Lymphocytes Low: Causes and Symptoms

Lymphocytes low are a warning sign of the body. Responsible for the defence of the human body, if the values of the lymphocytes are below the normal values, means that the body is not to be protected 100%. It is important to realize the reason; know in this article all causes and the main symptoms.

The lymphocytes are the cells responsible for defending the body from foreign bodies that may be harmful.

Constitute 20 to 30% of the blood, that is, for every milliliter of blood, a person must have between 1000 to 4000 lymphocytes.

Changes to these values can mean that the body is not being well protected.

In the case of lymphocytes low, which we explain now.


The values of the lymphocytes are obtained through a blood test.

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When the analyses indicate lymphocytes low (a situation called for linfocitopenia), can mean that some disease is the cause of this pattern, but can also simply be a result of medications and treatments, or any temporary situation.

Regardless of the reason that leads to lymphocytes low, it is important to solve them immediately because this means that the body’s defences are down and therefore the susceptibility to diseases is much higher.


The linfocitopenia happens because the body does not produce lymphocytes sufficient, because the lymphocytes produced can become trapped in the spleen or even because even though they are produced in sufficient quantities, are to be destroyed.

There are several explanations for the lymphocytes present in lower levels, these are just some of them:

  • Infections (dengue, measles, typhoid fever, malaria, tuberculosis, among others);
  • Physiological: this means that there is no reason for the values of the lymphocytes be low and there has not been any illness associated, simply the normal values refer to the vast majority of the population, but there can be some exceptions;
  • Periods of high stress;

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  • Diseases of the bone marrow (leukemias, lymphomas, mielofibrose, anemia plastic, among others);
  • Liver diseases (cirrhosis, hepatitis);
  • Autoimmune diseases (lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV);
  • Diseases of the thyroid or the spleen;
  • Effects of the use of certain medications;
  • Lack of folate and/or vitamin B12;
  • Alcoholism;
  • Malnutrition;
  • Hemodialysis;
  • Radio and chemotherapy.


Weakness, fatigue or weight loss are some symptoms that can arise. But most of the times the lymphocytes low and does not cause any symptoms and are only therefore detected in routine blood tests.

In other cases, the symptoms that are felt are not directly of the low levels of lymphocytes, but the disease that is causing this situation:

  • In the case of a genetic disease, may arise in lymph nodes or tonsils more small;
  • Cough and fever can be symptoms if the cause is an infection in the respiratory;
  • Autoimmune diseases like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, can cause swelling and pain in the joints, as well as some skin rashes;
  • The enlarged lymph nodes and spleen may be symptoms in case of HIV.

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