How to Raise Neutrophils
How to Raise Neutrophils
Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that helps your body fight infection. You may develop low levels of neutrophils, called neutropenia, if you are have cancer or are undergoing treatment for cancer, such as chemotherapy. You can also develop neutropenia due to a poor diet, a blood-related disease, or a bone marrow infection. To raise neutrophils in your body, you can adjust your diet and use medical treatments to address the issue. You should also take steps to stay healthy and avoid germs or bacteria, as you will be more susceptible to catching an infection or illness when your neutrophil levels are low.
Adjusting Your Diet
Eat fruits and vegetables high in vitamin C.This vitamin is a great way to boost your immune system and ensure your neutrophil levels do not fall too low. Have fresh fruits like oranges, bananas, apples, and pears. Go for fresh vegetables like broccoli, carrots, peppers, kale, and spinach. Add them to your meals to keep your neutrophil levels up.
Add foods rich in vitamin E and zinc.Vitamin E is essential for stimulating the production of white blood cells, and zinc is important for increasing neutrophils. Both nutrients are readily available in food.
- Foods like almonds, avocado, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, palm oil, and olive oil are rich in vitamin E.
- Oysters, poultry, beans, nuts, and whole grains are good sources for zinc.
Have foods high in omega-3 fatty acids.Foods like salmon, mackerel, and flax oil are all high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fatty acids increase your levels of phagocytes, which are white blood cells that consume bad bacteria in your body. Add these foods to your diet and cook with flax oil, or have teaspoon (2.5 ml) of flax oil once a day.
Go for foods high in vitamin B-12.You can develop neutropenia if you are deficient in vitamin B-12. Having foods high in this vitamin like fish, eggs, milk, and leafy greens can help to boost your neutrophil levels.
- Certain soy products are enriched with vitamin B-12, a good option if you are vegan or do not like eating animal products.
- You can also take vitamin B-12 supplements to ensure you are getting enough of this vitamin in your diet.
Avoid raw meat, fish, or eggs.These foods, eaten raw, can put you at risk of exposure to bacteria and germs. Make sure you eat these foods cooked to a safe internal temperature.
Use nutritional supplements after talking to your doctor.If your diet is poor or you have a poor appetite, you may want to take a multivitamin or supplements to help your body in making white blood cells. However, always talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before taking any vitamins or supplements.
- Make sure that your doctor or healthcare provider considers all medications you are taking when advising you about supplementation.
Wash and prepare all foods properly.Use warm running water to wash all fresh fruits and vegetables you eat, as this will reduce your exposure to bacteria and germs. Prepare food by cooking it to a safe internal temperature and refrigerate or freeze any leftovers within 2 hours. Do not use wooden cutting boards or sponges, as they can attract germs.
- Safe food handling and preparation can help to reduce your risk of exposure to germs or bacteria that can make you sick due to your low neutrophil levels.
Getting Medical Treatment
Ask your doctor for a prescription for neutrophil-boosting medication.Medication like Neupogen can help to raise your neutrophil levels, especially if you are undergoing treatment for cancer. Your doctor can give you this medication with an injection or through an IV. You may receive it daily if your neutrophil levels are very low and you are undergoing chemotherapy.
- You may experience side effects like nausea, fever, bone pain, and back pain while on this medication.
Ask your doctor if other conditions are affecting your neutrophil levels.Neutropenia can be caused by other conditions like a bacterial infection or a virus. Your doctor may treat these issues by hospitalizing you and giving you antibiotics to treat the underlying infection. Once the infection clears up, your neutrophil levels should return to normal.
Get a bone marrow transplant if your condition becomes severe.If your low neutrophil levels are due to a disease like leukemia or aplastic anemia, your doctor may suggest a bone marrow transplant. The transplant is done by removing diseased bone marrow and replacing it with healthy bone marrow from a donor. You will be under general anesthesia during the procedure.
- You may need to take medication before and after you have the bone marrow transplant to ensure the infection is gone and your neutrophil levels are back to normal.
Staying Healthy with Low Neutrophils
Wash your hands regularly with warm water and antibacterial soap.Proper hand washing can go a long way to prevent exposure to infections and germs, especially if your immune system and neutrophil levels are low. Scrub your hands with soap and water for 15-30 seconds. Then, rinse them well under warm, running water and dry your hands well with a paper towel.
- Make sure you wash your hand before eating, drinking or taking medicine, and after using the bathroom. Wash your hands before touching food or any parts of your body, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Always wash your hands after touching pets or animals.
Wear a face mask to prevent exposure to germs and bacteria.Protect your mouth and nose by wearing a face mask when you go outside or to public places, especially anywhere with large crowds. You can also wear a face mask at home if you live with others or your living space is dusty, moldy, or dirty.
- You can buy face masks at your local medical supply store or online.
Stay away from others who have the flu or a cold.Do not spend time with others who are sick or ill, as this can expose you to germs. Ask people who have the flu or cold to keep their distance until your neutrophil levels return to normal.
- You may also avoid going to areas or spaces that are crowded, such as malls, where there may be people who are sick or ill.
Maintain good oral hygiene to prevent infection.Brush and floss your teeth 2-3 times a day as well as every time you eat. Try rinsing your mouth with water and baking soda to remove germs or bacteria. Rinse your toothbrush regularly under warm, running water to keep it clean.
Sources and Citations
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