Basophils are a type of white blood cell that helps maintain immune function. Their role is to identify and eradicate cancer pathologies in the early stages. Also, white bodies help to heal wounds and cuts, and prevent the occurrence of allergic reactions. If basophils are elevated in the body, this circumstance may be the result of the development of a variety of diseases, including hypothyroidism and polycythemia.
What are basophils
The human body produces different types of white blood cells. They work to maintain health, protect against viruses, bacteria, parasites and fungal infections. Basophils are one of the types of such white bodies (make up about 0.5% of the total). They are produced in the bone marrow, but sometimes they can be found in small quantities in all body tissues. If the level of these cells is low, this is associated with a serious allergic reaction. In contrast, elevated basophils in the blood can be the result of the development of certain types of cancer.
What are basophils in the blood responsible for
The main role of basophils is to prevent the entry of harmful bacteria and infections into the body. These cells contribute to the healing of wounds, cuts, forming a protective crust (through lymphocytes). In the healing process, white bodies are destroyed, itching, irritation appears, and tissues near the wound can swell. However, this is not all. Basophils perform several additional functions:
- They contain heparin (an active substance that dilutes blood), which prevents its coagulation.
- Prevent the appearance of allergic reactions, anaphylactic shock. When the immune system is exposed to increased exposure to antigens, white cells secrete histamine and contribute to the production of special agents (antibodies) called immunoglobulins. This helps alleviate itching on the skin.
- Kill parasites, such as ticks.
- Fight with toxins.
The norm of basophils in the blood
An analysis performed in a clinical setting is the only way to find out if basophils are above normal. Often, an increase in the number of white cells does not have clear symptoms, so doctors rarely refer a patient for examination. However, the cause of the increase can be identified by passing a general blood test. What is the norm of basophils? Taking into account individual characteristics, in the human body they should be from 1 to 300 per μl (microliter).
Basophils make up only 0.5% of all white blood cells. In addition to this type of body, the following can be found in the blood:
- Neutrophils. This is the largest group of white blood cells. They cope with severe infectious conditions.
- Eosinophils. They help fight parasitic infections.
- Lymphocytes are part of the immune system and prevent the invasion of pathogens (bacteria, viruses).
- Monocytes fight against antigens, infections in the bloodstream, help restore damaged tissues, destroy cancer cells.
Basophils are elevated
An increase in basophils may inhibit the formation of new blood cells. As a result, severe pathological conditions develop, for example, chronic myeloid leukemia. Basophilia is not always dangerous, but the increase in the level of white cells should be treated very carefully. This may indicate the following diseases:
- viral infections (chickenpox, tuberculosis);
- inflammatory processes of the intestine;
- Crohn's disease;
- chronic dermatitis, sinusitis;
- choking, asthma;
- myeloproliferative diseases (polycythemia, myelofibrosis);
- Hodgkin's lymphoma;
- metabolic diseases (myxedema, hyperlipidemia);
- hemolytic anemia;
- endocrine pathologies (hypothyroidism, elevated estrogen levels).
Causes of increased basophils in the blood
The presence of a normal level of white bodies helps to maintain health, is involved in the protection against infections. If basophils in the blood are elevated, this may indicate the development of dangerous diseases. One of them is bone marrow cancer, which leads to the production of a huge number of granulocytes. In this situation, basophils rapidly increase and make up 20% of all white blood cells. What other reasons affect the increase in the number of white bodies:
- acute viral infections;
- a consequence of splenectomy (surgery);
- hit of antigen in the blood (allergy);
- lack of iron;
- ulcerative colitis;
- systemic mastocytosis;
- malignant tumors;
- myeloproliferative disorders (chronic myeloid leukemia, myelofibrosis);
In an adult
Basophils, together with other subpopulations of cells (eosinophils, lymphocytes, monocytes) can lead to an increase in the number of white blood cells in the blood and the development of cancer. What else are the reasons for the increase in white bodies in the body of an adult:
- malfunctioning of the thyroid gland;
- diseases of the liver, kidneys;
- low progesterone;
- collagen vascular disease;
- pathology of the spleen;
- allergic reactions, hypersensitivity to certain drugs;
- viral, bacterial infections.
Sometimes an increase in basophils in the blood can be observed during therapy and taking certain drugs. When receiving a small dose of radiation (x-ray), the level of white bodies increases, but this is quite normal. The recovery period after an infectious disease is also characterized by an increase in white blood cells. This suggests that the body is fighting hard for health.
In a woman
Often, basophils increase before ovulation, during menstruation, due to an increase in the hormone estrogen. Pregnancy is another reason for the appearance of this problem, and this is quite normal. The introduction of drugs with estrogen also causes the level of all types of white blood cells to rise. For this reason, when passing the test, you should warn the doctor about taking certain drugs to make an accurate diagnosis.
The child has
In the blood of newborns, the level of basophils is increased and amounts to 0.75% (in adults it is slightly less). After reaching 2 years of age, this indicator begins to gradually decline, however, it should not cross the threshold of 1 percent. Why do basophils in a child increase:
- after vaccination;
- due to the inflammatory process;
- from an insect bite;
- due to taking medications.
What to do if basophils are elevated
After receiving unpleasant analysis results, do not panic. Perhaps the reason for the increase in white blood cell count is not so terrible. A repeat analysis should be submitted after a couple of days to draw any conclusions. If everything is confirmed, you should immediately consult a doctor. In the case of basophilia, do not self-medicate, because it can harm the health of both an adult and a child. Only a specialist is entitled to prescribe competent treatment, depending on the diagnosis and individual characteristics of the body.
How to lower basophils
This problem is an indicator of various diseases. That is why it is necessary to make an accurate diagnosis and conduct effective therapy. Then the level of white bodies will decrease. What treatment can a doctor prescribe:
- In severe cases, such as leukemia, a bone marrow transplant is required.
- For allergic reactions leading to respiratory infections, antihistamines may be prescribed.
- Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics.
If the doctor did not reveal a pathology, but the analysis showed an increased content of basophils, you should normalize the diet, perhaps go on a diet, increase the intake of products containing iron (liver of animals, beans, seafood). To make the absorption of the trace element faster, it is better not to eat food that interferes with the absorption of iron (for example, milk). Doctors often prescribe injections of vitamin B12. It promotes blood formation, improves bone marrow function, destroys "bad" cholesterol.Attention! The information presented in the article is for guidance only. Materials of the article do not call for independent treatment. Only a qualified doctor can make a diagnosis and give recommendations for treatment based on the individual characteristics of a particular patient.