Leukopenia, a medical term used to describe a low white blood cell count, may not be recognized in milder cases, although potentially life-threatening symptoms may develop in some of the more severe instances. Some of the earlier leukopenia symptoms may include fatigue, weakness, or an increased development of infections. As the condition worsens, additional symptoms may include fever, abdominal pain, and swollen lymph nodes. If left untreated, pneumonia or a variety of blood disorders may develop as a result of the decrease in white blood cells. Any questions or concerns about individualized leukopenia symptoms should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
Initial leukopenia symptoms may mimic the flu or other minor health issues, often delaying an accurate diagnosis. Fatigue, weakness, and an overall ill feeling are usually among the first noticeable symptoms. The patient may also notice an increase in the number of infections, sometimes leading to frequent antibiotic usage. A quick trip to the doctor for blood tests can typically lead to an early diagnosis and reduce the risks of developing serious complications.
As the condition begins to progress, additional leukopenia symptoms may appear. Fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes often develop. Some people may also experience mild to moderate shortness of breath. Headaches, increased irritability, and hot flashes have also been reported among those with low white blood cell counts. Ulcers or canker sores in the mouth may appear, along with a strong desire to drink hot beverages.
In the more severe cases, leukopenia symptoms may become life threatening if not treated properly. The shortness of breath may turn to pneumonia, sometimes requiring a lengthy stay in the hospital. There may be a decrease in the number of other types of blood cells, causing anemia or excess bleeding. This condition may occasionally lead to a fatal type of liver infection as well.
Women may experience leukopenia symptoms related to the menstrual cycle. Menstrual periods that are longer or heavier than normal may sometimes be caused by a significant decrease in the number of white blood cells produced by the body. The uterus may sometimes become infected, leading to bleeding that is not related to menstruation. These bleeding disorders may become so severe that the patient must be hospitalized and undergo one or more blood transfusions. Due to the potentially serious complications of this condition, any suspected leukopenia symptoms should be reported to a doctor right away for further medical evaluation.