1. Our bodies are a wondrous thing that we can’t even wrap our heads around when it comes to it’s complete functionality. One of the main things that we look to when it comes to the proper operation of our body is our blood system. The components of it are plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.
2. Although, our white blood cells (WBC) only make up 1% of our blood, they are extremely important and significant to the proper running of our bodies. White blood cells are technically termed leukocytes. They are essential to protecting us from disease and illness. One might think of them as immunity cells that are constantly fighting to keep us safe during the “good fight”.
3. White blood cells course through our bloodstreams to battle bacteria, virus, and anything that tries to infiltrate our bodies to cause us harm. Basically white blood cells are our bodyguards. When an area of our bodies become distressed they soldier up and rush to destroy whatever is attacking us. We produce around 100 billion WBC a day.
4. Leukocytes are produced inside the bone marrow. Our bone marrow is constantly producing white blood cells because they have a limited lifespan of only 1 to 3 days. WBC are stored in the blood and the lymphatic tissues. The number of leukocytes is an indicator of your health. 4,000-11,000 per mL of blood is the normal count, which is 1% of the total volume of blood in an adult.
5. There are 5 types of white blood cells. Monocytes help break down bacteria in our bodies. They have the longest life span of the group. Lymphocytes create the antibodies that destroy the harmful viruses and bacteria that infiltrate our bodies. Neutrophils are the most populous of the group. They are the first line of defense when it comes to infections. They slaughter and consume the fungi and bacteria. Basophils are the Paul Revere of the group. They are the “alarm sounders”. They expel chemicals to help control our immune response. Last you have Eosinophils which kill cancer cells.
6. There are a few reasons that influence white blood cell count that are innocent such as from injury, smoking, emotional stress, or even inflammation. But there are definitely more life threatening reasons as well. One of the most well known reasons is cancer of the blood or more commonly referred to as leukemia. A leukemia patient can have upwards of 50,000 WBC in just a drop of blood. Another reason is a weakened immune system caused from having HIV/AIDS. Chemotherapy and radiation can cause this as well.
7. Your white blood cell count can be tested through a regular blood test that your family physician can order for you. If your count is too high or too low it can indicate a disorder. So it is good to be aware of the count and to be proactive regarding your health.