When increased monocytes appear on your blood test results, you must take caution and do anything you can to decrease them immediately.

Although infections are the most common cause of high blood monocytes, it can also occur in a carcinogenic or inflammatory process.

Our blood contains many more cell types and substances than are typically known, such as red blood cells. A good example is monocytes. They are cells that circulate in our blood, that come from the immune system and that can be found high in an analytical.

Monocytes are manufactured in the bone marrow and transported with blood to different tissues. Once they reach the tissues, they become macrophages and perform their defense function. They are responsible for eliminating certain waste products and dangerous elements for our body.

In addition these cells also act in the inflammation process. Monocytes represent between 4 and 8% of the total cells in our blood. However, its concentration varies depending on age, infections or if there is an active inflammatory process.

In this article we explain why monocytes may be high in blood and what is the relevance of this fact. It is an essential factor that must be taken into account when performing a blood test or knowing the immune status of a person.

Why do monocytes increase in blood?

As we have already mentioned, monocytes are cells that are part of our immune system. They are protagonists in inflammatory and infectious processes. When their concentration exceeds 8% of the blood cells, it means they are increased.

The truth is that the fact that monocytes increase without generating symptoms. However, what will appear are the symptoms and signs of the situation that is causing this increase. In summary, we can say that the most frequent causes are:

  • Infections, such as malaria. The truth is that infections are the most frequent cause, even if they are transient infections.
  • Autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. The most frequent is rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Blood disorders.
  • Carcinogenic processes such as leukemia and lymphomas.
  • Blood tests allow counting white blood cells and red blood cells present within the body.

These are the most frequent causes. Monocytes rise both in a simple infection and a mere cold, as well as in a chronic infection. For example in the case of tuberculosis. That is why the fact that they appear elevated in an analysis is a very nonspecific fact.

Inflammatory diseases

These cells can also be an indicator that there is an inflammatory process somewhere in our body. It is the case of rheumatoid arthritis. It is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints and causes pain and loss of mobility.

Blood neoplasms

Blood cells can also undergo neoplastic processes. This means that different types of cells can grow uncontrollably and increase their concentration. It can be a cause of monocytes appearing elevated.

How to detect increased monocytes?

In a complete blood test, the proportions of all the cells present in the blood are usually indicated. It is a simple and effective method to detect this situation. However, as we have already indicated, some data are nonspecific and should be studied more deeply.

Depending on the number of monocytes there is more likely to be one process or another. For example, if the levels are slightly elevated, most often it is a mild infection. On the other hand, if they are excessively high levels they can be indicative of leukemia.

The doctor will be in charge of analyzing the concentration of monocytes. As necessary, perform the necessary examinations to find the infection or the inflammatory process, if they exist.

Therefore it is very important to know if other symptoms appear that accompany this fact. There is no treatment for high blood monocytes, but the treatment is based on solving the underlying cause.

Even so, exercise can be a way to improve monocyte numbers. It helps regulate the functioning of our immune system and acts as a natural anti-inflammatory measure.

To conclude, the important thing is to emphasize that tall monocytes are a very nonspecific sign. To be able to make a diagnosis it is essential to see a doctor. In addition, most of the time it is only a consequence of a mild and transient infection.

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