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What does a high T-cell count indicate?

After doing some blood work, my hematologist told me that my T-cell count was way high. I just pretended to understand what he meant, but I don't.. What is a t-cell, and why is it so bad to have a lot of them?
A high T-Cell count is an interesting condition. I encourage you to talk to your doctor, as without other information regarding the lab tests it is hard to make a diagnosis. To begin, your body has different types of blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the tissues, platelets clot the blood, and white cells are for fighting infections. There are different types of white cells. One type is a lymphocyte. To make it more complicated, there are B Lymphocytes (which make antibodies) and T Lymphocytes. T Lymphocytes, or T-Cells as they are called, are involved in what we call cell mediated immunity. This results in the destruction of cells that are damaged. Most commonly, they are responsible for attacking cells infected with viruses, fungi and less commonly bacteria. A high T cell count can mean a few things. Most commonly, it is a sign of infection. This can be a serious infection, or simply a passing virus that does not even give you symptoms. For this reason, if you are feeling fine--it may be helpful to repeat this lab test at a later date to see if it has resolved. Another possibility is the T cells are abnormal because of a leukemia or lymphoma--a rare type of cancer. If you are having fevers, night sweats or weight loss this maybe a concern. Talk with your doctor for more information.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under ZocDoc’s Terms of Service.
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