The smallest group of leukocytes are basophils, which perform many functions in the human body.
In particular, they not only maintain blood flow in small vessels and provide the migration path to other white blood cells in the tissue, but also effectively influence the growth of new capillaries.
If an adult has increased basophils in the blood, then it indicates the development of the disease - basophilia. The causes of this condition are different, below we consider the main ailments, due to which basophils in the blood rise above the norm.
The main function of this type of granulocyte is to participate in the inflammatory process and the development of allergic reactions, namely anaphylactic shock. In addition, basophils block toxins that have entered the body through the skin (poisons of insects and animals) and reduce blood clotting due to the presence of heparin in them. At the site of basophilic destruction, tissue edema, itching, and redness occur.
You can summarize the basic functions of basophils in the human body:
- suppression and “blocking” of allergens;
- an obstacle to the spread of foreign particles in the body;
- preservation of body defenses;
- regulation of microvascular permeability and tone;
- maintaining water and colloidal state, as well as skin metabolism;
- neutralization of toxins and poisons, including insects;
- participation in the processes of coagulability and phagocytosis.
If basophils are elevated in an adult, this means that the problem should be looked for in the anamnesis, to analyze the diseases suffered earlier, and the patient’s living conditions. Next, we consider in more detail why there are elevated basophils in the blood of an adult, and what diseases lead to such indicators.
The normal number of basophils varies depending on age and is calculated as a percentage relative to the total number of leukocytes in the blood:
- for an adult: 0.5-1%;
- newborn: 0.75%;
- 1 month: 0.5%;
- 1 year: 0.6%;
- 2 years: 0.7%
As can be seen, the rate of basophils in the blood is from 0.5% to 1% of the total number of leukocytes. In absolute terms, it goes about 0.3 nanol per liter of blood.
Causes of elevated basophils
Why are basophils elevated in blood in an adult, what does that mean? Various conditions can provoke an increase in basophilic values above the norm, ranging from an immediate reaction to the administration of a drug and ending with a long-lasting inflammatory process.
Consider the main causes of elevated basophils in an adult:
- Allergic reactions. Upon contact with the allergen, the special granules contained in the cells are released. This causes typical symptoms of allergy: itching, rash, edema, etc.
- In acute infectious diseases of the liver, basophils are also elevated.
- Inflammation (including chronic), located in the gastrointestinal tract. Especially clearly the effect is observed in acute inflammation of the intestine.
- Often basophils in the blood are elevated in the period preceding menstruation.
- Constant exposure to low doses of radiation (for example, this applies to those who work with X-ray machines).
- Diseases of the circulatory system.
Thus, a complete blood count with an increased number of basophilic granulocytes first of all speaks of the penetration of someone else’s antigen, which by its characteristics absolutely does not fit into the antigenic composition of this organism, therefore the latter is trying to reject the enemy as soon as possible.
Sometimes, the answer is very violent and rapid (anaphylactic shock), then the patient needs the same prompt medical assistance (the introduction of adrenaline, hormones), otherwise the sad result will quickly come.
Physiological processes that cause an increase in basophils:
- With menstruation, at the beginning of ovulation, when estrogen levels rise in the blood.
- During the recovery of the body after infection.
- Basophils increase as a result of a small exposure to radiation doses; radiologists and laboratory assistants often suffer from it.
- After taking contraceptive drugs, which contain a large amount of estrogen.
Thus, the causes of basophilia are many, so you should go through a thorough examination to identify the causes of each particular case. Self-treatment is totally unacceptable.
Elevated basophils in a child
What does it mean? The condition when the child's basophils are elevated is called basophilia and the reasons for its occurrence are different:
- Insect bites.
- Helminth infestation ...
- Hemolytic anemia.
- Iron deficiency
- Sinusitis is chronic.
- Nephrotic syndrome.
- Infectious diseases
- Acceptance of certain drugs.
- Generalized allergy, drug or food.
- Myxedema, or insufficient supply of tissues and organs with thyroid hormones.
- Blood diseases: myeloid leukemia, chronic, acute leukemia, polycythemia vera, Hodgkin's disease.
- Gastrointestinal pathologies of a chronic course, for example, ulcerative colitis. Basophils may increase when an acute disease becomes acute.
A decrease in the level of basophils is possible only with the timely treatment of the underlying disease that caused them to increase, while it is necessary to introduce products containing vitamin B12 (milk, eggs, kidneys) into the child's diet.
What to do if blood basophils are elevated
In most cases, basophilia is cured if the immediate cause of its occurrence is eliminated, in particular, the underlying disease is cured. But in some cases, a high level of basophils can be observed in relatively healthy people. Then it is necessary to use these recommendations:
- Increase the body's saturation with vitamin B12, because it is actively involved in the process of the formation of blood cells and the work of the brain. This can be done by taking special preparations or by adding dishes from meat, kidneys, eggs and milk to your diet.
- Include in the diet of iron-containing vitamins and foods: liver (especially chicken), buckwheat, fish and other seafood.
If basophils are increased in the blood, in some cases, it is enough to stop taking the medication: antithyroid, estrogen containing, and the like. In women, basophilia can occur during ovulation, during the first days of the menstrual cycle, as well as during pregnancy. This is due to the direct link between the level of estrogen and progesterone in the blood and the number of basophils.