The human body is an intricate system held together with various parts, which respond differently for an overall smoothing functioning. In case of an emergency, such as an illness or injury the body has different systems at the ready to respond. Much like the first paramedics who arrive at the scene of an accident, the immune system has its own responders. These are known as Neutrophils.
Neutrophils are essentially white blood cells. They are a type of leukocyte which are known to exist in abundance within the bone marrow for most of their lifetime (1). They enter the bloodstream whenever necessary and are always on the lookout for any sign of invasion of pathogen in the body.
How do Neutrophils help with Skin problems?
Since skin problems often result in inflammation, neutrophils play a major role in the same. This is because the primary responsibility of neutrophils is to attend to causes of inflammation inflicted on the body.
They are usually the first to arrive at the site, spurred by the immune system. They usually perform various defense mechanisms that fight against possible invaders such as bacteria and foreign substances. Neutrophils are effectively infection containers. When in the region of concern in the body, they release a substance known as cytokines, which spurs on inflammation.
Although this sounds counterproductive, it actually leads to a process known as vasodilation. This makes room for bigger immune cells, which then arrive to solve the problems there. Neutrophils are used when the containment of damage needs to be done swiftly.
Neutrophils can further be put into two categories, which are either granules or granulocytes and phagocytes. The main difference between them is the way in which they manage to contain the spreading of an infection. Neutrophils can also at times form a net-like structure that then engulfs pathogens and this is usually how granules get to work on the harmful invader.
What does the Neutrophil count mean?
Any imbalance in the neutrophil count can mean major changes for the immune system. For instance, a low neutrophil count can cause a condition known as neutropenia. It reveals itself in the form of unforeseen infections across the body, all of which hint at a weaker immune system (2). In these kinds of cases, doctors often ask for blood tests to diagnose the condition.
This condition for low neutrophil count can be due to a number of factors such as a genetic disposition or as a side effect of chemotherapy for cancer, or even just viral infections that repeatedly attack the body. Even vitamin deficiencies in certain cases can lead to a lower neutrophil count than recommended.
What happens when Neutrophils are high?
Another extreme side of the imbalance in the neutrophil count is a high value. This is referred to as neutrophilia. This mostly occurs when the body is busy fighting any form of bacterial infection.
It is often a sign that doctors look for in blood tests to affirm that there is an infection within the body. This is usually one of the main reasons why blood tests are often necessary for any form of diagnosis. They are generally the red flags that doctors look for.
There are numerous underlying conditions that doctors can narrow down to by identifying a high neutrophil count. These include appendicitis, which does not show outward in many ways, leukemia or even signs of high-stress levels (3).
Can a low Neutrophil count cause more Skin issues?
With a low neutrophil count, your chances of contracting diseases and infections are highly increased. And this includes skin conditions like arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. This can be a scary prospect but any weakness in the immune system and its response always results in such conditions (4). And since much of the skin’s protection is provided by the immune system, it can suffer from the low neutrophil count.
How to increase Neutrophil count?
This is a question which usually shows up with cancer patients who look to increase their neutrophil count post-chemotherapy. Since most neutrophils exist in the bone marrow, procedures like chemotherapy directly affect them and kill these cells along with the harmful cancer cells.
And although there still isn’t any prescribed diet specifically for increasing the neutrophil count, there are certain precautions that people can take to safeguard their existing immune system’s response. Most doctors recommend the consumption of properly cooked vegetables and clean hygienic food. They also ask to avoid raw forms of any meat, including eggs and fish if suffering from the low neutrophil count.
These are the easiest possible ways to keep track of your neutrophil count. The best way to handle this condition would be with the help of a doctor and customized regimen for patients.
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