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Very high white blood count
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Very high white blood count

My 23 year old son went to the Doctor because he just has not been feeling
well. He thought he just had a cold, Turns out he has pneumonia. The doctor then
tells him that his white blood count was very high 60,000 my son in return asked
the doctor what could cause it to be so high and the doctor tells him Leukemia.
I am worried sick as is my son. Is there anything else that can cause such a
high white blood count? Also should he be in the hospital for this? The doctor he went to is just a GP. Any advice ?

                       Worried Mom,
                         Laura
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6 Comments
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There are some other things that can cause it, but nothing that would ease your anxiety, so I'll just say to listen to the doctor.  I've been to a lot of docs myself and find that the GPs are generally the most sensitive and well-trained.  He doesn't need to be in the hospital unless his GP says so; unfortunately, there are many people walking around in society with high WBC counts as a result of this or that.  So don't worry too much.  What comes will come, and I'm sure your GP wil do what he can to make sure your son is safe.
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Your son's GP cannot make a diagnosis of leukemia based on a high WBC alone ! In addition, pneumonia and other infections will increase a persons white cell count (WBC). Your son does have an awfully high WBC. Please keep a close eye on him and if he isn't feeling better, than my advice would be to take him to urgent care or the ER. After your son recovers, I would take him back to your physician (or perhaps another physician) to recheck his WBC again.

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Hi I agree with plategirl.  Mono can also cause high white blood cell count as do infections as you mentioned.  It is also a possiblity he might still have pneumonia get a lung exray and go to another doctor for more blood work.  I once had a doctor tell me that my yeast infection (first time I ever had one and thankfully never again did get one) was a sign of HIV boy did he scare the heck out me for no reason.  I went straight to anotother doctor who told me he was way out of line, needless to say got tested anyway and went back and blasted the doctor.  Wish your son well.
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Hey Laura,

My husband (41 yrs. old) has had a high wbc since August and we still haven't found the cause. He only found out it was high because he went to have his blood pressure/cholesterol checked. After several blood tests by his GP he was sent to a hemotologist/oncologist. Let me tell you, we were scared. He also mentioned Leukemia. He has since had a bone marrow test that turned up negative. This was done to check for any blood cancers. If your son's Dr. recommends this please know it is very painful. See if they will put him to sleep. Also, my husband had a lung x-ray which turned out fine. We were told to maybe try having a colonoscopy, so we did. That turned out fine also. My husband says he is so over these tests and getting poked all the time. Until recently he had no other symptoms but last week he had two episodes of hand/arm tremors, he has a headache most of the time, and this morning he had a sharp shooting pain in the front right side of his head that within a couple of minutes went away. Next step now is to visit with a neurologist. We are so confused. All of these tests are not cheap and the Hemotologist said stress can also cause high wbc, but my husbands count is now at 20,000 so we will keep trying to find what is going on. I hope the information I have told you might be useful to you. I wish you luck and remember, don't give up. You know your son better than anyone and he knows if he doesn't feel right.
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Avatar_n_tn
I found that this article on mayoclinic.com

High white blood cell count
What causes a high white blood cell count?
- No name / No state given
Mayo Clinic hematologist Ruben Mesa, M.D., and colleagues answer select questions from readers.

Answer
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

The hospital told me my count was alittle high and it was most likely the emotional stress i was having at work and released me. I was there because i collapsed from  pain when one of my ovarian cysts rupture. But im fine now. Hope this helps.
To worried4u you should take your husband to a chiropractor the hand tremors headaches my back was a mess I lost my job couldnt do a thing! the doc told me I had bulging discs and it was cause of age. I was 23 at the time!!! I used to have horrible migrains until I found out my spine was completely out of alignment after three weeks all that stopped. I returned to working. I continued with my care and im a 10 times healthier now. My husband was always geting dizzy couldnt see right in one of his eyes got sick all the time well I took him with me to the chiropractor and he was the worst case they ever seen. His brain stem was being crushed but the top vertabre. After a few weeks that all stopped my husband has not been sick at all the last two years!!! If you decided make sure you research and find a chiropractor that is good and cares about you! Some offer massaging but dont get with anyone who pushes prescriptions. Chripractic care is about healing from the inside out and straigting out you spine so all your nerves fuction properly to get your body to heal itself and fuction correctly.  I hope this helps
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Your son really should have a more detailed workup, a WBC of 60,000 is very high even with infection. (Mono can drive WBC's up pretty high though but you see mostly ). Sometimes I have seen pretty high WBC's with patients (I was as a nurse)  with severe infections (as high as 40,000) and is called a leukmoid reaction. How are his other counts...such as RBC's, hemaglobin and platelets? He definitely needs a chest xray to assess where and to what extent his pneumonia is. He very well might need more aggressive antibiotics (IV's) for a good sized pneumonia. Either way, my senses tell me that your son really needs to get a much more thorough exam to determine why his WBC's are that high and aggressive treatment of his pneumonia as well. What tests has the doc ordered for him?
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