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Weird Blood test results....low WBC Weird Blood test results....low WBC

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  #1  
Unread 03-26-2004, 03:31 PM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

Hi

When I went to the Mayo clinic 7 weeks ago for my surgery, my pre-op CBC came back showing abnormally low WBC and Platelets... (the WBC was 2.8 for a normal range of 4-11.0, platelets were 132 for a normal range of 150-400)... they re-ran the test in the afternoon and everything came back in the normal range.. although at the very low end. (They were not sure if they could do the surgery after the results of the first test).

I have had two follow-up blood tests at home now and my WBC has come back almost as low as the test at Mayo (3.3 and then 3.1). My neutrophils, lymphocytes, and monocytes are all coming back below normal levels. My platelets have since stayed at the bottom range of normal (150).

I was tested for HIV, Hepatitis, Autoimmune problems, and everything came back OK...

I was just wondering if anyone else has had problems with a low white blood count. The other complaints I have (besides the pelvic pain YIKES) are a pain/discomfort in my upper left quadrant for the last several months which the Mayo doctor pointed out was right where my spleen is located... and I have been so fatigued the last several months.

Thanks for any insights....

Sarah
  #2  
Unread 03-26-2004, 07:16 PM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

I'm curious to hear any info you receive, as I had a similar blood test result at my yearly exam. The dr. told me my WBC count was low. I have also been feeling fatigued as well. My dr. didn't really seem overly concerned, but I wonder what causes this. When you have an infection the WBC count is high, right? When it's low, you are more susceptible to infection, etc. I asked my dr. what you can do for this, and he said nothing really. He said some women just get this? I had shingles (which is a virus) and it recently reactivated a bit, I wonder if that has anything to do with it. I hope you find some answers, s

Marta
  #3  
Unread 03-26-2004, 07:59 PM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

Dear Marta,

When I had the first test with the abnormal results at the Mayo CLinic, the doctor was very concerned... perhaps because I had the low platelets as well as the low WBC. She consulted with the head of the Hematology dept and then she ordered several tests and a CT scan. She also scheduled a follow-up for me with one of the Mayo internists... I can't afford to go there without prior approval so I wasn't able to see that doctor.

When I returned home and finally saw my regular doctor he told me he thought the first blood test must have been a lab error because I would have had to be really sick to have a blood test result like I had (??)...... but apparently not because now I have had two more very similiar blood test results.

The medical term for low WBC is leukopenia. If your absolute neutrophil count is low it is Neutropenia... etc. I think I have read that some viral infections can cause leukopenia. Bacterial infections can cause it to be elevated as can a whole host of things.

Did you doctor order another blood test? I go see my doctor next week to see what the next step is... I hope he doesn't say, wait a few more weeks and have another test.

Best wishes!!



Sarah
  #4  
Unread 03-26-2004, 08:40 PM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

Hi Sarah,

No, he didn't order another test but he wants me to get another check in 6 mths I should request a copy of the test, I don't know the exact count as you do, all he did was call me on the phone and he told me that the WBC count was slightly low. My cholesterol was also up a bit, so that is also why he wants to check again in 6 mths. But, I may go back sooner to check this WBC thing, just for my own peace of mind. I had shingles back in December, and took the antiviral and it seemed to be cleared up. But, sometimes it acts up again, and I get pain in the same spot. Who knows, maybe the virus is still active. Anyway, thanks for the info, I did try looking it up on Web MD, and got the same info basically. It could be many things, it's just that I'd like to know what! I'm sure you feel the same way, let me know what your dr. says. Take care,

Marta
  #5  
Unread 03-26-2004, 08:49 PM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

Oh, Sara, I just wanted to add that I did read that sometimes surgery itself and the stress on the body can cause low white blood cell count too. When they did the tests on you (the CT scan, etc.) what were they looking for? s

Marta
  #6  
Unread 03-27-2004, 12:11 AM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

Hi guys!

Viral illnesses as well as some bacteria can cause this sort of leuko- and neutropenia. But so can folate and/or B12 deficiency -- it strikes me that the stress alone, (((Sarah))) of your recent surgery could have been enough to knock down your B-12 levels.

Some of the weird things, like tick fevers and fungal infections, can cause this. But the platelet drop seems to point to some "chronic" condition in the manufacture of these cells, rather than a reduction as a secondary effect of medication (such as chemo). (((Marta))), your shingles could well have been contributing to your counts. I can understand well your wishing to get new results! If your numbers have normalized, then you know it's likely to be due to the virus (varicella) that caused your shingles.

But Sarah, yours may well be due to either some sort of "depletion" with B-12. The spleen pain could be a sign (I had something similar with some sort of "mono" years ago and the pain was awful). The spleen can be enlarged, causing your pain, and also causing the lab values that you're seeing. External compression of the veins into the liver or into the spleen (due to ???) can also lead to splenic enlargement, with these associated lab abnormalities.

In the face of several abnormal results, it may be time to add a hematologist to your Palm Pilot under the "doctor" category . The spleen can be imaged with ultrasound, but there are specific nuclear medicine tests that can be done if they suspect that this is the problem.

In the meanwhile, I'd recommend that you guys follow some of the recommendations for chemo patients: no raw fruit or vegetables; antibiotics for any dental work, especially cleaning; and general good attention to diet and overall health. With kids in the house, you have to be especially careful -- at least it isn't still flu season!

Big s to both of you -- I hope you get answers soon!

Audrey
  #7  
Unread 03-27-2004, 05:54 AM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

Thank you ((((Audrey)))), you've given me more info than my dr., LOL. I have a dental appt. this week, and I'm going to take your advice, plus I'm going to take your dietary advice too. Your a gem

Marta
  #8  
Unread 03-27-2004, 07:31 AM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

DEar ((Audrey))

It is always so good to *see* you around!!!

Thanks so much for the information.... I was also wondering about the physical stress on the body of being in pain all the time... what that could do over time to your body. (since these tests have been pre-op and post-op) I am still having significant post-op pain ... it has improved with time from the horrendous pain I had right after surgery but it is still worse than before surgery. I am still hoping it is just a matter of time. I know he operated on the right spots (where he found the endo) because when I woke up in recovery the places that hurt all the time felt like I had a blow torch aimed at them... the surgeon's comment was that it could take a while for the nerves to calm down since the pain has been there for so long.

((Marta)) They did the CT scan to check everything in my abdomin. SHe mentioned something about looking for lymph nodes or spleen enlargement. I think the test was OK... the radiologist wrote several things but nothing sounded *bad*. So my spleen is causing me pain but does not appear to be enlarged... at least that I can tell from the tests... It feels like I have a piece of glass in there or a sharp rock... it has been like that for months. I thought maybe it was related to my pelvic pain problem.... maybe it is indirectly

My absolute neutrophil counts have been low (1.6 and 1.7) and my absolute lymphocyte and monocyte counts have been low or right on the bottom of the range... My percentages have been OK.

I thought it was interesting that my RBC counts are all very good (hemoglobin, hematocrit, etc.)... it just seems to be my WBC and platelets that are wacky.

Thanks ladies... it just helps to talk about it. Hopefully it is nothing serious but it would be nice to know.



Sarah
  #9  
Unread 03-27-2004, 05:27 PM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

I went in for a physical in September--I had a stomach ache all the time and had some bowel issues plus extreme fatigue.

My WBC was very low, had it tested a month later and it was lower.

Since I had digestive and bowel issues-my DR. figured I was having malabsorption issues(not getting the nutrients from my food)she also tested me for Celiac's and that is what the conclusion was.

My DR also said If you have a chronic health problem-it can lower you WBC count because it never gets a chance to regenerate if you are always sick.

Dani
  #10  
Unread 03-27-2004, 08:24 PM
Weird Blood test results....low WBC

Dear ((Dani))

I am sorry about the Celiac disease. I have read about that since a friend of mine was suspected of having it... I hope you are able to manage it with your diet etc. so that it doesn't cause so much trouble.

lots of hugs!!!

Sarah
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