Multiple Sclerosis Community
White blood cells
About This Community:

Our Patient-to-Patient MS Forum is where you can communicate with other people who share your interest in Multiple Sclerosis. This forum is not monitored by medical professionals.

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
Blank Blank

White blood cells

I am reading Curing MS by Dr. Howard Weiner.

Haven't gotten too far (over my head!) but as I understand it, MS patients have high white blood cell counts, right?

My blood work showed low white blood cells. As a matter of fact, it read low:

    4.4 (range 4.8-10.8 K/mm3)

I am also reading about neutrophils, lymphocyts, etc. All of those are in the normal range.

So should I conclude that I don't have MS and move on??

Suzanne    
Related Discussions
17 Comments Post a Comment
Blank
195469_tn?1388326488
Suzanne, sweetheart....read the rest of the book before you start scaring yourself about whether you do or do not have MS.  Girlfriend, you are going to worry yourself sick, as they say down here in the South.

Calm down my sweet girl...calm down.  Let us know how you either enjoyed the book or didn't like it, after you turn the LAST PAGE....LOL

Okay?

Big Hugs,
Heather
Blank
420469_tn?1217650963
I'm actually very interested in this. I have had a chronic elevation in lymphocytes ( 4.0 being the top range here, and I usually sit between 5.5-6.1), for no known reason.

I have often wondered if there was any way there could be a connection between that and the rest of my junk. Now, granted, I wonder if EVERYTHING is connected to the rest, and try to sort out what's "normal" and what's part of my 'mystery illness'.

I'd love to know what it says (even just for speculation sake) about elevations in WBC, and if it says anything about specific types of white blood cells (lymphcytes, neutrophils, leukocytes, etc).

Thanks for bringing this up!

Christine
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
Cracking up, Heather! :-)

I thought I was being practical, level-headed, methodical even.

If A, then B.

If not A, then not B.

Elevated WBC = MS

Low WBC does not = MS

And good knows I worry enough for CT, might I be able to do that for your state too?

Christine, I got the book at my library. See if you can find a copy. He writes in a novel sort of format, easy on the readability scale, if not the comprehension angle of such a topic!! So it's not like he posts it in a chart and tada! there's the data. I'd love a flowchart of this disease!  

And speaking of readability, my main post about being low on WBC repeated the word low. What I call "redundantly repeating"! LOL

Thanks for the shoulder Heather!

Suzanne  
Suzanne

  
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
According to the Mayo Clinic web site

White blood cells (leukocytes) help fight infection in your body. A normal white blood cell count is between 4,500 and 10,000 cells per microliter. A high white blood cell count (leukocytosis) isn't a specific disease. But it may indicate an underlying problem that requires medical evaluation. Causes of a high white blood cell count include:

    * Infection
    * Use of certain medications, such as corticosteroids, antibiotics or anti-seizure       drugs
    * Severe physical or emotional stress
    * Chronic bone marrow diseases such as a myeloproliferative disorder
    * Acute or chronic leukemia
    * Tissue damage, such as from burns
-----------------------

I don't see MS here!  MS is not an infection. This is a very simplistic answer to complex circumstances, I know, but still, we do ourselves harm trying to be our own doctors. Please don't worry about blood counts and MS unless your doctor gives you some indication that this is a problem.

ess
Blank
420469_tn?1217650963
No, MS isn't an infection, but it is an auto-immune disorder, which is where my curiosity comes into play.

If the body's fighter cells (white blood cells) are attacking the body as though the body was an enemy, couldn't an elevated white blood cell count (or any type of white blood cells) be indicative of an auto-immune disorder?

I'm personally not worried about it, I'm curious about it. I've lived almost 3 years with elevations in my white blood cells (lymphocytes), but I wonder about the science of it is all. That's why I found it particularly interesting that it would even be mentioned.

Christine
(un-dx)
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
So I go over and pick up my lab report...read my lymphocyte #, and do a doubletake!

If yours is high at 5.5-6.1, why is mine a whopping 28?

Ahhh yes, you are in Canada, I'm in the States.

There's even a subdivision on the report:

Has "Ct." after the same 5 listings of Neutrophils, lymphocyte, monocytes, eosinophil and basophils. So there are 10 numbers. Normal on 'em all.

Clueless, but curious, in CT,
Suzanne
Blank
195469_tn?1388326488
I have had a higher than normal white blood cell count for 15 years.  It's runs around 12,000 to 13,000.  This sent my doctor's into a tail spin and I wound up at the leading Cancer Center in Roanoke, VA., to test for cancer of the blood.  Leukemia.

To this day, 15 years later, I STILL have a higher than normal white blood cell count.  I know that there are forum members that might say, Heather you should be investigating this...I say I have and so have my doctor's.  No doctor have ever been able to explain the high count.  Certainly if I had cancer somewhere in my body, after 15 years, I would be dead by now.

So Christine, I have always felt like you.  If MS is an auto-immune disorder and my immune system is all wacked out due to MS, than why wouldn't I have a higher than normal white blood cell count?  No one has ever been able to explain this to me.  Maybe our resident "Den Mother," Quix, could answer this mystery.

I have always wondered WHY?

Heather

P.S. Suzanne, I am headed to the library tomorrow, to check out this book.  We will compare notes when WE are finished reading it.  I'm also glad that you knew that I was kidding around with you, when I told you to "relax."  I WAS trying to make you laugh.  You have to know that I would never "slap you across the face," for you asking these kinds of questions after only reading 'a little of a book.'  But Suzanne, my sweet girl...you really DO need to RELAX....LOL
Blank
420469_tn?1217650963
Well, normal's good!!!

I've been looking around online, but I can't find much that's not in medicalese, or talking about lymphocytes, other than in relation to Cerebral Spinal Fluid (which doesn't help me any! LOL).

I'm just curious, I find the concept very interesting (I'm also a person who's curious about a LOT of stuff! lol)

Christine
(un-dx)
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
I used to have a Garfield puzzle that said "If I were any lazier I'd be in a coma."

I'm relaxeddddddd........

:-)
Suzanne
Blank
195469_tn?1388326488
That's my girl....relaxxxxxxxxeeeeeeeeedddddddddd is good.  I'm with you, I sometimes get excited and forget to rellllllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.

:>)
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
Hi Heather and Christine, (and others),

  We can wait to hear what Quix thinks, but my understanding is that white blood cells identify a foreign body and atrack and destroy it.  For example, a bacteria in the urinary tract, germs invading the skin after it has been cut, etc.

  Autoimmune diseases have no foreign objects invading the body.  The immune system recognizes something that is already present in the body (the myelins sheath) and mistakes it for something that should not be there.  So it makes antibodies to fight it and attack it.

  Antibiodies are the foreign substance in the body destroying the myelins sheath, thyroid in autoimmune thyroid disease etc,.  But I think the white blood cells do not get called into play because nothing is actually invading the body.  the myelin sheath has always been there.  But you will see high antibody counts in autoimmune disease.

  I hope I made sense.  We'll see what the doctor thinks.  She knows more than I do,.

  Elaine
Blank
147426_tn?1317269232
I disagree.  Elevated white cells have nothing to do with MS.  Even elevated white cells in the CSF have little to do with it.  Period.

Q
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
My understanding is this -

Disease fighting cells or proteins fall under WBC.
Probably there are at least 50 of them.
Whether a problem is external (like infection) or internal (like our own body mistakenly creates bad cells), WBC have to identify them.
It is mentioned that our own body makes lot of cancer like cells all the time. We dont develop cancer as our immune system recognizes and kills them.
Even in case of MS (or any auto immune problem), our own immune system identifies part of our body as enemy and tries to destory. In this case brain and myelin. So there  has to an elevated level of WBC in our body. I do feel that even diseases like MS will have elevated level of WBC.
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
i have informed that i have MS and has has it for years.  but to clear up somethings. you usually have low white cell count such as mines reading 3.2.  also i was informed that there are diferent families that are fighting themselves which is the reason they are low because instead of fighting off infections and other viruses they are turning on themselves.  now this may be a part of it but this is not the finally answer for MS.  there are several test that should be reviewed before you say MS is the problem but it is a hard thing to define but once seen there is no mistake about it
Blank
Avatar_f_tn
My WBC stays between 18 and 20. Doctors are baffled. Several years ago I had an MRI of my brain. "white spots" all over and something at the pituitary gland. Never really been diagnosed with MS. I have fibromyalgia. Had sarcoidosis in lungs before. Had endemetriosis and got total hysterectomy.  I spent last thurs thru sat night in hospital. Blood pressure 175/110. WBC 20. Had heart cath. Heart muscles good and no blockages. Yea for me! However I continue to have elevated WBC. Heart rate of 100+. Pain in throat and chest.  Chest CT clear.... I have no energy at all!  I have to blow dry my hair sitting down as well as put on my makeup.  I am taking syntroid( nodules on thyroid). Last dec nodules on kidneys and spleen. Yet with all of the above no one seems to put the puzzle together.  I need some advice ASAP!   Not sure how much longer I can go on feeling the way I do.  
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I have been officially diagnosed with MS for 10 years. One MS mimicker is Lyme disease, which produces white matter on the brain and extreme fatigue as well. Doctors often will not look for Lyme and some neurologists in the past have given misdiagnoses of MS when indeed it was Lyme. Nothing else you have mentioned is specific to MS or even an MS problem for many. Also, white matter and fatigue would not be enough to give a diagnosis and to diagnose MS neuros have to go through the Mcdonald's guidelines. Look it up for a clearer understanding.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
I feel the need to add information in case someone with MS did an internet search for this information.
Having a low WBC does not indicate that you do not have MS.
People diagnosed with MS take disease modifying drugs among a combination of other drugs. Many of these drugs tend to lower the patients white blood cell count. If the White blood cell count is lowered then the medication is doing it's job because lowering the white blood cell count means less of them will be fighting your own body. This is, as others have stated, why the count may be initially high prior to diagnosis. But, it would be this way with any autoimmune disease and there are a lot of them. A low WBC alone is NOT indicative of MS. It is not even a consideration for most neuros have to give a diagnosis.

And in response to the original question. A low WBC does not remove the possibility of MS. Mine was lower at diagnosis, prior to any disease modifying drugs. A person can have a low count for many reasons. MS is not a get out of other disease and illness free card :)

Blank
Post a Comment
To
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
Multiple Sclerosis Community Resources
RSS Expert Activity
469720_tn?1388149949
Blank
Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm-treatable... Blank
Oct 04 by Lee Kirksey, MDBlank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
Top Neurology Answerers
1831849_tn?1383231992
Blank
kwarendorf
Great Neck, NY
667078_tn?1316004535
Blank
HVAC
Durham, NC
338416_tn?1413581329
Blank
jensequitur
Fort Worth, TX
987762_tn?1331031553
Blank
supermum_ms
Australia
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
SarahL2491
Alagash, ME
Avatar_f_tn
Blank
essdipity