Low blood cell count - cause for concern

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I have been trying to get bloodwork done on occasion over the last year, and some of my results concern me.  Mostly that my RBC, WBC, HGB, and HCT keep declining despite my athletic profile and constant push to raise these levels.  On top of that, my testosterone levels are on the low end of the range, and my free testosterone is very low, outside of range.  There are some other markers that could be cause for concern, such as my BUN and CRE, but I attribute this to a diet slightly high in protein, creatine supplementation, and a high exercise lifestyle.

 

I am not experiencing many symptoms other than always being a bit fatigued and tired (I seem to have a bad sleep/wake cycle and I just abruptly wake up too often despite getting ~8 hours of sleep/night).  

For now, I am focused on my blood cell count, and I have had various other markers checked to see if that could by why they are low (Iron profile, vitamin and nutrient profile) and everything came back looking pretty good.  I have tried many sauna sessions as they have been shown to trigger the release of EPO and stimulate RBC production [1 and 2].  As mentioned I have a very active lifestyle, sometimes leading to overtraining but I try to be smart and keep that minimal.  My diet is well rounded, mostly organic and non-processed food sources with a good macro ratio that fits my lifestyle. 

 

So, I’m not sure where to go from here or what else I should check.  I have spoke with (2) doctors, neither of which were any help.  One of the doctors said that since my numbers were either within range or barely outside, it should not be cause for concern.  Obviously, I am trying to be proactive and as an athlete I would prefer to raise my RBC and HGB count if I can (Not to mention the chronic low WBC count is starting to worry me).

 

So, based off of this and the attached bloodwork, does anyone have any thoughts, suggestions or questions?  Should I find another doctor, perhaps a hematologist or functional medicine doctor to work with?

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  • Posted

    Your fine..  Blood cell counts are always changing and can go up, down, or even stay the same.  Not one of your test results should raise any concern, even your WBC is fine.  If you want to raise your WBC a bit, you can take vitamin C daily, but  really, your fine.  Also, an iron supplement or eating a more iron rich diet, may help with the fatigue, as you are borderline anemic.  Best wishes...
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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply!  I do supplement with Vitamin C already though, and iron as well (in fact my iron levels are mostly on the very high end of the range), which makes it even more odd that my iron levels can be so high yet my RBC so low and again, they all keep continuing to drop which I would have to argue is not normal.   I agree that these number, as a snapshot, are not necessarily cause for concern, but the fact they keep spiraling down despite so many attempts to raise them is.

      Keep in mind, I don't think I am dying or anything, just that I'm not at an optimal place that I wish to be smile

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    • Posted

      I found this. . Certain types of exercise don’t allow for proper blood circulation through all the body’s capillaries. Instead, blood flow is focused to only the muscles that specific exercise has worked. When this happens, blood flow to the remaining cell tissues and organs is reduced. These areas then become deficient in oxygen, nutrients and white blood cells. Low- or moderate-intensity exercise that requires the same type of movement over a long duration of time can cause improper blood circulation and low WBC counts. These exercises include jogging, running, elliptical exercise, cycling and swimming. Opt for a higher intensity interval training program to ensure proper blood circulation and healthy WBC counts....   Perhaps your WBC is slowly going lower from your over-training?   Also.. it's normal for a WBC to lower as a person ages or even diet.  It's very normal.  If there was a cause for concern, your WBC would decline or increase at a pretty rate and it would be quite a significant decrease or increase.  I myself have always had a WBC of around 6.0 and mine also, has slowly decreased and even falls below the reference range.  It's normal...

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your response.  I do a variety of steady state and high intensity training, but I will take this into consideration.  Over-training can surely be a factor albeit I have tried to monitor that better lately.   I will sit back and relax for a bit and get another test done in a couple of months and see if this is still a downward trend.
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