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Diagnostic Tests 2023

Leucócites: what is the activity and why are it high or low?

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Leucócites: what is the activity and why are it high or low?
Leucócites: what is the activity and why are it high or low?

Leukocytes, also known as white blood cells, are the cells responsible for defending the body against infections, diseases, allergies and colds, being part of each person's immunity.

These cells are transported in the blood to be used whenever a virus, bacteria, or any other foreign organism enters the human body, eliminating them and preventing them from causing he alth problems.

The normal value of leukocytes in the blood is between 4500 to 11000 leukocytes/mm³ of blood in adults, however this value can be altered due to some situations such as recent infections, stress or AIDS, for example. Understand how the leukogram is done and how to interpret the results.


1. High leukocytes

Increased leukocytes, also known as leukocytosis, are characterized by a value greater than 11,000/mm³ in a blood test.

  • Possible causes: recent infection or illness, excess stress, side effect of medication, allergies, rheumatoid arthritis, myelofibrosis, or leukemia, for example;
  • What symptoms: are rare, but may include fever above 38ºC, dizziness, difficulty breathing, tingling in the arms and legs, and loss of appetite;

In these cases, a general practitioner should be consulted to diagnose the cause of the increased leukocytes, since specific treatment with antibiotics or corticosteroids may be necessary.

2. Low leukocytes

Low leukocytes, also called leukopenia, appear when there are less than 4,500/mm³ leukocytes in the blood test.

  • Some causes: anemia, use of antibiotics and diuretics, poor nutrition or weak immune system caused by HIV, leukemia, lupus or chemotherapy, for example;
  • What are the symptoms: excessive tiredness, recurrent infections and colds, constant fever, headaches and abdominal pain;

If this happens, it is recommended to go to the general practitioner to diagnose the cause of the disease. However, in some cases, it is normal to have low leukocytes without a serious cause, and you just have to be careful to avoid flu and colds, which can happen more easily. See what symptoms may indicate low immunity.

What can be leukocytes in urine

It is normal to have leukocytes in the urine, as they are eliminated in the urine when their lifespan is over. However, during urinary infections or in situations of more serious diseases, such as cancer, the values of leukocytes in the urine usually increase a lot.

Usually, high urine leukocytes generate signs and symptoms, such as foamy urine, fever, chills or blood in the urine, for example. In these cases, the general practitioner or a nephrologist should be consulted to diagnose the cause and initiate appropriate treatment. Learn what foamy urine can mean.

In addition, high leukocytes in the urine can also be a sign of pregnancy, especially when accompanied by an increase in the number of proteins in the urine. In these cases, you should take a pregnancy test or consult a gynecologist to avoid false diagnoses.

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