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Low White Blood Cell Count
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Low White Blood Cell Count

Hi. I am a 35 year old African American female. My white blood cell count has been consistently very low for as long as I can remember ( at least as far back as 1996). The doctors would always make me repeat the test in a few months and as long as it increased a little they'd tell me I probably had a cold or something---but I didn't. I rarely get sick. In May/08 it was 3.4. Now it's currently 3.1 (neutrophils 1392 and everything else is within range. In 2006 my neutrophil count was 2735 and in 2008 it was 1537...so it keeps going down).  My most recent doctor tested me for EBV and it was positive. She said it was an old infection and that this was the cause of my low WBC. I am also slightly anemic due to fibroids.  I am just wondering if I should be getting additional tests or if my WBC will just remain low and I have nothing to worry about. ( I am HIV negative). My mom died from ovarian cancer and I read that having a weak immune system makes you more succeptible to cancer.I'm taking a supplement called Biobran (Mgn3) in hopes of boosting it. Should I be worried about this low WBC? Could I have leukemia, lupus or something else? My doctors have changed over the years but no one seems concerned. I would appreciate your input.  Thanks.
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First, I apologize for missing your question and taking so long to respond.

A low white blood cell count can be present in autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, so that is a possibility, but there is much more to the diagnosis than that, so you should speak to your doctor about whether you warrant further testing based on your symptoms (eg an ANA and ESR test).  EBV can cause a decrease in white cells, but I would consider asking to see a hematologist for a possible bone marrow biopsy because your number continues to drop.  This will hopefully reveal nothing serious and give you some peace of mind.


Good luck.
JMK MD
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