Borderline Neutropenia

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I've been getting recurrent gastrointestinal bloating, periodic soft stools, perianal sores and abscesses, mouth ulcers and oral thrush for quite some time now - it's often accompanied by a feeling of being unwell, headaches, stiff neck, really bad confusion / brain fog, etc.

Sometimes these things all come at once, one after the other or seemingly at random. I've been going to the doctors but they've not managed to narrow things down so I've paid for some private blood tests.

In general they show I'm in good health, thyroid, sugar levels, liver, kidney function, CRP levels, vitamins, minerals, etc, is all looking good.

The only abnormality is my Neutrophil levels seem to be either borderline, sometimes mildly low or slightly above so was hoping someone could help me make sense of them, i.e. is this likely to be the cause of my symptoms or is it an indicator that something else is using them up.

The levels, against a lab range of 2.00 - 7.50 x 10^9/L have been:

18th September 2017 - 2.01

31st March 2018 - 2.52

17th May 2018 - 1.61

1st June 2018 - 1.79

11th June 2018 - 2.01

If it helps to interpret the results my complete White Blood Counts for the same samples were, against a range of 3.00 - 10.00  x 10^9/L:

18th September 2017 - 4.23

31st March 2018 - 4.80

17th May 2018 - 4.15

1st June 2018 - 4.5

11th June 2018 - 4.72

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Croggle. You shd definitely see a doctor about your problem. It could be something easily treated, but first you need a diagnosis. Hope you can see a doctor. If you don't have healthcare, go to emergency . Best wishes, harrishill

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    • Posted

      I've been going to the doctor for some time now but the Neutrophil levels have never been mentioned - the focus with the NHS has been on investigating and treating the symptoms rather than the root cause which is why I've paid for my own blood tests. I just need some help interpreting them as in my view my Neutrophils don't look right.

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    • Posted

      Hi Croggle,

      I am also facing similar issue with neutrophil count, my neutrophil is also gradually lowering though not crossed the low mark . Heamatologist is not concerned. Could anybody please throw some light . It would be very helpful.

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    • Posted

      Hi. I've been reading that probably autoimmune diseases are connected to our bowels' health so maybe what we eat and the pills we often take destroy our Gut good bacteria (it's called dysbiosis)and that probably may affect the way our body responds to stress....

      I really think people affected by autoimmune diseases (like me)may want to be sure they don't eat thinks that are bad for our immune system (I don't know , maybe milk&dairy , too much gluten,wheat,soy, coffee, sweets and stuff). I'm confused, I really don't know which foods are good for me and which aren't. I often have stomach bloating and pain but I'm not sure about the right diet to follow.

      There are different views on diet: for ex Dr Joker's or the Paleo diet , Dr Hyman's ...

      Take a look at this article about inflammation &autoimmune disease

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4034518/

      Best wishes

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  • Posted

    I have autoimmune neutropenia and rarely have a WBC get up to 3.0 or a neutrophil count get above 1.0. My most recent results were 1.9 and 0.2, respectively, and I’m a RN in a hospital. I still freak out when I get new results that were lower than my previous record low but, in truth, I’ve really not been getting sick. I feel constantly “run down,” like I’m on the verge of getting sick but it never develops. Unless you have physical symptoms that cause concern, I wouldn’t worry about your particular lab numbers at this time. Just because of a number is “out of range” doesn’t mean it’s going to kill you. Our lab values fluctuate constantly and they occasionally dip or peak. This is normal.

    I don’t think your symptoms are related to your blood work. Your numbers aren’t low enough to put you at higher risk of infection. I suggest seeing a rheumatologist, as the “brain fog” is a flag that they might be the doctor you seek.

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  • Posted

    Hi Croggle,

    My name is Ramona and I live in Italy. I've been having quite low WBC and neutrophils just as low as yours for 9 years and I'm kind of worried for the future. Can you tell me as you're a nurse what treatment are you on? Cause my haematologist is unsure about the possible cure. I suffer from fatigue and often have painful mouth sores that take some time to heal and have problems going to the dentist. Please let me know what's your doctor's possible cure for neutropenia.

    Best wishes

    Ramona

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    • Posted

      I believe you were talking to me, not Croggle, so I will respond. My doctor says that neutropenia is often part of the process of developing a new autoimmune disease (mine thinks I'm developing lupus). It will be 5-10 years before I know what it will be. Since my numbers are so low, I take neupogen once per week to keep them up. It has worked well for me. My WBC today is 2.9 and my ANC is 1.48. I took my previous dose 1 week ago and am due for the next one tomorrow. Side effects are not fun but I have learned to manage the nausea and vomiting with lots of hydration and zofran, and I keep the pain down with tramadol and claritin (although its not, by any means, full relief). I am unsure how long I can take this medication because most people use it while they take chemo so it's not usually taken long-term or as regularly as I do. Once we know which autoimmune disease I'm developing, I can receive an immunosuppressant therapy, which will get my WBC under control.

      Unless your neutropenia is caused by medications or an environmental cause, its not really "curable." It's treatable but is likely just our body's response to the autoimmmune processes.

      As for diet, I switched to the autoimmune protocol diet and noticed absolute resolution of all my bowel troubles. No more bloating, cramping, or severe constipation. However, it's miserably difficult to stick to, strictly. I do my best and cheat when I have to. However, my numbers did NOT change when I was strict on the diet so diet is not going to cure us (but it does make us feel better, for sure).

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    • Posted

      I should add that you might consider researching the link between viruses and developing autoimmune diseases. One theory is that viruses like Epstein Barr might trigger the autoimmune process. I had mononucleosis when I was 21 and was first diagnosed with Hashimoto's at age 23.

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