Leukocytosis: symptoms and treatment

Leukocytosis is the change in the absolute level of leukocytes in a person’s bloodstream. This condition is characterized by a shift to the left of the leukocyte formula. According to ICD-10, leukocytosis is not a disease, but a unique reaction of the whole organism to the negative impact of certain factors (it can occur during illness, during meals, during pregnancy, in women after childbirth, etc.). The rapid growth of leukocytes in the blood or urine is one of the significant diagnostic signs.

Shifts in the leukocyte formula speak volumes. Moderate leukocytosis indicates a decrease in inflammation, and therefore a recovery. But if the level of white cells is significantly increased, it means that the inflammatory process does not go anywhere or becomes stronger. Therefore, one should either start treatment, or change it, because it is not effective.



It is the neutrophilia that occurs most often. This condition is caused, as a rule, by a certain disease. In medicine, it is also called true or absolute leukocytosis. Neutrophilic leukocytosis is characterized by a rapid growth of neutrophils. Later, these cells are noted in the urine.

True neutrophilic leukocytosis occurs due to various pathological processes. In the blood there are not only transient or mature forms of cells, but also young and even blast.

Lymphocytic leukocytosis

Lymphocytic leukocytosis is characterized by rapid growth of lymphocytes (due to acute or chronic inflammatory process). This condition is observed in viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, whooping cough, mononucleosis and other acute and chronic infections. Symptoms are quite vivid.


In medicine, this species is also called eosinophilic leukocytosis. The level of eosinophils is growing because of the presence of certain diseases in the body:

  • Leffler’s syndrome
  • Dermatoses
  • nodular periarteritis
  • Lymphogranulomatosis
  • pulmonary infiltrates
  • myeloid leukemia
  • Quincke’s edema.

Eosinophilic leukocytosis in some clinical cases can be caused by allergic reactions, the intake of synthetic drugs, vaccines.

Eosinophilic leukocytosis can be suspected, but it can be confirmed only after a general blood test. In it, there will be an increased content of eosinophils. This form of the disease can develop in both children and adults. At the same time, his symptoms are symptoms of the disease, which caused the development of leukocytosis. Treatment is conducted only after establishing the true cause of the increase in the number of eosinophils in the blood.


The level of monocytes is increased in the presence of septic processes, breast or ovarian cancer, typhus, ulcerative colitis.


Basophils in the blood are enlarged in very rare cases. Their growth is noted during pregnancy, as well as with myxedema, myeloid leukemia.


The process of growth of leukocytes in the blood can be pathological or physiological in nature.

Physiological leukocytosis in most clinical situations occurs in absolutely healthy people. The level of white cells is increased slightly. Symptoms are practically absent. As a rule, treatment is not required. An increase in the level of leukocytes can be noted in the blood, but in the urine they will not.

Main reasons:

  1. increased physical activity. This leukocytosis is called myogenic. The level of leukocytes is increased due to intensive production of lactic acid by the body. Myogenic leukocytosis often develops in athletes;
  2. the birth of a child. The number of leukocytes is growing in women in labor. Widespread condition in women after childbirth. It is usually observed in the first few weeks, and then passes. Moderate increase in leukocytes in women after childbirth can be considered a normal condition. But if the level is significantly increased, this will indicate the presence of a pathological process in the body (it is necessary to choose the correct treatment plan)
  3. Leukocytes in the blood may increase due to food intake, in particular, protein (food leukocytosis). This condition is not dangerous. As a rule, food leukocytosis after a few hours completely passes. It is because of the fact that food leukocytosis can develop, it is recommended to give blood on an empty stomach, in order to obtain more accurate indications. Nutritional leukocytosis occurs in adults and children. Treatment is not required;
  4. Pregnancy. As a rule, the growth of leukocytes during pregnancy is observed at 3-6 months. It is associated with hormonal changes, but it may be of unknown origin. Also, an increase in the number of white cells can be observed in women after childbirth;
  5. white blood cell count may increase in women before menstruation
  6. stress and psychoemotional stress
  7. sudden temperature changes;
  8. the leukocyte level rises in the newborn (it occurs immediately after birth). But this is quite normal reaction of the organism.

Physiological leukocytosis is divided into long-term (observed in pregnant and post-partum women) and short-term (reactive).

Pathological leukocytosis and the reasons for its development:

  • uremia (with this disease, leukocytes are excreted in the urine)
  • inflammatory diseases of infectious nature (including chronic)
  • organ infarction
  • allergies;
  • severe burns;
  • blood loss;
  • removal of spleen.


This process does not have its own symptoms, as it is not an ailment. His symptoms are signs of diseases that provoked an increase in the level of leukocytes. Therefore, here it is possible to attribute the general symptoms of inflammatory diseases:

  1. increase in body temperature to high figures (one of the most important symptoms)
  2. faint;
  3. heart palpitations
  4. dizziness;
  5. Sweating
  6. Visual impairment
  7. loss of appetite
  8. fast fatigue;
  9. weakness;
  10. malaise
  11. shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

It is especially necessary to monitor the condition of pregnant women, as well as after women who have been shown to increase the number of white cells, since this process can negatively affect the condition of the baby and the woman herself. Symptoms may not appear immediately, which is where the greatest danger lies.


The increase in the number of leukocytes can be detected by passing a general blood test. It is also indicated to take urine, in which it is possible to detect the appearance of white cells. When examining pregnant women and women after childbirth, leukocytosis is found in the smear. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, a treatment plan is drawn up.


Leukocytosis can be treated only after the cause of its occurrence is established (it is especially difficult to prescribe treatment for leukocytosis of unknown origin). Treatment depends on the underlying disease. Most often, the following methods are used in medicine:

  • with uremia, detoxification is indicated
  • if the cause of the development of eosinophilic or other types of leukocytosis lies in the development of the inflammatory process, then prescribe antibacterial or antiviral therapy. This same technique is sometimes used for leukocytosis of unknown origin;
  • In case of burns and heart attacks of organs, the damaged areas are restored. In this case, only such treatment is effective;
  • With leukemia, chemotherapy is indicated
  • if the increase in the number of leukocytes resulted in blood loss, then a plasma transfusion is prescribed.

In some cases, it is possible to treat leukocytosis with folk remedies, but only after consulting a specialist and after the examination (blood test and urinalysis).