Neutropenia is a deficiency of neutrophils which can cause bacterial and fungal infections. Neutropenia is a blood condition which if categorized by a deficiency of neutrophils which are a type of white blood cell which helps ward of bacterial and fungal infections. Neutropenia is a granulocyte disorder which is a category of white blood cells produced in the bone marrow. These types of white blood cells digest invading bacteria and fungus as a key part of our immune system response and function.
There are three types of granulocytes: neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils. Nearly 50 to 70 percent of circulating white blood cells are neutrophils. Those with a neutrophils deficiency are more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections which can lead to life-threatening neutropenic sepsis.
There are several types of neutropenia including:
Depending on the type of neutropenia a person has that will determine the cause. For example a person can be born with it, their body may attack its own white blood cells, medications may be to blame or it can be determines as idiopathic. What is known is that neutropenia is a deficiency of neutrophils which are disease-fighting white blood cells. Even if a person is deficient in other types of white blood cells like eosinophils or basophils that is not referred to as neutropenia.
Neutropenia can often go symptomless and a person may not even know that they have the condition until they realize they are becoming ill more frequently. A blood test, too, can confirm a white blood cell deficiency which can contribute to neutropenia. Infections and symptoms of neutropenia can appear as:
As neutrophils continue to drop the risk of infection increases
Treatment for neutropenia is based on which type of neutropenia a person has and for this reason there are many ways to treat neutropenia which include:
There is a specific neutropenia diet which patients are recommended to follow as it can help them from harmful bacteria which are commonly found on food and in beverages. It is important that if you or someone you know has neutropenia that food is thoroughly cooked – especially meat – in order to kill of bacteria. Here are some general tips and suggestions in order to follow a neutropenia diet.
By following these tips you can ensure you better protect yourself against harmful bacteria, fungus or parasites which can become life-threatening for a person with neutropenia as they have a weakened immune system.