Leukocytosis is the medical name for an elevated white blood cell count. This condition is not a disease by itself but is a marker of several other possible illnesses or medical conditions. Most commonly, leukocytosis is a sign the body is actively fighting an infection, but it can also result from other issues. An increase in white blood cells is part of the body's natural response to stress. Leukocytosis can be found in mothers after labor and delivery as the body recovers. It can be found in marathon runners after a race. This condition can also be a sign of elevated mental stress. There are several types of leukocytosis, each one defined by the type of white blood cell present in elevated amounts.
Basophilia is the rarest type of leukocytosis. This condition is diagnosed when a complete blood count indicates an elevated level of basophils in the blood. Basophils are white blood cells that help the body deal with inflammation. They carry substances that regulate the inflammation response, such as heparin and histamine, to the site of an infection. Because basophils handle inflammation, this condition is often associated with illnesses involving chronic inflammation such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease. This condition can also be a symptom of several bone marrow disorders. If the cause of basophilia is unclear, a doctor may do bone marrow tests or genetic testing for a more exact diagnosis.
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