Discussions By Condition: Blood conditions

Low White Cell Count - Dr's Can't Diagnose?

Posted In: Blood conditions 7 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 2, 2009
  • 03:37 PM

Hi. I'm starting this post for my mom. She doesn't have access to a computer most days so I thought I would post to see if anyone else has had this issue.

Mom had stomach bypass surgery about a year ago. At that time, all of her bloodwork was fine. About 6 months after the surgery, her white cell count came back low. At first they thought Lupus and sent her to an oncologist but Lupus was ruled out. She then did blood tests weekly for 6 weeks or so and each time the count became lower and lower. They sent her for a bone marrow test and that also came back negative.

During this time she did have an ovarian cyst and they were able to give her shots to raise her white cell count in order to have surgery to remove her ovaries. We were hoping that this may have been the reason her white cell count was low but 6 weeks after surgery she went back to the oncologist for another test and once again, it's still low.

The Dr is baffled and can't find a reason for this. Her bypass Dr's have never had a patient with this symptom after surgery, her nutrition levels are great, she's not on any medication that could make her count low.

The Dr just doesn't know at this point. Told her to go on with her life but try to avoid sick people and if she gets sick w/a fever, to call right away.

They do know her count goes UP when she gets sick so she is able to fight infections. But, she just got sick with a cold and it hit her pretty hard and took awhile to get over it.

So, my questions are:

1) Anyone else have this issue? Is it more common than we think and something she just has to live with?

2) Should she be more aggressive and get a 2nd opinion?

We're not a huge city so not many choices but her Dr has been pretty aggressive in trying to find out what it is but he just doesn't know. He told her he would keep researching but in the meantime, just to live her life as usual.

I appreciate any feedback you could give and I will forward it on to her.

Here is some information from her directly:

How interesting; I believe my neutrophils were okay and my white cell count is just low, the neupagen shots are what they gave me to bring the counts up so I could have surgery. The way the doctor explained the count to me is 10,000 is normal range and mine is at 2000. The doctor also explained that it could be some type of autoimmune disease we just can’t find out what.

Thanks! Brandy

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7 Replies:

  • I have the same problem. I was feeling really run down and very lethargic all the time. Went to the doctor and he ordered full blood work. My results came back that I am anemic but also that my white cell count is at a 1.5. I was sent to the Oncology Department. They had me stop taking my daily medication of Wellbutrin XL and I have been having weekly blood draws for the past 5 weeks and my white cell count is still at a 1.5. I had a bone marrow biopsy and it came back negative. I had chest x-rays and a CT scan and they also came back negative. They ordered pelvic and abdominal ultrasounds. I have ovarian cysts but they don't seem to be concerned about them. I have a 16 cm hemangioma on my liver. My Oncologist is having me see his partner who is a blood specialist in the Oncology Department. This is very frustrating. I started taking iron pills but still am not feeling very well. I am always extremely tired. Hopefully, I will get some sort of diagnosis. He did mention some type of autoimmune disease or possible a rheumatological disease. Has anyone else had any of these issues?
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I also have Been going in for regular bloodwork now due to low white blood cells. i am about to be officially diagnosed with Leukopenia, wich just means i have a clinically low WBC. but, i am concrened about the causes, i eat fine, i am in great shape, and i havent shown many symptons of anything in the past. the problem is.. your blood cells are linked to your bone marrow, your immune system, and your nutrition, genetics and so much else..
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 10, 2009
    • 05:14 PM
    • 0
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  • I'm 27, had gastric bypass 2 1/2 years ago with no complications. I even had an uncomplicated full-term pregnancy post-op and delivered a healthy baby. Went to my family practice provider complaining of fatigue, bruising, dizziness, shortness of breath, etc. He ran a CBC and came back as follows:WBC 3.3RBC 3.77HGB 7.0Platelets 98I was put on the Tandem Plus (Rx)supplement, twice a day, and told we'd retest in six weeks. But outside opinion differs with this small-down doctor and it's been suggested to me several times over that I demand a referral to a hematologist/oncologist immediately, since the doctor's suggestion of a "simple iron deficiency" didn't seem to parallel the numbers on the labs. Retesting in a few days, but not feeling any better after the nearly six weeks of medicinal therapy. From what I understand, it's not very common, even among post-surgical patients. There is much to be learned still though about the complete and more long-term effects of the surgery on the body as a whole. I'll keep my eyes and ears out for more information that may help us both, and I'll send along anything useful I come across.Good luck and best wishes.Hi. I'm starting this post for my mom. She doesn't have access to a computer most days so I thought I would post to see if anyone else has had this issue.Mom had stomach bypass surgery about a year ago. At that time, all of her bloodwork was fine. About 6 months after the surgery, her white cell count came back low. At first they thought Lupus and sent her to an oncologist but Lupus was ruled out. She then did blood tests weekly for 6 weeks or so and each time the count became lower and lower. They sent her for a bone marrow test and that also came back negative.During this time she did have an ovarian cyst and they were able to give her shots to raise her white cell count in order to have surgery to remove her ovaries. We were hoping that this may have been the reason her white cell count was low but 6 weeks after surgery she went back to the oncologist for another test and once again, it's still low.The Dr is baffled and can't find a reason for this. Her bypass Dr's have never had a patient with this symptom after surgery, her nutrition levels are great, she's not on any medication that could make her count low.The Dr just doesn't know at this point. Told her to go on with her life but try to avoid sick people and if she gets sick w/a fever, to call right away.They do know her count goes UP when she gets sick so she is able to fight infections. But, she just got sick with a cold and it hit her pretty hard and took awhile to get over it.So, my questions are:1) Anyone else have this issue? Is it more common than we think and something she just has to live with?2) Should she be more aggressive and get a 2nd opinion? We're not a huge city so not many choices but her Dr has been pretty aggressive in trying to find out what it is but he just doesn't know. He told her he would keep researching but in the meantime, just to live her life as usual.I appreciate any feedback you could give and I will forward it on to her.Here is some information from her directly:How interesting; I believe my neutrophils were okay and my white cell count is just low, the neupagen shots are what they gave me to bring the counts up so I could have surgery. The way the doctor explained the count to me is 10,000 is normal range and mine is at 2000. The doctor also explained that it could be some type of autoimmune disease we just can’t find out what.Thanks! Brandy
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • August 20, 2009
    • 04:51 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi. I'm starting this post for my mom. She doesn't have access to a computer most days so I thought I would post to see if anyone else has had this issue.Mom had stomach bypass surgery about a year ago. At that time, all of her bloodwork was fine. About 6 months after the surgery, her white cell count came back low. At first they thought Lupus and sent her to an oncologist but Lupus was ruled out. She then did blood tests weekly for 6 weeks or so and each time the count became lower and lower. They sent her for a bone marrow test and that also came back negative.During this time she did have an ovarian cyst and they were able to give her shots to raise her white cell count in order to have surgery to remove her ovaries. We were hoping that this may have been the reason her white cell count was low but 6 weeks after surgery she went back to the oncologist for another test and once again, it's still low.The Dr is baffled and can't find a reason for this. Her bypass Dr's have never had a patient with this symptom after surgery, her nutrition levels are great, she's not on any medication that could make her count low.The Dr just doesn't know at this point. Told her to go on with her life but try to avoid sick people and if she gets sick w/a fever, to call right away.They do know her count goes UP when she gets sick so she is able to fight infections. But, she just got sick with a cold and it hit her pretty hard and took awhile to get over it.So, my questions are:1) Anyone else have this issue? Is it more common than we think and something she just has to live with?2) Should she be more aggressive and get a 2nd opinion? We're not a huge city so not many choices but her Dr has been pretty aggressive in trying to find out what it is but he just doesn't know. He told her he would keep researching but in the meantime, just to live her life as usual.I appreciate any feedback you could give and I will forward it on to her.Here is some information from her directly:How interesting; I believe my neutrophils were okay and my white cell count is just low, the neupagen shots are what they gave me to bring the counts up so I could have surgery. The way the doctor explained the count to me is 10,000 is normal range and mine is at 2000. The doctor also explained that it could be some type of autoimmune disease we just can’t find out what.Thanks! BrandyHi, except for the bypass surgery, I could have written your post. My white platelets yo yo up and down, I go to my primary care doctor, he get's all upset because they are so very low, he immediately calls my oncologist to see me asap. She does, then runs a test, it's near normal so I feel like a real ***k being there among all of those sick people getting chemo. Am I really embarrassed for not being sick? That's what it looks like. She sends a note to my PCP that she doesn't find anything out of the ordinary and dismisses me back to him. After about 6 weeks, he calls me to have another test, it's too low again. So low he warns me about being around sick people, watch for spots on my skin, and bruises, be careful not to cut myself, I could bleed to death. Then, back to my oncologist. This time the tests are too low so she does more tests. I'm ok again. I don't know what's going on, this up and down platelet count is bearing on my nerves. Nobody knows what's wrong with me. A liver biopsy reveals I have a fatty liver and mild infection in my liver but nothing to worry about. this has been going on for 2 or 3 years. I've been tested for nearly everything, still, nobody knows what's wrong with me. My entire body aches, this dx is fibromyalgia, I have arachnoiditis from an early spinal injury. Then I'm told it's sensory motor polyneuropathy, all these syndromes come from the same early spinal injury I suffered when I was 20. I have Chronic Pain Syndrome too. So??? what does all of this mean? Nobody knows. I just know I hurt all over, all of the time, I don't feel good, all over all of the time. Sorry to drag this on and one, I'm only looking for answers. Funny thing is, I didn't know I was sick until my PCP told me how very sick I am, but nobody knows why. I hope this helps you to accept yourself and whatever it is that's making you sick. If you do find out, please let me know. I'll run it past my PCP, Oncologist, Hemotologist and whoever else will listen. Thanks.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I was getting pain from head to toes. Bone pain, pain in the bottom of my feet. Started feeling tired. Stomach problems. Then I would get so tired i would take a nap in the middle of the day. Everything started getting worse. Dr, checked me for lupus, ms, arthritis, fybromyelga, etc... Rhumatiod Dr. asked me if I had ever been checked for celiac disease. With in 2 weeks on diet I felt better. 1 year later, pains returned. Endocronoligist said I was malnurished put me on high doses of vitamins, felt good for 1 year. Got very sick in April, lost 10 pounds and bone pain is back. All vitamin levels are good but wbc, rbc and neutrophils are low. Maybe you should be checked for celiac...it is a autoimmune disease. Simular to your symptoms.Don't understand why it would effect our blood count?? Maybe we have something different. Any imput from anyone else??
    Ameridrape 4 Replies
    • December 19, 2010
    • 08:56 PM
    • 0
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  • Hmmm...I am just starting with the testing of low white blood cells and am on my 3rd blood test. I have all the same symptoms as what you all have written. Oh boy, I was looking for answers and didn't find them. If anyone has gotten through this and found out what was wrong please respond for the rest of us. All the best to you who have commented. I hope they find a cure for you.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I too am looking for answers. I work in a hospital lab and had gastric sleeve about 4 months ago. Our hematologist noticed that cancer patients and gastric patients tend to have the low WBC. In fact, you can't even run the blood through a Beckman Coulter analyzer for a differential count, they have to manually count the WBCs. I had perfect WBC and diffs all my life until surgery. We are baffeled in the lab. Certain medications can cause issues with the analyzers too... and they tend to be ones that effect the liver. Perhaps the liver has something to do with it too. I had a wicked hematoma that just now went away on my liver from surgery. I'm taking my 2x day flintstones. I'd love to hear a hematologist + pharmacologist + oncologist mashup on this!
    Anonymous 1 Replies Flag this Response
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