Lymphocytes are nothing but a type of white blood cells that are present in the blood. We all know that white blood cells are an important part of the body's immune system that help in fighting against serious infections! The lymphocytes are responsible for protecting our body from outside organisms that tend to enter the body and cause health problems. The lymphocytes thereby, help the body fight against growth of tumors and viral infections. There are 3 main types of lymphocytes present in the body. These are the T cell lymphocytes, B cell lymphocytes, and the NK cell lymphocytes, wherein NK stands for natural killer!
All these lymphocytes have a different function, together making our body's immune system all the more strong! In fact, studies reveal that the T cell and B cell lymphocytes also play a major part in controlling the growth of harmful cancerous cells. Approximately 15%-40% of the white blood cells in the body consists of the lymphocytes. Any abnormality in the amount of lymphocytes in the body could be an indication of some health condition. This article discusses the causes and implications for the same.
What Do High Lymphocytes in Blood Signify?
Lymphocytes play a major role in defending the human body from many foreign invaders. Which is why, there are times when the lymphocytes can reject even a healthy tissue transplant, because they consider it to be a foreign element! They are produced in the bone marrow, and can live for weeks, to several years, to an entire lifetime of a person! As mentioned earlier, if the lymphocytes consist of more than 40% of the total white blood cells in the body, then this signifies a high lymphocytes count and the condition is known as Lymphocytosis.
On the other hand, if there are decreased lymphocytes in the blood, the condition is known as Lymphocytopenia. As this article focuses on high lymphocytes in the blood, let us know about the causes for the same. Have a look.
- Whooping cough
- Rubella (viral infection)
- Brucellosis (infection from animals)
- Herpes simplex (virus infection causing symptoms similar to cold and flu)
- Acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL)
- Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
- Toxoplasmosis (infection of animals, birds, and reptiles; that can also occur in humans.)
- Cytomegalovirus (viral infection in the stomach and/or eyes)
- Blood transfusion
- Crohn's disease
- Ulcerative colitis (Inflammatory bowel disease)
- Autoimmune disorder
- Vasculitis (inflammation of blood cells)
- Multiple myeloma (plasma cell cancer)
- Other viral, bacterial, or similar infections
The normal range of lymphocytes in the blood is usually 1200-3200 per milliliter. However, different values are standardized in different laboratories. Therefore,once you have the test results in your hand, you must consult with your doctor and find out what it means.
What Do Low Lymphocytes in Blood Signify?
Now that you are aware about some of the possible causes of high lymphocytes in the blood, it is also advisable to know what it means to have low lymphocyte count in the blood as well. Low lymphocytes signify that the overall lymphocytes in the total white blood cells are less than 15%. Like high lymphocytes, even low lymphocytes can indicate an underlying health condition. These would include the following.
- Aplastic anemia
- HIV / AIDS
- Overactive adernal cortex
- Multiple sclerosis
- Myasthenia gravis (muscle weakness)
- Guiallain-Barre syndrome (weakness in arms and legs due to nerve damage)
Usually your doctor would advice you to get the blood test done in order to diagnose a medical condition, the symptoms of which, you probably are experiencing already. It is because of these symptoms that you approached the doctor in the first place, right? Once your doctor has diagnosed high lymphocytes level in the blood, he may suggest further tests and examinations. This is because a mere detection that you have Lymphocytosis doesn't diagnose the exact reason behind the same. You must speak to your doctor about the test results in your case. An overall analysis of your symptoms and test results will only determine the reason and relevant treatment. Have a safe tomorrow.