature too!!

Anonymous wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I am not sure what is happening to me....I have been not well for weeks now...very tired ,aching everywhere...I am 38 yr old female....I had the blood test done a week ago and my count was 12,now this week it is up to 25 and my family doctor doesn't seem too concerned.I am not sure what to do....can anyone let me know if this is too high

Anonymous wrote 1 year 43 weeks ago

Definitely too high, have a Hematologist test you.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Normal range is between 4,500 and 10,000.
a lot of factors can cause it to go up. but mainly the body is trying to fight something in your system so it produces more and more white blood cells, leading to a high white blooc cell count known as (Leukocytosis) . my self i would get a second and third opinion always in cases like these. if it offends the doctor so be it, too many people have ended up with dibilitating injuries and deseases all because of a mis diagnosis.. Doctors are not perfect, so with that thought play it safe if you have not done so already and get another opinion.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

I would find another doctor if I were you. A normal count is under 10k. A count that high is cause for concern. Corticosteroids can cause a high WBC count. Go to a Hemotologist and have this checked.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

i am in a hospital for iv antibiotics for 5 weeks i was at a main hospital and was on vancomisin and another strong antibiotic when i got here to this facility it was 7.1 then on the 15 th it was 6.6 then the care here went down tremedsley and i was not getting my iv anitiboitcs on some days for about 6 to 9 hrs later than due, due to bad nurseing care and as of yesterday it has jumped up to 11.7 could this be to the neglect of not getting iv meds and when i do for so long of i time from when they are perscribed from dr. considering going ama and going back to real hospital my formal complaints have done no good to get nurses to do as dr orderd what does anyone think???? please help

Anonymous wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I also have high wbc and I go for another blood test monday, doc. says if still high my next step is the hemotologist. I'm confused because my dr. waited 6 weeks before notifying me of the results. I'm not seeing alot of concern if it took her that long to tell me.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

My 9 year old son has just had some bloodtests done as he has been ill 1 thing after another for the last 3 -4 weeks and is still run down and pale. The doc phoned me this morning and raised a concern that his white blood cell count has come back as being "very high"..he has asked we repeat the bloods in a week and go back and see him for the results.
What could be the cause of the increase of white blood cells?
He has had an ear infection and was treated with anti-biotics over 2 weeks ago, but has been feeling low in mood, tearfull and genrally unwell for about a month. He has complained of headaches and his appetite isnt very good

Anonymous wrote 1 year 44 weeks ago

Kids can get some really nasty ear infections and maybe the antibiotics didn't knock it ou completely. An infection certainly would cause a high wbc count.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

I was tested in Nov. 09 and had a count of 11.5. I was not worried and blew it off to a cold or something. I went back this mounth and its still right around 11.5 it has not gone down any. Im scard but its not that high. I have to go see a hemotaligist on the 30th. And dont know what they are going to do. does any one know what to expect or why i might have a high count. I dont feel sick I mean i get tired a little more than I used to but i blam that on my kids. lol

Anonymous wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I've had a high white cell count for about a year now. My doctor sent me to a hematolagist also.
All my blood tests came up excellent no blood diseases and all organs fine. They have me on blood
pressure pills cause the pulse rate is always high but thats why I think I'm tired. My regular doctor and the hematologist admitted they don't know what's causing it. I think stress or the high cell count
is causing tiredness from high pulse rate. Well, good luck because I hope you get the same results.
I drink 2 pots of coffee a day and a pack of cigarettes and partied most of my life (I'm 61) and I was more than thankful for my results--ha

Anonymous wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I had the same thing I went to an hematolagis/oncologist and went through months of test Dr never found anything wrong my count has been 19 he said that the only other reason he can think of is that they are seeing this more and more in people who smoke. And yes I too smoke about a pack a day.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

You sound like me just the normal parental duties making you tired. I also have to go see a hemotaligist in 7 days. I think its the unknown that makes us concerned but your doctor knows best and as a parent we are better off cancelling out everything one by one to be safer than sorry.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

Im 24yrs old and had blood tests last week, i have a high white blood cell count of 19000. Its incresingly gone up over the months. I now have to go to a blood specialist further tests. Quite scary when i dont fully understand it myself

Anonymous wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

I am 40 yrs. and had a wbc of 20,000 on 3/4. This is up from 13,000 in early Jan. I don't know why it jumped so much, but I have a heart condition and went to the emergency room the night the blood work was done on 3/4 and I'm hoping that contributed to this elevation. My hematologist sugggested a bone marrow biopsy when it was at 14,000 in Dec. I would suggest you go for further testing just to be on the safe side... even if its bad news, you may make the discovery at a very early stage - which would be best. I'm going back to the hematologist next week. Good luck!!

Anonymous wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

I originally went in to get my iron tested because i wanted to donate blood to help somebody out there who needs it and a week later here i am having crazy tests of my own. You are the only other person so far that i have come accross who has a very high wbc reading like myself. I see the hematologist in 7 days. Hopefully luck is on my side because im a young mum. Goodluck to you hope all goes well

Anonymous wrote 1 year 48 weeks ago

i have high wbc doc has prescribed germocef -o antibiotic why am i having by wbc high

Anonymous wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

hi i've had alot of pain on an off round my ovarys an pain round my back, had scans on ovarys not showing anything, i had on off vry high white cell counts but still that presiant pain and i've got raised lymph nodes in my neck that have got bigger over last 3mnths aswell as a on off burning itchy scalp..doc orderd blood test and a scan of my neck..i'm scared

Anonymous wrote 1 year 49 weeks ago

i've also had a swollen gland in my face last month an droppy eye

Anonymous wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

do anyone know the way to lower down (decrease) the white blood cell? any food or vitamin should avoid or should be taken? pls? thank u.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 5 weeks ago

can weight lifting cause an increase in WBC'. How are WBC's elevated after a seizure. Is this the same mechanism?

Anonymous wrote 2 years 10 weeks ago

My white blood cell count was at 115,000, I have a kidney infection, but that still seems really high. Is that normal for that type of infection?

Anonymous wrote 1 year 47 weeks ago

it is way too high, the normal is 8-10,000

Anonymous wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

I went to the doctor last week because for months now I felt run down and soo tired. He drew blood and my WBC was elevated- 12.9 and my vitamin D level was Low- 18.
I go back for more blood work today. I am scared, even though I know I shouldn't be. Besides being too tired to do anything, I am fine.

Could my vitamin D levels and high WBC be a symptom of a single cause???

Anonymous wrote 2 years 16 weeks ago

In addition to a high white blood cell count, your health care provider will also check your blood for low white blood cell counts. Sometimes this is caused by some chemotherapy drugs, which can cause damage to your bone marrow.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 18 weeks ago

My doctor told me to take a whiite blood cell count because he thought that I might have an infection, but everything was normal.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

with a high white blood cell count, we should also check our blood for low white blood cell counts. It can be caused by some drugs used in chemotherapy.

Anonymous wrote 1 year 43 weeks ago

i had bowel cancer 3 yrs ago at the age of 37.had chemo for 9 mths, in which my white cell count was high and low . recently i felt tired and had bloods tested again and white cell count high, am dreading if cancer is bck. please reply

Anonymous wrote 2 years 19 weeks ago

Report of an elevated white blood cell count is a common clue that leads a doctor to consider the diagnosis of chronic lymphocytic leukemia

Anonymous wrote 2 years 2 days ago

not necessarily, just because your white blood cell count is elevated does not mean the doctor will consider the diagnosis of lymphocytic leukemia. There could be other things going on in your body that sometimes cause your white blood cell count to be elevated. Such as a urinary tract infection and lots of other things.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

White blood cells, or leukocytes, are the cells that help your body to kill bacteria so if you have a high white blood cell count is quite a good thing.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

there is a range for the number of white blood cell count (WBC) between 8000 and12000. In this range it is normal for all people.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 20 weeks ago

A high white blood cell count means nothing on it's own. It depends on how high it is.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

Someone told me that ulcer can also be the cause of high white blood cell count

Anonymous wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

My white blood cell count is a little elevated. It is 13,500. I have a yeast infection. Could this cause my white blood count to be elevated?
I read that a viral infection can lower white blood cell count but I didn't find anything on how a yeast infection would raise it.

June Chen, MD wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

Yes, fungal/yeast infections, as well as bacterial, viral, and parasitic infections, can cause elevations in white blood cell count.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

hey, im 16, kinda scared. i went to hospital a month ago and got a blood test and stuff because i was sick, they said i had to many white blood cells. i was ment to go back but me being 16, i couldnt be bothered, and i ended up back at the doctors getting more blood tests. im still waiting for the results of this current test but i was wondering if i could have luekemia? i have some of the symptoms being rashes, pink dots under skin, constantly tired, can never eat cause i feel full all the time, i have sore bones but that could be from growing, i have been sick since easter.. on and off. im heaps scared. what else could i have other then luekemia?? :(
xx

June Chen, MD wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

Other bone marrow diseases or immune system disorders, as well as infection, stress, and medications, can also cause a high white blood cell count. It sounds like you have taken the right steps towards finding out the cause of your high white blood cell count, and especially because you have been feeling sick over the past few months, we encourage you to follow up with your doctor for the results of your tests, as well as for appropriate treatement.

Anonymous wrote 2 years 21 weeks ago

Some of the other causes of high white blood cell count include stress, smoking, myelogenous leukemia, allergic reactions and myelofibrosis, but other conditions may cause high white blood cell count.