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How to Raise Low White Blood Cell Counts

By Joseph Nicholson

Identify the missing cell types. How you raise your white blood cell count depends on the kind of white blood cells are missing. Even then, there can be various causes for the low counts, but identifying the deficient cell type will give medical professionals clues as to the cause.

Take Interleukin-2, or IL-2, to multiply T-helper cells. Research by Dr. Kendall Smith on how white blood cells recognize antigens uncovered a natural cellular protein, IL-2, that triggers reproduction of T-helper cells. Though IL-2 treatment can have side effects, it is used frequently in most vaccines to help boost immune response. It is also a crucial part of treatment of HIV patients, where it is given in connection with antiviral medication to help suppress the development of full blown AIDS.

Supplement your nutrition to reverse neutropenia. Neutropenia can be caused by deficiency of vitamin B-12 or folate. A daily multivitamin can reverse the deficiency, as can eating foods rich in these nutrients, such as milk, fish and eggs (B-12) and leafy greens (folate). Because the B-12 found in plants is unavailable in human digestion, vegans are susceptible to neutropenia unless they take vitamins or eat enriched soy products.

Treat acute neutropenia with neupogen. Neupogen is a neutrophil-stimulating growth factor that is administered by injection. Used primarily in patients undergoing chemotherapy, neupogen is available by prescription.

Get a bone marrow transplant. Though not usually a direct treatment for low white blood cell count, a bone marrow transplant can cure aplastic anemia or leukemia that causes serious neutropenia. The procedure is somewhat painful and moderately risky, however, so is used only in extreme cases.

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