Lymphocytes – Normal range, symptoms and treatment

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What are lymphocytes?

Lymphocytes, the immune cells are a type of white blood cells. The cells are responsible for fighting against the illness and diseases that your body counters. Each white blood cell has its function, all together they work as the immune system. The lymphocytes are created in your bone marrow and found in the blood and lymph tissues.

What is the function of lymphocytes?

Lymphocytes are the guards of your body, guarding you against illness, diseases and health hazards. Lymphocytes are created in your bone marrow and spread themselves all over your body.

In lymphocytes, the two main types are T lymphocytes and B lymphocytes. The B lymphocytes produce the antibodies to counter the microbes and the T lymphocytes directly attack the microbes that invade your body.

Your lymphocytes can remember the antigen produced by the immune system to counter a microbe, virus or bacteria. Then, when these lymphocytes cells happen to encounter the same antigen for the second time, they respond immediately with the help of memory cells.

How do they work? 

The body’s immune system uses lymphocytes to combat cancer and invading viruses and antigens.

The immune system benefits from lymphocytes’ assistance in remembering every antigen it encounters. Some lymphocytes turn into memory cells after an encounter.

Memory cells detect an antigen and react swiftly when they come into contact with it again. One doesn’t contract certain diseases like measles or chickenpox more than once due to the memory cells. Also, this explains why some illnesses can be prevented through vaccination.

Roles of B cells and T cells

T cells  

T cells help in protection against infections. Humans are prone to exposure to pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and fungi. Without T lymphocytes or T cells, these exposures could be fatal.

Cancerous cells can be removed by T lymphocytes. By assisting B cells in eradicating invasive infections, T cells also control the immunological response.

B cells 

B cells produce antibodies. B cells or B lymphocytes produce a type of protein, which is referred to as an antibody. These antibodies bind to foreign substances like toxins or pathogens to neutralise them.

An antibody can bind to a pathogen, preventing it from infecting a healthy cell and causing infection. B cells can also acquire the assistance of other cells to help them kill an infected cell.

Types of T Lymphocytes 

Cytotoxic T cells 

Cytotoxic T cells, also known as CD8+ cells, are primarily responsible for killing harmful or target cells. Once they are recognised, their function focuses on the elimination of germs, tumour fragments and virally infected cells (including cancer cells) through apoptosis.

The cell’s internal organelles are destroyed through a process called apoptosis, which results in destroying the cell and result in cell death.

Helper T cells 

T helper cells, also known as CD4+ cells, are similar to cytotoxic cells but perform a wide range of tasks. Due to the fact that the majority of adaptive immune responses depend on these cells, they are crucial for cell immunity.

The activation of T helper cells requires the presence of antigens and has the capacity to develop into distinct cell subtypes. When helper T cells are activated, they proliferate and release cytokines that attract macrophages and cytotoxic T cells to the infection site.

Regulatory T cells 

Regulatory T cells are the final type of effector cells. Once the threat has been eliminated, regulatory T cells are responsible for stopping an autoimmune reaction.

After helper T cells and cytotoxic T cells bind to a pathogen and work in coordination to eliminate it from the body, they are no longer useful.

What is the test for lymphocytes count?

Following are steps to test the count of lymphocytes:

Complete blood count (CBC), the test gives the complete count of the different components of your blood. The different components include red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, hemoglobin and hematocrit. The health care professionals will collect your blood sample and send it to a lab for further examination.

Flow cytometry is a  test used to detect, identify and count specific cells, in particular, this test provides a detailed count of cells. Your blood samples will be collected and taken to the lab. The lab technician will suspend your blood into a fluid, then for further processes, it is sent to an instrument called a flow cytometer. The cytometer allows the analysis of these mass cells.

What are lymphocytes count?

After your blood test results talk to your doctor, to get a clear picture of the range of counts in your result. As the laboratory uses different methods to count the cells the result may vary. The lymphocyte count differs; for adults; the normal lymphocytes range is between 1000 to 4800 lymphocytes per microliter of your blood. In children, it is between, 3000 to 9500 per microliter of blood.

What are low and high lymphocytes?

High lymphocyte count(lymphocytosis) results from an increase in the lymphocytes of your white blood cells than the normal lymphocytes range. If the count of your lymphocytes is 3000 per microliter of your blood in adults. then you are considered to have high lymphocytes. In children, it can be as high as 9000 lymphocytes per microliter.

Causes of high lymphocyte count include Hepatitis, HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis etc.,

Low Lymphocytes count(lymphocytopenia) results from a decrease in lymphocytes of your white blood cells than the normal lymphocytes range. If the count of your lymphocytes is less than 1000 per microliter of your blood, then you are considered to have low lymphocytes. In children, it can be less than 3000 lymphocytes per microliter, so you are considered to have low lymphocytes.

Causes of low lymphocyte count are Certain blood diseases, autoimmune disorders, radiation and chemotherapy treatments These are several other factors too.

To undergo the treatment, first, the cause should be discovered. After the analysis of your blood test report, your doctor will talk to you about the cause and  complications  and you will be discussing the treatment that suits you best.

When to worry about the low lymphocytes(lymphocytopenia)?

Lymphocytopenia is of your concern. The low lymphocytes indicate the weak condition of your body’s immune system. It causes more complications and increases your risk of developing many diseases and health complications.

The answer to the question of when to worry about your low lymphocytes is to consult a doctor once you receive your blood test results. Many factors of causes could risk you in developing lymphocytopenia, and the complications are also in numbers. Only a doctor can provide a clear vision about of  your low lymphocytopenia and, they also have proper treatment and medication that would be of great help to you

When to see a doctor? 

A high or low lymphocyte count in a person is found during the diagnosis of some other disease.

Discussing the test results with a doctor is important. The source of the disease may be revealed by a high or low lymphocyte count.

Follow-up testing over a period of several weeks frequently reveals that the lymphocytosis has subsided. If lymphocytosis persists, specialised blood tests may be beneficial.

If the problem worsens or the cause is unclear, the doctor may recommend seeing a haematologist, a physician who focuses on blood disorders.

An NCBI article states that high counts (ALC greater than 30000 cells/microlitre) of lymphocytes or ones that are rising quickly require consultation with a haematologist.


Let the lymphocyte count be high or low it suggests an abnormality in your body, which should be treated with the consultation of your doctor. If you overlook it, then you are at high risk. Whether the lymphocyte count is low or high, it cannot be diagnosed on its own as they leave no signs or symptoms. It is always diagnosed when you go for the test for some other diagnosis

So, that’s why it is recommended to go for a normal check-up once in six months. Indeed, it helps to track your overall health and keeps under control your existing health problems.

Routine health check-ups may warn you of illnesses you may acquire due to low immune levels. This also signals your chances of getting infections leading to mild or severe illnesses, which require immediate medical treatment. However, as the costs of medical treatments continue to increase, it is best to have a health insurance plan that protects one from exceptional health care costs during times of emergencies.

Star Health Insurance provides an array of health insurance plans that offer substantial financial coverage for the treatment of your medical conditions/illnesses. These health covers ensure comprehensive medical coverage amid the current increasing cost of hospitalisation and treatment based on both individual and family floater basis.


What level of lymphocytes is normal? 

1000 to 4800 lymphocytes per microlitre of blood is the normal level in an adult.

How do you fix low lymphocytes? 

A doctor may adjust or stop the medicine if a pharmacological therapy results in a low lymphocyte count.

After stopping a drug, a person’s drug-related lymphocytopenia normally goes away.

Consuming beta-carotene-rich foods, restricting saturated and trans-fat-rich foods and including lean protein in the diet can help to a great extent. A proper lifestyle is key to fixing low lymphocytes.

Can dehydration cause low lymphocytes? 

Cell mitosis inhibition, the disappearance of plasma and mast cells and a significant decrease in lymphocyte count, are noticeable from day 6 to 10 of dehydration.

Should I worry about high lymphocytes? 

A high lymphocyte count in the body signifies an infection-fighting response from the body. This phase is mostly temporary and doesn’t cause any harm.

When the underlying condition gets better, the count becomes normal. However, occasionally, a high lymphocyte count may indicate some severe disease


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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