Steroids/PMR and Low Absolute Lymphocytes

Posted by gregg911 @gregg911, Aug 25 2:11pm

I just turned 60, I have had PMR for 20 months now, on prednisone since last May and I just got recent blood tests back and my absolute lymphocytes are below.the acceptable level. I've read that steroids and PMR can both cause a reduction in lymphocytes. This condition puts you at a higher risk for cancers and bacterial and viral infections. My question is: have others experienced a low absolute lymphocyte condition and is there anything that can be done to improve the levels?

Hello @gregg911, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. My PMR is currently in remission but I've been on prednisone twice and was aware of a lot of different side effects but was not aware that it can cause a reduction in white blood cells (lymphocytes). I do know that in general prednisone can lower your immunity and thus make it easier for infections, etc.. There is another discussion you may be interested in reading through and meeting other members with PMR while we wait to see if other members have suggestions for you.

PMR Anyone?: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pmr-anyone/

I did find some information that speaks to having low white blood cell count — Excerpt from following article – "While no specific foods or diet changes are proven to increase production of white blood cells, if you have low WBC (leukopenia), it is very important to practice good hygiene, hand-washing, and food safety practices. Neutrophils are the cells that fight bacterial infection." — White Blood Count & Diet: https://www.oncologynutrition.org/erfc/eating-well-when-unwell/white-blood-count-diet

@alanbruce @rolandhp @reagan1mc @beryl and other members have shared information about PMR and may have some suggestions for you.

Has your doctor or rheumatologist provided any suggestions to help with the low lymphocytes number?

REPLY
@johnbishop

Hello @gregg911, Welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect. My PMR is currently in remission but I've been on prednisone twice and was aware of a lot of different side effects but was not aware that it can cause a reduction in white blood cells (lymphocytes). I do know that in general prednisone can lower your immunity and thus make it easier for infections, etc.. There is another discussion you may be interested in reading through and meeting other members with PMR while we wait to see if other members have suggestions for you.

PMR Anyone?: https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/pmr-anyone/

I did find some information that speaks to having low white blood cell count — Excerpt from following article – "While no specific foods or diet changes are proven to increase production of white blood cells, if you have low WBC (leukopenia), it is very important to practice good hygiene, hand-washing, and food safety practices. Neutrophils are the cells that fight bacterial infection." — White Blood Count & Diet: https://www.oncologynutrition.org/erfc/eating-well-when-unwell/white-blood-count-diet

@alanbruce @rolandhp @reagan1mc @beryl and other members have shared information about PMR and may have some suggestions for you.

Has your doctor or rheumatologist provided any suggestions to help with the low lymphocytes number?

Jump to this post

I too have lower wbc and reduced leukocytes since on prednisone. Even at low dose of 2mg day for 10 months. Also some digestive issues similar to posting re: diverticulitis, diarrhea more than constipation.

REPLY

@gregg911 and @kathylovgren – I was hoping more members with low white blood count would be able to share their experiences and suggestions. Thank you Kathy for sharing your experience. There is an older discussion where members have posted about low white blood count – Leukopenia ( low white blood count): https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/leukopenia-low-white-blood-count/

I’d like to bring in @finsmom2018 @virginiaj @berdyaev11 who have discussed low white blood count and may have some information to share with you.

Have your doctors offered any suggestions for medication changes or recommendations like diet – foods to eat/avoid or other lifestyle changes?

REPLY
@johnbishop

@gregg911 and @kathylovgren – I was hoping more members with low white blood count would be able to share their experiences and suggestions. Thank you Kathy for sharing your experience. There is an older discussion where members have posted about low white blood count – Leukopenia ( low white blood count): https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/leukopenia-low-white-blood-count/

I’d like to bring in @finsmom2018 @virginiaj @berdyaev11 who have discussed low white blood count and may have some information to share with you.

Have your doctors offered any suggestions for medication changes or recommendations like diet – foods to eat/avoid or other lifestyle changes?

Jump to this post

I have had a low white blood count for about 16 -18 years. It was found on a random blood test. I have been through a work-up in 2 medical systems (Mayo and Marshfield clinic systems in Eau Claire) because I changed jobs, had to change insurance and had to change doctors. Both systems eventually called it idiopathic, don’t know the cause. I haven’t found anything that improves the count, it doesn’t bother me. I just monitor it with a blood test every 6 months to be sure there is no major change. Ironically, in my 3 bouts with PMR, my white count goes up while on prednisone. I can’t remember the mechanism, but my primary care doctor says this is typical with prednisone. I did read about an auto-immune leukopenia and wonder if I have it, but not diagnosed with it. I do not know any dietary, supplements , etc that can bring WBC’s up.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.