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Eosinophils are one of the five main types of white blood cells. Your doctor may order an eosinophil count blood test as part of your white blood cell count (WBC) with differential for a more accurate diagnosis.

The WBC with differential shows how many of each white blood cell are circulating in your bloodstream. You may also need a WBC and complete blood count (CBC) to understand your overall health better.

Your eosinophil count will help the doctor determine many eosinophils are in your bloodstream. An elevated eosinophil count may indicate your immune system is fighting an infection from fungus, bacteria or virus, or you have an allergic reaction. It can also indicate other health conditions like autoimmune diseases.

What are eosinophils?

Eosinophils are the white blood cells that mostly reside in the gut tissue. They can survive for up to a few weeks, playing a role in defending your body from the following.

Ongoing research is discovering many roles eosinophils play in the body. Most systems in the body may depend on eosinophils in some way.

Eosinophils fight off invading germs like parasites like hookworms, bacteria or viruses. They are also involved in the body’s inflammatory response, especially if an allergy occurs.

Eosinophils play a significant role in the immune system for inflammation related to asthma, eczema and allergies. Inflammation aids the isolation and control of the immune system at an infection site, but its side effect is damage to the surrounding tissues. Allergies are an immune response that usually involves chronic inflammation.

Production of white blood cells

The white blood cells are essential in the immune system’s function. They help to protect the body from viruses, parasites and bacteria.

All white blood cell production occurs in the bone marrow. The bone marrow continuously replenishes the supply of white blood cells. Each white blood cell can remain in the bloodstream from a few hours to several days.

The type and number of each red blood cell in your body can help your doctor better understand your health. Increased levels of eosinophils usually mean your body is producing more white blood cells to fight infections.

Why is an eosinophil count necessary?

Your healthcare provider may discover you have abnormal eosinophil levels from your WBC with differential. The WBC differential blood test is usually done with a CBC. The WBC determines the percentage of each type of white blood cell and can show if you have a low or high white blood cell count.

White blood cell counts may vary if you have a health condition or disease. The doctor may order the eosinophil count if they think you have a specific condition or disease, such as:

How can I prepare for an eosinophil count?

No special preparation is necessary for an eosinophil count, but inform your doctor if you are on blood-thinning drugs like warfarin (Coumadin). Your doctor may advise you not to take certain medications for a few days before your blood test.

Medications that may interfere with your eosinophil count, causing an elevated result, include

You should also inform your doctor about your current supplements or medications.

What does an eosinophil count involve?

The healthcare provider will take your blood sample from your arm with the following step.

What do the results mean?

Eosinophilia is in three categories. They include:

Eosinophilia can occur from the following

An extremely high number of eosinophils can result in an emergency; if left untreated, damage can affect multiple organs.

A low eosinophil count may be due to excessive production of cortisol (a natural hormone), like in Cushing’s disease or alcohol intoxication.

Lower eosinophil count may be linked to a time of day, as eosinophils are usually the highest in the evening and highest in the morning.

Except resulting from Cushing’s disease or alcohol misuse, low eosinophil levels aren’t usually a cause for concern unless the white blood cell count is abnormally low. If all white blood cell counts are low, a problem with the bone marrow may be the cause.

Complications of an eosinophil count

An eosinophil count requires the standard blood draw. Like any blood test, the risks are minimal, usually a minor bruising at the needle site.

In rare cases, the vein may become swollen following the blood collection, a condition called phlebitis. You can treat this condition by placing a warm compress on the affected area several times daily. Ensure you contact your doctor if this is not effective.

Excessive bleeding may be a problem if you take a thinning blood medication like aspirin or warfarin or have a blood disorder. The excessive bleeding will need immediate medical attention.

What happens following an eosinophil count?

If your results indicate a parasitic infection or allergy, the doctor may prescribe a short-term treatment to relieve the symptoms and help your white blood cells count to reach the normal level.

If you experience symptoms of a damaged organ or severe eosinophilia, the doctor may prescribe a high dose of corticosteroids such as methylprednisolone (Medrol, Solu-Medrol, Depo-Medrol).

The doctor may use immunomodulators or monoclonal antibodies if the steroid therapy doesn’t normalise your eosinophil levels.

If your eosinophil count shows an autoimmune disease, the medical professional may recommend more tests to determine the specific disease you have. Other conditions can cause high eosinophil levels, so you need to work with your doctor to find the specific cause.

You can get an eosinophil count at Private Blood Tests London, including other tests, such as WBC and CBC, to check your overall health. Call us today on 02071830244 to book an appointment for your eosinophil count.