Low white blood cells

What Happens if your Lymphocytes Count Is low

Nidhi Nangia
By Nidhi Nangia. Updated: January 16, 2017
What Happens if your Lymphocytes Count Is low

The bone marrow produces blood cells called as lymphocytes. Their major function is to protect your body from infections. When the lymphocytes count is low, the condition is termed as lymphocytopenia. Under this condition, the body becomes more prone to catch infections, and develop symptoms of severe health conditions. This OneHowTo.com article is going to shed some light on what happens if your lymphocytes count is low.

You may also be interested in: What Is The Normal Range Of Lymphocyte Count


  1. What lymphocytes are
  2. How low is low
  3. Causes
  4. Symptoms
  5. Diagnosis
  6. Treatment

What lymphocytes are

Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cells produced by bone marrow. They are found in the vertebrates in their immune system. They are responsible for protecting human body from bacterial and viral damage. There are three types of lymphocytes, which are T-cells, B-cells and neutral killer cells. All these cells work together to build your immunity and prevent the growth of any harmful cells in the body. Let's see what happens when it goes low.

How low is low

The normal lymphocyte count in your body should be between 1000 and 4800 /μL. This makes around 15 to 40% of your total blood cells. When this count goes less than 15%, it is said to be considerably low and becomes a cause of concern. When a person has low lymphocytes count, his or her body becomes less resistant to infections, and can catch severe infections like cancer and tumors. Low lymphocytes count may also result in damage to other organs of the body.

What Happens if your Lymphocytes Count Is low - How low is low


But what happens when your lymphocytes are low? There can be several causes of your lymphocytes count going low. Some of them are:

  • Inadequate production of lymphocytes in the body. This can commonly happen in pregnancy.
  • Natural destruction of the lymphocytes that the body manages to produce.
  • Lymphocytes getting trapped in the lymph nodes or spleen.
  • Autoimmune and infectious diseases.
  • Steroid therapies.
  • Blood diseases or blood cancer.
  • Radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Defective genes, with diseases like DiGeorge anomaly, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome or Ataxia-telangiectasia.
  • Severe combined immuno-deficiency syndrome.


Low lymphocyte count usually goes unnoticed because there are no visible signs and symptoms of the condition. Most of the times, low lymphocyte count is detected only during tests being held for other conditions. Possible symptoms may include unusual and unresolved infections, and catching infections with increased frequency. Further tests may be conducted to identify the cause of low lymphocyte count.


Detailed assessment is usually taken to diagnose the patient’s condition, including the patient’s susceptibility to develop AIDS, his previous treatment that may be related to reduction of lymphocyte count, and his family history of lymphocytopenia. The doctor may check the patient’s body for enlarged spleen and lymph nodes, along with other signs of infection like fever. Further tests may be conducted to find the lymphocytes count and blood count of the patient.

What Happens if your Lymphocytes Count Is low - Diagnosis


If the lymphocytopenia has been related to a disease, then your physician will device the treatment plan accordingly. Probably, if the disease gets treated, your lymphocyte cell count will return back to its normal level. If you have only slightly low lymphocytes count, treatment is not given initially, and the condition improves on its own. But if there are genetic defects, treatment will be done through bone marrow stem cells and blood stem cells transplantation. Studies are still being conducted to identify medicines that can improve low lymphocytes count and treat the condition.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What Happens if your Lymphocytes Count Is low, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

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What did you think of this article?
Joel Feldman
If someone has a low lymphocyte white cells but the over all white cells are not over low. Is this an Exta concern if u get Coronavirus
My lymphocytes count was low but not extreme CANADIAN METRIC MEASURE
of 0.8 (range is 1.0 -4.0. Is this a problem? every article shows U.S test results so I cant look it up.
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What Happens if your Lymphocytes Count Is low