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Understanding the Various Causes of High Monocytes

Monocytes are a type of white blood cell. These cells function against several types of infections, get rid of damaged cells and tissue, and enhance the body's immunity against foreign objects. Therefore, the number of monocytes that are too high, can be an important indicator of a health disorder. The standard number of monocytes in healthy people is quite diverse, ranging from 1-10% of the total circulating white blood cells. This figure is equivalent to 200-600 monocytes per microLiter of blood.

Causes of High Monocytes

The condition of too many monocytes in the body is called monocytosis. Monocytosis can be a response or a sign of a number of conditions, namely:


Various infections due to bacteria, parasites, viruses, and fungi can cause high monocytes. For example tuberculosis and mononucleosis (infection due to Epstein-Barr virus).


High monocyte conditions are often associated with several types of cancer, especially blood cancer, such as leukemia and lymphoma. One type of leukemia that can cause high monocytes is myeloblastic leukemia. Hodgkin's disease is a type of lymphoma

that causes high monocytes

High monocytes or monocytosis can also be caused by a number of diseases. For example autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis; chronic inflammatory diseases, such as sarcoidosis, inflammation of the intestine, and Crohn's disease; even diseases of the cardiovascular system, such as heart disease. In addition, removal of the spleen, disruption in blood cell production, and stress can also cause high monocytes.

Symptoms of High Monocytes to Watch Out for

High levels of monocytes or overall white blood cell counts can cause blood to become thick. This condition can cause a variety of the following symptoms:
  • Fever
  • Pain in the area of ​​infection, if monocytosis is caused by an infection
  • Bruised easily, if monocytosis occurs due to leukemia
  • Weight loss without cause
  • Night sweats
  • Vision is impaired
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Bleeding in areas covered with mucosa or mucous membranes (mouth, intestine)
  • Stroke
If you experience one or more of the above symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor. High monocytes are not a condition that can be treated independently at home. Management of monocytosis can vary because it needs to be adjusted to the cause. If high monocytes occur due to bacterial infection, antibiotics can be a treatment option. However, if the condition occurs due to cancer, the doctor will likely recommend chemotherapy and radiation.


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