Blood is an element of our body of great importance when health professionals try to identify the origin of some alteration that affects our state of health. Because it carries many elements that come and go from different parts of our body, with a single sample analyzed, doctors can have a very useful summary of our state of health.
Part of the constituents of blood are white blood cells, a set of five types of cells and their subdivisions that are responsible for defending our body from disease. A very common disorder of white blood cells is an increase in monocyte levels above normal values. In this FastlyHealarticle we will explain what it means to have high monocytes , an alteration that, although we have all suffered throughout our lives, depends on how it occurs, it can be an alarm sign.
What are monocytes
The monocytes are one of the five types of white blood cells in our blood, in charge of the defense of our body . Monocytes are produced in the bone marrow of our bones, from where they pass into the bloodstream to circulate for two or three days before being deposited in certain organs, such as the spleen or lymph nodes, or entering different tissues to become other types of cells called macrophages or dendritic cells.
Its main function in the defense mechanism is to devour, through a process called phagocytosis, microorganisms, bacteria, dead cells or any element that they perceive as harmful to our health, and in this way discard it. The other types of white blood cells that our body defend are basophils, neutrophils, lymphocytes and eosinophils, each of them with different functions in defense processes.
Monocytes: normal values
The blood studies that are indicated by our doctors show the amounts of each of the elements that make up the blood. Among them, white blood cells in normal conditions are usually in a number between 4,000 and 10,000 per microliter of adult blood.
Each of the types of white blood cells has a different percentage of this total number of white blood cells. In this case, monocytes usually represent about 4 to 8% of the total of all white blood cells, which corresponds to about 150 and 800 monocytes per microliter. In children, a value of 10% or slightly higher can be considered normal.
What does it mean to have high monocytes
The elevation of monocytes above these values is known as monocytosis . Because the main function of monocytes is to defend our body from harmful microorganisms and cells, their number is increased, mainly when we are suffering from an infectious process , such as:
- Viral infections: such as infectious mononucleosis .
- Bacterial infections: such as tuberculosis, brucellosis, syphilis, infections transmitted through insect bites (ticks, lice, fleas, etc.), infective endocarditis.
This is because monocytes that are stored in tissue such as the spleen, liver, and lymph nodes are released and carried through the bloodstream to different tissues to fight infection.
Other situations that can cause high monocytes are autoimmune diseases such as:
- Lupus erythematosus
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative Colitis
Elevated monocyte values can also be a consequence of cancer- like diseases such as:
In the latter cases, the high levels of monocytes are due to the presence of abnormal cells that cause damage and that must be eliminated.
High monocytes: symptoms
The symptoms that a patient may have when they have increased monocytes will strictly depend on the disease that is causing the problem, since monocytosis is not a disease, but rather a defense response of the body .
Since most of the time this alteration is related to an infectious process, the most common symptoms are:
- Localized pain
- General discomfort
- Soft spot
In fact, it should be noted that these symptoms are not specific to high monocytes, but are due to the underlying disease that is causing them. On the other hand, there may be other symptoms depending on what disease is causing the problem.
Now that we know what it means to have high monocytes, in the same way, it is important to point out that there is no specific treatment for high monocytes, and the treatments indicated in these cases are aimed at controlling the alteration caused by the elevation of these white blood cells. .
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to What does it mean to have high monocytes , we recommend that you enter our Immune System category .
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.