What Is Basophilia?

What Is Basophilia?

Basophils are one of the five major types of white blood cells. Of the five, they are the smallest in number. On average, Basophils make up just roughly 0.3% of the white blood cells in the human body, and that number could go as low as 0.01%. Despite being the least common type of white blood cells, they are extremely important; basophils are responsible for protecting the human body from parasites and bacteria.

Unfortunately, there are cases where a person has elevated basophils, a scenario that could potentially be a sign of basophilia.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of basophilia depend on what caused it in the first place. For example, if it occurs as a byproduct of chronic myelogenous leukemia, a cancer of the bone marrow, the most common symptom is abdominal discomfort and enlargement of the spleen. However, those with anemia might sometimes have basophila as well, marked by general fatigue, weakness, and frequent headaches. However, if it is a sign of thyroid complications like hypothyroidism, symptoms may include constant constipation, unexplained muscle aches, sudden weight gain, and joint stiffness. It is also not unusual for basophilia to appear with no symptoms as well.

If associated with anything other than bone marrow cancer, basophilia is not as dangerous. A quick trip to the doctor and follow-up checkups including taking in the necessary medication for the underlying condition causing the problem often solves the problem. This includes taking anti-allergy medications for allergy response, or antibiotics for infections, among other things. However, if it is the result of bone marrow cancer, basophilia will need a more drastic, systemic treatment, which might include a need for a bone marrow transplant.

Ultimately, your general physician alone can recommend the best course of action to treat your particular illness.