Leukopenia – Low White Blood Cell Count
Eating disorders can affect a patient’s blood. An estimated one-third of anorexic patients have mild anemia (low red blood cell count). Leukopenia (low white blood cell count) occurs in up to 50 percent of anorexic patients. It is detected through a blood test, also called a complete blood count. A low white blood cell count is referred to as an auto-immune disorder.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the benchmark for a low white blood cell count may vary slightly among medical practices. A low white blood cell count in adults is generally defined as fewer than 3,500 white blood cells per microliter of blood.
If the Leukopenia experienced is mild, patients usually will have their immune systems intact and will hardly realize the symptoms at all. Usually, there will be no increased risk of infection. However, serious cases can lead to oral ulcers, stomatitis, pneumonias and liver abscesses.