Leukocytes in Urine


The presence of leukocytes in urine could mean an infection anywhere in the urinary tract system. Leukocytes, or white blood cells, are normal cells in the body that is a part of the immune system and work to fight off the unwanted foreign substances or microorganisms invading the body. When leukocytes are being excreted in the urine, it would mean that there is an infection in the body.

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One of the roles of the kidneys is to filter off or clean the blood, so the leukocytes cannot really enter the kidneys this way. But if the kidneys are not functioning well, leukocytes can go into the kidneys and will be excreted via the urethra. This is the main reason why the presence of leukocytes in urine can happen.

Causes of the Presence of Leukocytes in Urine

There are lots of causes from which the presence of leukocytes in urine can arise. Primarily, the causes revolve around kidney diseases. Here are the common diseases that may result to the presence of leukocytes in urine:

Urinary tract infection – Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common infections suffered by women nowadays. The infection starts when bacteria gather near the genitals and make their way up to the urethra. Women often gets UTI if proper hygiene is not practiced such as not washing the genitals after urinating or wiping it from back to front. Common symptoms experienced would include pain while urinating and a cloudy appearance of the urine.

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Cystitis – Cystitis is the inflammation of the bladder. At this point, the infection has made its way from the urethra to the bladder, spreading the infection and damaging parts of the kidneys in the process. It shares more or less the same symptoms with urinary tract infection.

Pyelonephritis – Pyelonephritis is another name for kidney infection. The individual could be confined in the hospital because of the risk for stone formation in the kidneys. In this case, the infection has affected not only the urethra and the bladder, but also the kidneys. If not treated right away, stones could form inside the kidneys. The symptoms of this illness include pain near the abdomen and back, pain while urinating, constant urge to urinate and cloudy and foul smelling urine. Blood could also appear in the urine along with the presence of leukocytes in urine.

Treatment of Leukocytes in urine

After undergoing diagnostic tests and determining the real cause of the presence of leukocytes in the urine, the appropriate treatment will be given to the individual to address the cause. For mild cases such as Urinary tract infection and cystitis, oral antibiotics would be prescribed by the doctor usually for three times a day, within a 7-day period or more, depending on the severity of the case. For more serious cases such as with Pyelonephritis, the individual should be confined in the hospital for proper monitoring of the kidneys. Intravenous antibiotics will be administered for faster absorption of the drugs and quicker killing of the bacteria that caused the infection.

The presence of leukocytes in urine is an indicator of an infection that is most probably concentrated in the kidneys. Since the kidneys are vital organs in the body, proper attention and treatment should be given right away in order to prevent the disease from developing into something graver.

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