What Are Possible Symptoms of Having a Low White Blood Cell Count?

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Common symptoms of having a low white blood cell count include fatigue, shortness of breath, weakness and recurrent infections that are difficult to treat, according to HealthGrades. Those who struggle with a bad infection with accompanying symptoms like fever, sore throat, skin lesions or swollen lymph nodes should seek medical attention immediately. Having a low white blood cell count is a condition that is medically referred to as leukopenia, and may be an indication of a suppressed immune system.

A normal white blood cell count is approximately 4,500 to 10,000 white blood cells per microliter of blood. Anything below that amount is considered as low.

There are many different possible underlying causes behind a low white blood cell count. Some causes include having a bone marrow deficiency or failure due to cancer or other causes, side effects of cancer-treating drugs, the presence of a disease in the liver or spleen or the presence of a viral or bacterial infection.

To determine whether an individual has a low white blood cell count, a blood sample will be taken. Blood is typically drawn from the veins from the back of the hands and will be sent to a laboratory for analysis.