Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

Should I be concerned?

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 10 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • October 24, 2009
  • 02:23 PM

Over the past 3 years, i have been having a high white blood cell count. It started at 11.8 3 years ago. The docs ran a battery of tests including a bone marrow Bx, which all came back ok. I was told by the oncologist, that I just have a high count, but to get the counts checked regularly. I did that for about 8 months...it gradually kept rising, and was always told I just have a high count. about a year ago, i was once again tested for leukemia when the count was at 14.5...and it came back again, negative. Was told again...that they want to *watch* it. This week, i had tested again...and now the wbc is at 18.5. and once again...just told they want to*watch* the counts. I dont know what we are watching. I dont know if maybe i should go see a Hematologist? or just keep wathcing it? what exactly are we watching it for...if I am just told, I just have a high count? AND...if i am the type of person who has a high count...shouldnt it at least stay stable?? If anyone can give their opinion that would be great.

as of oct 2009
wbc 18.5 normal is 4-11
Neutrophils 80% normal is 40-74%
lymphocytes are at 15% normal is 19-48%

everything else is within normal ranges.

Thanks

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10 Replies:

  • Over the past 3 years, i have been having a high white blood cell count. It started at 11.8 3 years ago. The docs ran a battery of tests including a bone marrow Bx, which all came back ok. I was told by the oncologist, that I just have a high count, but to get the counts checked regularly. I did that for about 8 months...it gradually kept rising, and was always told I just have a high count. about a year ago, i was once again tested for leukemia when the count was at 14.5...and it came back again, negative. Was told again...that they want to *watch* it. This week, i had tested again...and now the wbc is at 18.5. and once again...just told they want to*watch* the counts. I dont know what we are watching. I dont know if maybe i should go see a Hematologist? or just keep wathcing it? what exactly are we watching it for...if I am just told, I just have a high count? AND...if i am the type of person who has a high count...shouldnt it at least stay stable?? If anyone can give their opinion that would be great. as of oct 2009wbc 18.5 normal is 4-11Neutrophils 80% normal is 40-74%lymphocytes are at 15% normal is 19-48% everything else is within normal ranges.ThanksWhat are your serum ferritin (Iron) levels?
    Croatiamedstudent 32 Replies
    • October 25, 2009
    • 04:16 PM
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  • What are your serum ferritin (Iron) levels?I dont see that one the list. BUT, I have been told I am not Anemic, if thats what you were asking. my rbc is 4 I can copy & paste the cbc if thats more helpful?
    kkross 6 Replies
    • October 25, 2009
    • 07:22 PM
    • 0
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  • I dont see that one the list. BUT, I have been told I am not Anemic, if thats what you were asking. my rbc is 4 I can copy & paste the cbc if thats more helpful?I'm not concerned about anemia, serum ferritin levels can give other info as well. It will give clues to your iron metabolism.....
    Croatiamedstudent 32 Replies
    • October 25, 2009
    • 07:38 PM
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  • I'm not concerned about anemia, serum ferritin levels can give other info as well. It will give clues to your iron metabolism.....ahh! well, lets me try this.
    kkross 6 Replies
    • October 25, 2009
    • 07:44 PM
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  • Over the past 3 years, i have been having a high white blood cell count. It started at 11.8 3 years ago. The docs ran a battery of tests including a bone marrow Bx, which all came back ok. I was told by the oncologist, that I just have a high count, but to get the counts checked regularly. I did that for about 8 months...it gradually kept rising, and was always told I just have a high count. about a year ago, i was once again tested for leukemia when the count was at 14.5...and it came back again, negative. Was told again...that they want to *watch* it. This week, i had tested again...and now the wbc is at 18.5. and once again...just told they want to*watch* the counts. I dont know what we are watching. I dont know if maybe i should go see a Hematologist? or just keep wathcing it? what exactly are we watching it for...if I am just told, I just have a high count? AND...if i am the type of person who has a high count...shouldnt it at least stay stable?? If anyone can give their opinion that would be great. as of oct 2009wbc 18.5 normal is 4-11Neutrophils 80% normal is 40-74%lymphocytes are at 15% normal is 19-48% everything else is within normal ranges.A high white count especially when the neutrophils are high are indicative of a bacterial infection. When the lymphocyte count is high it usually implies viral and the overall WBC is closer to 10,000. I would look in the direction of a bacterial infection perhaps one that is slower growing. The Lyme spirochete is one of those but I'm sure there are others that are slow growing as well. What other symptoms do you have? You may want to see an infectious disease specialist. Visit ILADS.org for the symptoms to Lyme. Most infectious disease specialists are not qualified to treat or diagnose Lyme disease, but they can diagnose other bacterial infections. You would need a Lyme Literate Medical Doctor for Lyme. High white counts also occur in appendicitis and it's possible you've got an appendix that may be flaring up off and on. It's not common but it does happen.High white counts do occur in cancers but for three years it would be unusual for it to stay hidden that long. One cancer that is sometimes hard to diagnose early is multiple myeloma so you can check that one. As far as leukemias go I highly doubt that except in the case of the chronic leukemias, CML and CLL so you can look at those as well. Leukemias for the most part are acute and do not take more than 6 months to diagnose because by that time you have some pretty serious symptoms.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • October 25, 2009
    • 09:24 PM
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  • Here's my take. Step away from the idea that its an infection. Being asymptomatic for 3 years with an increased white count while fighting a bacterial infection is not very likely. I looked at the lab results and here's what I think.Your cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides are all high. I think this is the issue here's why. having this high lipid profile is a risk for atherosclerosis. The beginnings of atherosclerosis are largely unknown and are under research. So far its effects are only obvious when its advanced (ie real high blood pressure, plaque seen on ultrasound etc.). the beginning stages are very complex.This high lipid profile is likely causing a low grade chronic inflammation (globally) which is the risk for beginning of athercslerosis. In this stage the body produces inflammatory promoters, the liver makes CRP (c-reactive protein). CRP had been shown to affect endothelium (tissue in artery walls) resulting in macrophage (white blood cell in tissues) uptake of LDL. This uptake is the basis for plaque formation in the arteries. Stimulated macrophages in turn can stimulate increases in circulating white blood cells.In summary, your lipid profile suggests you could be in the beginning stages of atherosclerosis. this causes the absorption of LDL into macrophages in the arterial tissue, which in your case for some reason is causing over stimulation of WBC. So try this. Forget everything about leukemias and infections, or anything like that that will cause stress (as we know stress and atherosclerosis don't mix). don't check your blood for 5-6 months. Get on a regeime to try and lower these lipid counts, really make an effort to get a healthy blood profile. there's 2 outcomes from this approach1) It works, lower LDL = lower macrophage stimulation and your WBC's start to go down.2) It's not the issue, however your health has improved significantly which will aid in combating the mysterious issue. good luck
    Croatiamedstudent 32 Replies
    • October 26, 2009
    • 06:25 AM
    • 0
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  • Here's my take. Step away from the idea that its an infection. Being asymptomatic for 3 years with an increased white count while fighting a bacterial infection is not very likely. I looked at the lab results and here's what I think.Your cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides are all high. I think this is the issue here's why. having this high lipid profile is a risk for atherosclerosis. The beginnings of atherosclerosis are largely unknown and are under research. So far its effects are only obvious when its advanced (ie real high blood pressure, plaque seen on ultrasound etc.). the beginning stages are very complex.This high lipid profile is likely causing a low grade chronic inflammation (globally) which is the risk for beginning of athercslerosis. In this stage the body produces inflammatory promoters, the liver makes CRP (c-reactive protein). CRP had been shown to affect endothelium (tissue in artery walls) resulting in macrophage (white blood cell in tissues) uptake of LDL. This uptake is the basis for plaque formation in the arteries. Stimulated macrophages in turn can stimulate increases in circulating white blood cells.In summary, your lipid profile suggests you could be in the beginning stages of atherosclerosis. this causes the absorption of LDL into macrophages in the arterial tissue, which in your case for some reason is causing over stimulation of WBC. So try this. Forget everything about leukemias and infections, or anything like that that will cause stress (as we know stress and atherosclerosis don't mix). don't check your blood for 5-6 months. Get on a regeime to try and lower these lipid counts, really make an effort to get a healthy blood profile. there's 2 outcomes from this approach1) It works, lower LDL = lower macrophage stimulation and your WBC's start to go down.2) It's not the issue, however your health has improved significantly which will aid in combating the mysterious issue. good luckok! Now thats a livable answer other than...we just want to watch it. Heart disease run rampant thru my moms side. She was 50 when she had a heart attack....4-bypass. Im also a smoker, by 20+ years. They, im pretty sure have completely ruled out leukemia and/or any infections, so I wasnt too worried about that. I just didnt understand why they keep wanting me to get it checked. Going to look into how to change my diet. and try again...to stop smoking. Thanks everyone :)
    kkross 6 Replies
    • October 26, 2009
    • 11:50 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Here's my take. Step away from the idea that its an infection. Being asymptomatic for 3 years with an increased white count while fighting a bacterial infection is not very likely. I looked at the lab results and here's what I think.Your cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides are all high. I think this is the issue here's why. having this high lipid profile is a risk for atherosclerosis. The beginnings of atherosclerosis are largely unknown and are under research. So far its effects are only obvious when its advanced (ie real high blood pressure, plaque seen on ultrasound etc.). the beginning stages are very complex.This high lipid profile is likely causing a low grade chronic inflammation (globally) which is the risk for beginning of athercslerosis. In this stage the body produces inflammatory promoters, the liver makes CRP (c-reactive protein). CRP had been shown to affect endothelium (tissue in artery walls) resulting in macrophage (white blood cell in tissues) uptake of LDL. This uptake is the basis for plaque formation in the arteries. Stimulated macrophages in turn can stimulate increases in circulating white blood cells.In summary, your lipid profile suggests you could be in the beginning stages of atherosclerosis. this causes the absorption of LDL into macrophages in the arterial tissue, which in your case for some reason is causing over stimulation of WBC. So try this. Forget everything about leukemias and infections, or anything like that that will cause stress (as we know stress and atherosclerosis don't mix). don't check your blood for 5-6 months. Get on a regeime to try and lower these lipid counts, really make an effort to get a healthy blood profile. there's 2 outcomes from this approach1) It works, lower LDL = lower macrophage stimulation and your WBC's start to go down.2) It's not the issue, however your health has improved significantly which will aid in combating the mysterious issue. good luckOK!! Now thats a livable answer. Which may or may not be the case...i understand. BUT, surely couldnt hurt to give that a shot. Heart disease runs rampant on my moms side of the family. She was 50 when she had a heart attack 4-bypass, and father had a mild stroke approx 5 years ago. Thanks so much for your replies. I pretty sure the docs have ruled out any leukemia or infections. Other than the high counts...Im tired all the time, and suffer from headaches about 4 times a week. Thanks again for your help!!
    kkross 6 Replies
    • October 26, 2009
    • 01:01 PM
    • 0
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  • You might want to look into chronic Lyme. It's a hard bug to pick up on bloodtests, and people can go years undiagnosed because doctors aren't really looking for it. A negative blood test does not rule it out.
    kermworm 81 Replies
    • October 26, 2009
    • 01:18 PM
    • 0
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  • OK!! Now thats a livable answer. Which may or may not be the case...i understand. BUT, surely couldnt hurt to give that a shot. Heart disease runs rampant on my moms side of the family. She was 50 when she had a heart attack 4-bypass, and father had a mild stroke approx 5 years ago. Thanks so much for your replies. I pretty sure the docs have ruled out any leukemia or infections. Other than the high counts...Im tired all the time, and suffer from headaches about 4 times a week. Thanks again for your help!!So I called my Doc to talk to her about what she thought about the cholesterol & the high wbc. She is referring me back to the oncologist. She thought I was still under his care, which I hadnt been since my count was 14.5 So my apt is on friday. Just wanted to thank you again for replying to me :)
    kkross 6 Replies
    • October 26, 2009
    • 08:45 PM
    • 0
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