Leukocytes are the typical term used to refer to white blood cells. They have a significant role in the functioning of the immune system. They assist the body in defending itself against infections, germs, and other substances that have the potential to cause damage.
Several organs and tissues in the body, including the thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, and bone marrow, are responsible for producing or storing these cells. Your body may attempt to fight off an infection if you have a high leukocyte count. This would indicate that your immune system is working hard.
If a high level of Leukocytes is found in urine, this can be a sign of disease. When the white blood cells in the body are damaged, the body expels excess white blood cells. In this case, you will find a small number of white blood cells in your urine. Persistent high levels of white blood cells in the urine indicate that there may be an infection in the urinary system. You’d better consult a doctor as soon as possible to determine your condition.
This article will talk about the signs and symptoms of having leukocytes and their causes in our urine. We’ll also discuss how you can treat them later.
What are leukocytes in urine and leukocytes in urine meaning?
These cells, known as leukocytes, can travel throughout the body. Each time they move from one lymph node to the next, they look for viruses and illnesses that might damage the body.
When leukocytes are detected in urine, they are usually in low concentrations. If the urine contains many leukocytes, infection or another inflammatory sickness may occur under the skin’s surface.
A high concentration of leukocytes in urine suggests an infection or inflammation in the urinary system, most commonly in the kidneys or bladder. There is an infection or inflammation in the urine if many leukocytes are present.
You may find any or all of these things in the patient’s urine when checked. Pregnant women are examined for urinary tract infections during their first prenatal visit and may likely need further tests at later stages in their pregnancies.
It may be essential to do tests on certain people because of the severity of their symptoms or because they have a medical history that includes chronic diseases.
You may be subjected to a “dipstick” test by your doctor. A chemical strip is used to evaluate a blood sample to identify the presence or absence of an enzyme known as “leukocyte esterase.” One of the most common signs of illness is when this enzyme is found in an individual’s body. White blood cells protect the body against disease.
Another way to tell whether a sample contains nitrites is to do a dipstick test. Some bacteria create waste molecules known as nitrites as a byproduct of the digestion of the food they consume.
The amount of nitrites in a person’s urine correlates strongly with the number of bacterial infections the individual has. It is possible to produce nitrites using many different kinds of bacteria, but only certain of them are capable of it.
It is doubtful that urine contains white blood cells if no leukocyte esterase is present. This suggests that the urine does not have many infectious bacteria, and as a result, there is little risk that it does.
A urine culture may be performed by either a laboratory worker or a physician already treating the patient. A patient’s urine is collected and sent to a lab where bacteria from the sample are cultivated to determine the cause of the patient’s sickness.
Symptoms of Leukocytes in Urine
A few indications or symptoms may point to leukocytes in the urine. However, leukocytes in a person’s urine may be accompanied by various symptoms, depending on the individual. If it has a hazy appearance or a foul odor, this is one of the surest signs that you have leukocytes in your urine.
The following is a list of other signs or symptoms that you have leukocytes in your urine:
- Feeling the urge to use the toilet more often and frequent restroom trips.
- An uncomfortable or burning need to pee only results in the release of a few drops of urine.
- You may leak urine and feel pain when you go to the bathroom.
- A discharge of urine that is hazy.
- The presence of blood in the urine.
- Throbbing pain or a feeling of pressure in the stomach area
What Causes White Blood Cells in Urine?
1. Bladder infection/UTI
White blood cells in the urine are often the source of an infection of the urinary system (also known as a UTI).
A urinary tract infection can develop symptoms in any portion of the system. This system includes the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. The urethra and bladder are in the lower urinary system. Thus infections commonly start there.
A urinary system infection is often caused by bacteria or other organisms entering the urethra (UTI). There is an increase in bacterial growth and dissemination to different sections of the body due to this process. Untreated bladder UTIs may spread to the ureters and kidneys. In the long run, this might be fatal.
2. Kidney Stones
Kidney stones are sometimes accompanied by a rise in the number of white blood cells in the blood, but this is not always the case. Even when many minerals and salts are broken down in the body, they don’t show up in the urine significantly.
People who have many of these chemicals in their urine are more likely to get kidney stones than those whose urine has fewer chemicals. If kidney stones have made their way to the ureters and are stuck there, urine can’t leave the kidneys. This keeps the kidneys from letting urine out. If there’s nothing stopping germs from spreading, it’s possible that someone could get sick.
3. Kidney Infection
Although most kidney infections develop in the lower urinary tract, they eventually appear in the kidneys. Infections can spread from other body parts to the kidneys as they move through the circulatory system. There’s potential for danger in this scenario.
Immune systems that have been damaged or persons who have been using urinary catheters for a lengthy period are predisposed to kidney infection.
4. Blockage in the Urinary System
When the urinary system is blocked, two conditions can happen:
- Hematuria (the presence of blood in your urine)
- Hydronephrosis (the presence of fluid around your kidneys).
Summary: When there is blood in the urine, this is called hematuria. This is called hydronephrosis, when fluid is around the kidney or kidneys. It’s possible that the blockage was caused by tumors, severe injury, kidney stones, or even something more complicated than any of these.
5. Letting the urine sit in the bladder
It is possible that going to the toilet less often will lead the bladder to grow weaker. This is because emptying a weak bladder is more complicated. When urine remains in the bladder for a long time, the bacteria already present in the bladder make it more probable that an infection will develop.
This increases the risk of urinary tract infections. Consequently, the number of white blood cells found in the urine may be elevated.
Leukocytes in urine can be caused by pregnancy. This is because pregnancy can increase the WBC levels in the urine. In addition, contamination in the vagina can also cause leukocyte levels or protein levels to rise. If the level is consistently at a high rate, see your doctor immediately.
Treatment and Prevention of Leukocytes in Urine
Leukocytes in the urine can be treated differently, depending on why and whether or not an infection causes them. Bacterial urinary tract infections (UTIs) can be treated with antibiotics to get rid of the disease they cause in a reasonable time.
Infections that are either more serious or less likely to get better quickly may need more extensive medical treatment. In some situations, you might need to stay in the hospital. Some illnesses, especially those that cause leukocytes to be found in the urine, may be easier to treat if a person changes their lifestyle.
Changing your lifestyle can involve:
- Drinking more water
- Only going to the bathroom when you have to
- Keeping your health in the best shape possible
Consuming acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or other over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers may also help reduce the discomfort associated with the urinary system.
When to see a doctor
Leukocytosis is a condition in which a person has a higher-than-normal number of white blood cells, even if they don’t have any other signs or symptoms of the disorder.
On the other hand, they might have a health problem that makes their white blood cell count much higher than usual. The only way to know if your levels are dangerously high is to get a blood test at your doctor’s office.
A lab’s exact number to show that the number of white blood cells is too high (more than what is considered normal) varies from place to place.
On the other hand, as a general rule, a blood sample from an adult with more than 10,500 leukocytes per microliter is considered to have a high leukocyte count. The average number of leukocytes in a microliter of blood is between 4,500 and 10,500 cells.
If you feel any symptoms of leukocytes, you should make an appointment with your primary care doctor and start treatment as soon as possible.