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Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
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How can I improve my low count of white blood cells which is

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How can I improve my low count of white blood cells which is at the moment 2.5 ?
Have you had a recent cold, infection, or other medical condition?

Was this simply a single lab value, and your white blood cells were normal before?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My health has never been affected by lower count of white cells, nor I had any serious cold, infection or other medical problems.
The count of WBC was always good - 4 and above. The regular fall started approx. 8-9 years ago although there was an increase last year upto 3.6; this year it came down to 2.5
OK.

Do you happen to know your absolute neutrophil count (the ANC) -- it would have been listed on your labwork?

And I assume your doctor is not too concerned with this number -- do you have a repeat CBC test soon?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Unfortunately I don't have it right now but I can forward it to you tomorrow .
How can I reach you though?
I've just done my last test a couple of weeks ago.
Based on previous test (2 years ago) made by my doctor the WBC were healthy and additionally I did various tests on possible deseases as well which were all clear.
You can just go ahead and reply to this message, like you just did.

But overall -- in general -- without a history of specific symptoms or other red flags -- this may simply have been a single test that was on the lower side of normal.

But evaluation of the neutrophils -- the main component of the white blood cells -- and the ones that fight bacterial infections -- would be important in a person with low white blood cells (leukopenia or neutropenia).

So that ANC number would be helpful.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
So, if I understood correctly you need that ANC number to give me your advise to my problem which I'll forward to you tomorrow.
Well, it would help to categorize it into "mild, moderate, or severe" categories -- and help to know if this is something that should be reevaluated now, or could be watched safely.
Dr. Mark and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I am sending the ANC number as I promised yesterday to Dr. Mark in order to help to get to know better my problem with low WBC. So the lab test shows ANC count 51.2%.
Also I am letting you know the history of my low WBC from the time it started going down.
year 2002 - 4;
2003- 4.81
2004- 4.1
2005- 3.7
2006- 3.19
2007- 2.94
2008- 3.6
2009- 2.53
What I would like to know is why it's going sometimes up and then again down?
What effects it and what I can do to prevent it from falling?
How dangerous it is to my health ?
OK.

Thanks for the information.

With 51.2% neutrophils -- that makes 51.2% of 2.5 = about 1.25, or 1250 / microL.

Normal is above 1500.

Between 1000 an 1500, where you are, is considered mild.

The risks of infection increase when this number gets below 1000. Below 500 is considered severe.

As for the trends -- day to day this number will fluctuate, as your white blood cells are made daily. So the up and down of the numbers you see can just be normal flucuation of these levels (e.g. you could take these tests a week apart and get that variation in numbers as well).

Some reasons for this white count being low are:

after infections (viral and bacterial)
some medications can induce neutropenia
people with large spleens
bone marrow disorders
immune disorders

or this could simply be mildly lower than normal.

In general, your doctor would want to get a repeat value of this soon, to ensure that the number rises to normal.

If it persists, then further evaluation of the bone marrow could be done.

But in this "mild" range -- it generally is not a threat to your health.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for your very precise explanation.
The last question: whether there is any connection with my dietary intake or things I can eat to improve the count.
Well, there really isn't magic foods or supplements that work to raise the white blood cell count. (Iron can help to raise the red blood cell count). But keeping good nutrition is certainly key to ensuring good bone marrow health, but otherwise nothing special.
Dr. Mark and 4 other Health Specialists are ready to help you