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White blood cell low


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#1 daniel123

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:31 AM

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I'm a 50 yr old male been suffering with IBS for several years. This Feb I was hospitalized for diverticulitis. IV Flagil and cipro for about a week. Stayed on liquids for about two weeks. During my stay there the attending Doc told me my WBC count was a little low. He didn't seem to think it was anything and didn't discuss it further. Ever since then I have had no significant BM. Alternating constipation, very small (<10mm ribbon like) stools or diarrhea. Abdominal pain that comes and goes on my upper left side as if there is a huge mass under my ribs. Lower left abdominal tenderness. My lower back seems hot all the time to the point it is difficult to sleep. I am scheduled for a colon resection on the 1st of Sept. Doc seems to think getting the damaged (diver)sigmoid out will help. Went to the ER a week ago thinking I had perferated, feeling real bad and feverish. CT reveal diverticulosis but no abcess, perferations. However, the shocking news was they said it shows a "potential" pulmonary nodule on the lower left lobe. Kinda scary. Also, probable small cyst in the liver and "old granulomatous disease". CBC came back with a low WBC count again. WBC is 3.9, just out of the ref range of 4.5-11.0. I've been on Augmenton for a couple of weeks now to prepare for surgery. The pumonary nodule and the WBC is really got me freaking out. I don't smoke, drink one to two drinks a night and am very active (stay at home dad of a 2 yr old and 5 month old). Not sure what to do... got the feeling I'm really detached from the doctors. As if they are too busy to follow through. Sorry for the rambling.


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#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 02:28 PM

One thing to remember is the reference (aka normal range) isn't all people who are healthy and every number not in that range is abnormal and diseased.The reference range for almost everything includes 95% of all healthy people (mean plus or minus two standard deviations from the mean).Usually there is another number which is the "when we get concerned" number. If you took everyone's blood often enough they would eventually be out of the reference range for something.http://www.ehow.com/about_5344433_causes-low-wbc_.html mentions a slightly different reference range (as sometimes each lab adjusts to how their procedures effect the numbers) but the number where the concern starts is 3500 (or 3.5 given how they usually adjust for units) and under 2500 (or 2.5) is where they really start seeing it being dangerously low.Medications may alter the number so it could just be from something you are taking making it look a little low right now.Also most people if you looked have some nodule, cyst or other small thing that will show up on some X-ray or scan. A lot of them are just like a scar from some infection you had sometime in your life or some little bobble in how the organ developed or grew. Depending on how it looks they may do a biopsy or not. Most of the time the "normally abnormal" things look like all the other harmless ones and not like the "dangerously abnormal ones" and get ignored by the doctor because they'd do more damage taking it out/sampling it than the thing causes if you just leave it alone.
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