There are different types of blood cells, each with a unique function. Among the weird family of blood cells is eosinophil, which plays a crucial role in the immune system’s response to parasites, allergies and other infections.
However, having high levels of eosinophils can be concerning as it may suggest an underlying health problem. So what causes this bizarre situation? In this article let us take a closer look at why people end up with excessively high levels of these peculiar little guys swimming around their bloodstream.
What Are Eosinophils?
Eosinophils (1) belong to white blood cell types known as granulocytes that help fight against infections by foreign substances. These round-shaped leukocytes contain reddish-orange granules within cytoplasm (a watery solution outside the nucleus). They also have two lobes connected by thin strands like starfish arms.
But possibly more interesting than their appearance is what they actually do inside our bodies(2)!
When we come into contact with parasites, viruses or other invading organisms, eosini-what-nots release proteins such as histaminase and leukotrienes that contribute to inflammation (3). This attracts various immune fighting cells including helper T-cells (TH2), mast cells and more specialized eosintructor-nator-like droids called dendritic Langerhanscells(chin-stroking). Altogether they coordinate and prepare for battle namely through activating mechanisms such as chemokines signalling pathways which make everything well coordinated; just like robots!()
If only all battles could be so well choreographed!
How Is Eosinophil Count Measured?
Normally there are 0 – 350 eosinophil counts per microliter(mcl) found in human circulation( 4), which can vary somewhat depending on different factors including age and gender. This amount is usually so tiny it cannot be seen without a microscope(5).
When eosinophil levels are measured by a complete blood count (CBC) test, an electronic counter tallies up the number of pieces of each type it finds in one small drop from your vein (6). The output produces the percentage or fraction (%)of eosinophils out of total white blood cells present.
Afterwards, if you appear to have more than two percent(%)eosinophils 7 in your bloodstream these weird little creatures may indicate that something sinister is happening inside your body!
Causes Of High Eosinophil Count
So why are there suddenly more eosini-tronics than normal being produced/invading our bloodstream? Well folks let’s get into some possible causes(8)!
An allergen response (9) could trigger chemical changes and signals throughout our bodies evoking stress-mode mechanisms resulting in high numbers of leukocytes such as neutrophils and… wait for it!…(drumroll please…)EOSINOPHILS!(10)
Allergic reactions range from hay fever triggered by exposure to pollen, cosmetics with nickel compositions causing skin irritations (behind ear) oh…and do not forget those peanuts(snickers(11))!(12)
Parasites don’t just exist within Sci-Fi movies – they also potentially wreak havoc within us. Their presence sometimes results in inflammation leading to raised eosino-metals!…I mean…eosoinphil counts!(13)
These alarming bugs include roundworms, tapeworms(14), subcutaneous creepy crawlies like scabies or hookworms; yes these things hand out worm-ful effects ranging from abscesses to diahorrea hooray!(15).
Now we know how they affect eosinophil count; let’s stay away from these invisible creatures!
An autoimmune disease such as lupus, can cause high eosinophil levels(16) in the blood of some individuals. Lupus is defined by antibody production against cellular substances that lead to inflammation which can trigger the release of something called an interleukin that attracts (you guessed it) more eosini-whatchamacallits(17)!
In other cases, illnesses like Churg-Strauss syndrome may manifest with associated symptoms including asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis leading once again -to our beloved raised-eosino-count-ta-da() .
One medication commonly known for increasing Eos-levels (18)is Maxipime, a cephalosporin antibiotic. Before getting too alarmed over a potential infection remember medications are prescribed by our physicians for treating bona fide infections! This usually provides a temporary increase in their numbers reported above normal ranges.
Other less common drugs include sulfonamides used to treat bacterial infections or salicylates contained within certain pain relievers; hence its always advisable to keep your physicians informed on any medications you’re taking presently.(snore)(19)
Certain rare infrequent health conditions could also raise Eos counts including Hodgkin’s lymphoma and systemic mastocytosis(20), but please don’t freak out just yet! Remember, having high counts doesn’t always mean you’ve suddenly contracted one of these obscure ailments(21). Sometimes genetics play a hand… blame parents??
Elevated eosionphils level could be alarming if observed being circulatory superheroes but weirdly bizarre at elevated concentrations. While there is nothing inherently wrong with them, higher-than-normal EOS counts suggest potential health problems(gulp). Reasons for high eosinophil count are related to parasites, allergies, autoimmune diseases and medications.
As we know now with a little science Eos rears its head in various forms whenever foreign things enter our body. However there is such a thing as too many of these leukocytes!(22)
So keep away from creepy crawlies – Remember double-check the common allergens page- Do your best to avoid harmful side-effects by following physicians prescribed medication dosages indefinitely (yawn)
After all…our beloved cyclop-tactic cells can be good guys or bad depending on the situation (23)!!
Mystery solved? Maybe not. But at least you’re armed with a basic understanding of what could lead to high levels of eosinophils invading your bloodstream.(wickedsnicker)(24)
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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