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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