Leukopenia ( low white blood count)

Posted by finsmom2018 @finsmom2018, Feb 22 10:33am

Have had this for almost 6 months. Can’t be around groups of people the are sick, flu, kids etc. difficult to get N95 masks since the current out break. Any suggestions on how to raise my WBC??

Hello @finsmom2018,

I’d like to bring in @virginiaj @ulalume @bradmm @ecbacm who have shared some of their experiences with leukopenia that I think you’ll find helpful. Since eukopenia is almost always related to a decrease in a certain type of white blood cell (neutrophil), and the term is often used interchangeably with neutropenia, ( https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/low-white-blood-cell-count/basics/definition/sym-20050615), I’m also tagging @81ue @shammer @kaytieg and @marcie555 as they’ve discussed it in previous posts and may be able to offer some more information regarding their experiences.

@finsmom2018, could you share a few more details about yourself? May I ask if you’ve been diagnosed with any other blood cell and bone marrow conditions?

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Hi, I have had leukopenia (neutropenia) for about 16+years. In the beginning, I had a bone marrow test. The result was that I was making normal white blood cells, but “something” was destroying some of them. For awhile, a hematologist tested them biweekly, then monthly, then every 3 months. For the past 15 years, my Internal Medicine doc tests them every 6 months. They remain stabile. The lowest they have been is 2.0, the highest is 3.2. The low cells have not affected me at all in my daily life. I care for sick grandkids, travel, etc. My colds don’t seem to last longer than other people’s. Other than hand washing a lot, I don’t do anything extraordinary to avoid getting sick. I am a retired dietitian and did a lot of research in diet and white blood cells.. A healthy diet helps in many ways and I try to eat pretty healthy, but haven’t found evidence, either personal or in the literature that it can raise WBC. I did find one interesting thing. There is an autoimmune leukopenia (can’t remember the name of it). The low white cells started at about the same time as my first bout of PMR, which may also be autoimmune. No doctor has ever felt this was related. At this point, I rarely think about it, except when I get my blood counts done.

Liked by lioness

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If only I could get up to 3.2 that would make me happy. In November it was .9 it has slowly risen to 2.4 but has stayed stagnant for the last 3 weeks I to have been eating healthy I get Vit B12 shots; nothing that I have done seems to work a chemo friend of mine suggested I go for acupuncture so I'm willing to try anything. My sister who is a nurse tells me that is something I should not do but I'm going to give it a try anyway.

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Green tea is something I can't have d/t the caffeine as I'm allergic to that and many other things. I do eat healthy lots of veg& fruit and of course I do eat my protein

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My family has had good results in this area through intravenous vitamin c. There are numerous studies that suggest that IV C can help the body's hematopoietic function. Here's one case study:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6070822/

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I would like some advice on leukopenia I have been suffering with it for 5 months- had chemo & radiation last in May. should I go to Rochester/ or Phoenix and be seen by one off their doctors??

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@finsmom2018

I would like some advice on leukopenia I have been suffering with it for 5 months- had chemo & radiation last in May. should I go to Rochester/ or Phoenix and be seen by one off their doctors??

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@finsmom2018 as you may already know, Mayo Clinic medical teams work together. That means whether you go to Mayo Clinic in Rochester or in Phoenix, you will have access to the same expertise and level of care. Your choice may rely more on which location is more convenient for you, accommodation, etc. and availability of appointments.

Here is the contact information for all 3 Mayo locations. I recommend calling and asking your questions to the appointment staff. http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63

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@dazlin

I’m a patient at mayo clinic and I get tested every 6 mos to monitor my MGUS. My IGM white cells are at a low 15…(i believe thats the lowest allowed). IGM’S are said to be the main white blood cell to fight infection. I last took my bloodwork last month, and haven’t heard back if this is a concern. Previously as it has been dropping, I was told it was being crowded out out by unhealthy cells. Im verrrrry exhausted, and look like i have two black eyes. Thankfully no further progression in MGUS…thats all I know. I wasn’t able to see my oncologist after my bloodwork so I really don’t know what they think about this.

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Yes my white blood count is always low and so is my red blood count. I have a doctors appointment Friday for my lab results. Medications can make your white blood count and I do have a med that can lower your white blood count. If you are on meds check all your meds online

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I’m a patient at mayo clinic and I get tested every 6 mos to monitor my MGUS. My IGM white cells are at a low 15…(i believe thats the lowest allowed). IGM’S are said to be the main white blood cell to fight infection. I last took my bloodwork last month, and haven’t heard back if this is a concern. Previously as it has been dropping, I was told it was being crowded out out by unhealthy cells. Im verrrrry exhausted, and look like i have two black eyes. Thankfully no further progression in MGUS…thats all I know. I wasn’t able to see my oncologist after my bloodwork so I really don’t know what they think about this.

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@dazlin

I’m a patient at mayo clinic and I get tested every 6 mos to monitor my MGUS. My IGM white cells are at a low 15…(i believe thats the lowest allowed). IGM’S are said to be the main white blood cell to fight infection. I last took my bloodwork last month, and haven’t heard back if this is a concern. Previously as it has been dropping, I was told it was being crowded out out by unhealthy cells. Im verrrrry exhausted, and look like i have two black eyes. Thankfully no further progression in MGUS…thats all I know. I wasn’t able to see my oncologist after my bloodwork so I really don’t know what they think about this.

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Hi @dazlin, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about low white blood cell counts in the Blood Cancers group. I did this so you can connect with others like @1nan @kjjjrader @finsmom2018 @virginiaj who have also experienced low white blood cell counts.

@dazlin, are you currently on any treatment for MGUS? Have you considered posting a question to your oncologist or hematologist in Mayo's patient portal to see what you can do?

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@dazlin

I’m a patient at mayo clinic and I get tested every 6 mos to monitor my MGUS. My IGM white cells are at a low 15…(i believe thats the lowest allowed). IGM’S are said to be the main white blood cell to fight infection. I last took my bloodwork last month, and haven’t heard back if this is a concern. Previously as it has been dropping, I was told it was being crowded out out by unhealthy cells. Im verrrrry exhausted, and look like i have two black eyes. Thankfully no further progression in MGUS…thats all I know. I wasn’t able to see my oncologist after my bloodwork so I really don’t know what they think about this.

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I have Pancytopenia an this anemia has low white cells and many other cells as well. Just another possibility. Be well. Peach

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@colleenyoung

Hi @dazlin, you'll notice that I moved your message to this existing discussion about low white blood cell counts in the Blood Cancers group. I did this so you can connect with others like @1nan @kjjjrader @finsmom2018 @virginiaj who have also experienced low white blood cell counts.

@dazlin, are you currently on any treatment for MGUS? Have you considered posting a question to your oncologist or hematologist in Mayo's patient portal to see what you can do?

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@colleenyoung , im not on any treatment for mgus. I did email my care group…my nurse did not respond to my question about the low IGM'S, she did say, no further progression in mgus. Ill wait till my next bloodwork in February to speak with my oncologist at mayo. I also have an appointment with my local primary dr in November, and we usually discuss my condition. Thank you!

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@dablues

Yes my white blood count is always low and so is my red blood count. I have a doctors appointment Friday for my lab results. Medications can make your white blood count and I do have a med that can lower your white blood count. If you are on meds check all your meds online

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@dablues , im not on any meds, and my red count is good…its just this one white cell, supposedly very important. Hope your next labs are better!

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My white blood cells have been low ever since I have kept my lab test results back in 1996. Seeing these former results was important, because my oncologist feels like a low level of white blood cells may be “normal” for me. It did drop lower 2 or 3 times in the 2 years when I got pneumonia 2 times in 3 months and had to take multiple doses of antibiotics. The doctor I was with then did not treat my pneumonia aggressively enough and I got it again, so the second time I went to Urgent Care and that doctor was very upset that my pneumonia hadn’t been even diagnosed “the former doctor just said he could hear multiple pockets of infection in my lungs” much less no X-ray, etc. etc. The Urgent Care doctor gave me the correct antibiotics, an X-ray, and a shot of ? I felt better in days, but my oncologist took one look at my blood test and said “What happened? Your white blood cells are very low!” Apparently when you take antibiotics it kills white blood cells so it’s especially important to stay healthy!
Now during this time of Covid and flu season, I have to be even more careful not to catch anything. I got my high dose flu shot and always wear my mask when I go out and only go in an environment I can control, like distancing and cleanliness, etc.
PS I also have Thrombocytopenia which is low red blood cells. My Oncologist said to eat more red meat and to not try to diet so much, but eat more variety of foods.
Hope this information helps!

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My husband was first diagnosed with MM because of low white blood counts. Now after 3 years and a MDS diagnosis, if we can get him to 1500 neutrophils we are excited. Because of treatment his are usually well below that. This week he was at 288. When his drops below 500 he has to take a preventative antibiotic. He has stayed very healthy during this whole year. He takes a vitamin C, zinc and probiotic morning and night. He also started taking a vitamin D to see if we can boost his hemoglobin. Big thing with low WBC we do is same as corabells1 try to be more careful not to catch anything.

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