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White cells

Discussion in 'Diagnostic Guidelines and Laboratory Testing' started by Jemima37, May 6, 2017.

  1. Jemima37

    Jemima37 Senior Member

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    I've had chronic fatigue for almost 2 years, all that wasn't picked up was an undecafive thyroid last May but it's now within range and been treated. Yet my fatigue continues and I suffer daily with fatigue and crashes.

    My gp ran bloods a plenty in the last 18 months. Nothing was found and bloods were all ok then recently in March my fbc flagged up on a private blood test (where I test my thyroid) that my neutrophils were 1.6 (range 2-7.5) and lymphocytes were 3.98 (range 1.2-3.65). My gp received the results and said he wanted to repeat them a month later. I had an acne break out at the time so waited 5 weeks. The day I did the bloods I was in a crash week so maybe not the right time to repeat them and my spots weren't clearing on my chin. I repeated anyway and the neutrophils had come up to 1.79 and lymphocytes had risen a little more to 4.45.

    I spoke to my gp last week. He said my total white cell count was fine at 6.8 so he wasn't overly concerned. He said the lymphocytes didn't concern him it was the neutrophils. I had low neutrophils in 2012 due to cystic acne but he said in the last 2 years they've been fine at 4.4 so he wanted to write to the haemotologist for advice on blood tests going forward. I asked if I could compare my results on the private lab against past NHS ones because the NHS ranges on my results are different. On the NHS neutrophils can be as low as 1.7 and mine are now 1.79 and the lymphocytes can be as high as 4.5 and mine are 4.45 but he said you can't compare lab to lab of range is different.

    I've been worried sick. I've had clear results the last 2 years throughout the chronic fatigue other than when thyroid flagged up. Now I've white cells out slightly I've been thinking all kinds. My gp says I've no symptoms of blood cancers so he's not thinking that and he said my total white count is very normal at 6.8 and no other cells are out. It's been 2 weeks since he wrote to the haemotologist for advice, I've heard nothing as yet but I'm a nervous wreck.

    Has anyone experienced this? Should I be worried? I suffer from anxiety so this is tough for me. I'm 37 and a mum to 3 children and I'm terrified I've had cancer all along and it's why I'm so fatigued and feeling ill daily with the weakness. It's hard not to think the worst now the cells are off.

    Thank you
    Julie
     
  2. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Hi @Jemima37 (Julie)

    I am no doctor but I have an oncology nursing background. I also have been sick with ME for 8 years.
    Your neutrophils are a bit low, but not low enough for you to be unable to fight bacterial infections. This is what neutrophils do.

    I have also been low in neutrophils, and I have been explained that it is often cyclical, where sometimes your body makes more neutrophils and sometimes it makes less or you get a bit depleted.

    As for the lympocytes being high, perhaps you are having a viral reactivation right now, which would be VERY consistent with what is happening with ME patients. Perhaps your dr could check out EBV, CMV and HHV-6. Those are the typical viruses getting reactivation. If you are in the UK chance are your doctor won't do that.

    Cancers involving the blood (leukemia) involve the presence of blast cells in the blood and those would be flagged when you have a blood count done. Sometimes the lymphocytes or WBC goes up in the hundreds, which is not your case at all. In other cases like lymphomas, patients usually develop tumors where their lymph nodes are and those are not usually painful to start with.

    I hope this reassures you a bit. Perhaps rechecking your blood counts in a month or 2 will be further of reassurance to you. The problem with ME is we feel so darn retched and the blood work, the typical one is not reflective of how bad we feel.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
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  3. Jemima37

    Jemima37 Senior Member

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    Thank you Kati, very resssuring reply.

    I am hoping the haemotologist won't want to see me, that scares me. My gp doesn't think he will at all and he's just written to him for a second opinion on the 2 sets of results.

    Yes I read sometimes neutrophils run on the low side when we don't need them so they stay low for a while then rise again.

    I am suffering from cystic acne ah the moment. I do on and off since my thirties. I wondered whether that could effect my lymphocytes? As my acne can make my glands raise very sore at times.

    My gp did a lot of bloods in November, one being for EBV I think and that was ok. I'm not sure what the others are you've mentioned I'm sorry but I don't think he's checked hem. I am in the U.K.

    Thank you again for your very reassuring reply. My gp did say as my total white cell count was normal at 6.8 he wasn't concerned about anything more serious.

    Julie
     
  4. Kati

    Kati Patient in training

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    Yes, i don't think you should worry too much.

    Re cystic acne, i am not sure how it affects the white cells unless you have massive infection there. Are you on antibiotics for that?

    Best wishes and welcome to the forums.
     
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  5. CCC

    CCC Senior Member

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    Two things that caused horrible acne for my son:
    1. low zinc - borderline low will cause it
    2. Bartonella infection (this can also depress neutrophils)

    The low zinc is easy to test for. The Bartonella, not so much. Maybe ask your doctor about them.
     
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  6. Jemima37

    Jemima37 Senior Member

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    I'm on an antibiotic oral treatment at the moment. I don't tolerate oral antibiotics well at all.

    Thank you.
    Julie
     
  7. Jemima37

    Jemima37 Senior Member

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    Oh I've not heard about the Bartonella.

    I get cystic acne on and off it did frustrating at my age.

    Thank you
    Julie
     

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