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What does a low blood count number indicate?

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Quick Answer

A low blood count can indicate anemia, neutropenia or thrombocytopenia, as stated on AAMDS.org. The type of condition depends on which blood cells are low in a person's sample.

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What does a low blood count number indicate?
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Full Answer

Doctors often have blood drawn from patients to get a better idea of their health based on the results of analyzing those samples. When a patient has low blood count numbers, it usually means that the patient has had some blood loss or is not producing enough blood cells, according to emedicinehealth.com. If a patient has a low red blood cell count, he is diagnosed with anemia. Patients with low white blood cell counts have neutropenia, and those with low platelet counts have thrombocytopenia.

The diagnosis of a low blood count is important because it can indicate more severe underlying problems. According to AAMDS.org, it may be due to internal bleeding into the bowels, vitamin deficiency or a disease of the bone marrow hindering the body's ability to produce those blood cells. However, the doctor will require more testing if he or she suspects a more severe condition.

Symptoms of the three types of conditions with low blood counts vary, as stated by AAMDS.org. Anemics may feel tired, have difficulty concentrating, lose weight, have pale skin, trouble breathing or a rapid heartbeat. Those with neutropenia may have a tendency towards repeated infections, especially bladder, lung, sinus or skin infections, and have mouth sores. Those with thrombocytopenia may bleed easily, get nosebleeds, have heavy periods, develop bleeding gums or petechiae.

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