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Thread: Low white blood cell count: freaking out. Possible causes? page

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    Witchy's Avatar
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    Low white blood cell count: freaking out. Possible causes?

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    I'm usually a little more rational about these things (I take results with a grain of salt), but I happen to work in a cancer center, and had a childhood friend die of leukemia, and the doctor who's going to see me happens to be someone I work with every week...

    Alright, let me back up. I've recently acquired a new GP, someone who's known for doing extensive testing for anything that's even potentially slightly out of whack. I'm ok with this; so far he hasn't asked for anything involving x-rays, etc, that could have harmful effects, so he can take all the blood and do all the ultrasounds he wants. He recently ran a blood panel, and my white blood cell count came back low (3.3). He suggested I see a hematologist, just in case. I told him I recalled always running on the low said, but he said it can't hurt.

    Since I work with a hematologist/oncologist, I asked his opinion on whom I should see. He said he'd be happy to see me. Then he pulled up a record of my past counts. This time was 3.3; before that, 3.8, and before that, 4.4. It's this trend that's freaking me out. A lot. Like, sick to my stomach, having to calm myself down sort of freaking me out.

    And I know I'm not being logical. The potential implications of this are just terrifying to me.

    I do take several supplements, so if anyone knows of ones that can drop your WBC, that would be helpful. I'm mildly hypothyroid (well-maintained), overweight (but not obese); I don't sleep enough (I know, I know) and I work in a fully-enclosed windowless space, leaving before the sun is up and coming home once it's down. (I don't know if any of this is relevant, I just figured I'd offer up as much as I can think of.) I did live in a distant fallout zone during/after Chernobyl, and my childhood friend died of leukemia shortly after. My blood clotting is normal, I never get sick (once every two years? at most), I don't bruise easily, no mystery aches or fevers, etc. I'm not eating as strictly paleo as I could be, and I'm pretty sure that I'm eating a little too much protein and a little too little fat.

    Thoughts?
    ~Kai

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    Korga's Avatar
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    Tagamet?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Korga View Post
    Tagamet?
    Erm, that's for... ulcers? I don't take that. My GI tract is nice and healthy. :/ Totally stressed. I have my appointment this week.
    ~Kai

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    One possible reason, because this is what happened with me, was my high blood pressure meds. One side effect is low WBC

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    i have low WBC too....

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    Alex Good's Avatar
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    Have you recently had sex in africa?
    In all of the universe there is only one person with your exact charateristics. Just like there is only one person with everybody else's characteristics. Effectively, your uniqueness makes you pretty average.

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    lmfao @Alex. No, funny enough, I haven't.

    Got checked out today, and everything is totally normal. Apparently just chronic benign leukopenia. As a bonus, I found out my liver function tests are off-the-charts good.

    The doc did run a few extra tests on the off chance, and one interesting thing (that I didn't know about) that some of you who also have low WBC might look into is any family history of rheumatoid arthritis. Apparently there's a correlation there worth testing for.
    ~Kai

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    You do know that "chronic benign leukopenia" is just the medical name for a harmless relatively low white blood cell count, don't you? It is your doctors way of saying the result doesn't matter so long as you aren't actually sick.

    There is always a correlation worth testing for if you are paid by the test!

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    Well that's hellagood news!
    cj

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    Quote Originally Posted by billp View Post
    You do know that "chronic benign leukopenia" is just the medical name for a harmless relatively low white blood cell count, don't you? It is your doctors way of saying the result doesn't matter so long as you aren't actually sick.

    There is always a correlation worth testing for if you are paid by the test!
    Yes, I'm quite aware--as I stated above, I work in the medical field. It's just nicer to hear that diagnosis than, say, some form of leukemia.

    I understand your pessimism; I also have a problem with doctors running pointless tests to make money on them. On the other hand, this doctor is a colleague and actually gives a damn about my well-being. Blood tests are free for me, since I work in the hospital, and he's paid per patient visit with no extra kick-back for doing more testing (in this particular department).
    ~Kai

    Visit me at Primal Cauldron for recipes and progress updates.

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