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  • what to expect at a hematogist vist?

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    Old 04-03-2009, 12:51 PM   #1
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    what to expect at a hematogist vist?

    I found this site when I was researching for causes of low WBC and decided to join so I can post messages and if possible hear from other people with the same problem.

    I am 35, black (was informed that blacks usually have low WBC) and a female. I started craving ice (was eating/chewing several cups of crushed ice) about a few months ago and some friends asked me to go see a doctor. I did in February and found out that my WBC was 2.2 (reference range 3.8 to 10.8). Other results were:

    WBC 2.2 (reference range 3.8 - 10.8) Low
    RBC 3.96 (4.20 - 5.80) Low
    Hemoglobin 10.8 (11.7 - 16.5) Low
    Hematocrit 32.8 (35.5 - 47.5) Low
    RDW 16.8 (11.0 - 15.0) High
    Ferritin 7 Low


    The doctor placed me on multigen caplets since the result indicated iron deficiency anemia. First, he tried to see where I was loosing blood from - could be from my periods as I have too frequent periods (every 21 - 25 days and sometimes less). He asked me to go see an OB/GYN after an ultrasound result showed I have a mildly enlarged uterus, no fibroids or cysts. The OB/GYN placed me on birth control pills (YAZ) and scheduled me for an endometrial biopsy on 4/9/09. On March 28th 09, I did another CBC using another Lab with the following results:

    WBC 2.1(reference range 4.0- 10.5) Alert
    RBC 4.02 (3.80- 5.10)
    Hemoglobin 11.7 (11.5 - 15.0)
    Hematocrit 35 (34 - 44)
    RDW 18.2 (11.7 - 15.0) High
    Neutrophils (absolute) 0.8 (1.8 - 7.8) Alert
    Neutrophils 36 (40 - 74) Low
    Lymphs 50 (14 - 46) High

    From the results, my anemia improved but my WBC went down a little bit. On the day blood was collected, I had a low grade fever (99) didn't even know until the nurse was taking my temp. Also before that day I have been having joint pains. The joint pains are still there but very mild. My doctor has now referred me to a hematologist to see what is going on with me.

    My question is, has anyone else experienced this? Is this something I should be worried about? My appt with the hematologist is 4/14 - but it seems like forever and I'm so worried. What should I expect at the visit? More blood tests or is the hematologist going to suggest a bone marrow biopsy/aspiration? I have been doing a lot of research and can't find someone with that low WBC. Any black women out there with a WBC of 2.1? Is this normal? Also forgot to mention that about two years ago, my WBC was 3.9. Sorry for the long post

     
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    Old 04-07-2009, 10:11 PM   #2
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    Re: what to expect at a hematogist vist?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newbies View Post
    I found this site when I was researching for causes of low WBC and decided to join so I can post messages and if possible hear from other people with the same problem.

    I am 35, black (was informed that blacks usually have low WBC) and a female. I started craving ice (was eating/chewing several cups of crushed ice) about a few months ago and some friends asked me to go see a doctor. I did in February and found out that my WBC was 2.2 (reference range 3.8 to 10.8). Other results were:

    WBC 2.2 (reference range 3.8 - 10.8) Low
    RBC 3.96 (4.20 - 5.80) Low
    Hemoglobin 10.8 (11.7 - 16.5) Low
    Hematocrit 32.8 (35.5 - 47.5) Low
    RDW 16.8 (11.0 - 15.0) High
    Ferritin 7 Low


    The doctor placed me on multigen caplets since the result indicated iron deficiency anemia. First, he tried to see where I was loosing blood from - could be from my periods as I have too frequent periods (every 21 - 25 days and sometimes less). He asked me to go see an OB/GYN after an ultrasound result showed I have a mildly enlarged uterus, no fibroids or cysts. The OB/GYN placed me on birth control pills (YAZ) and scheduled me for an endometrial biopsy on 4/9/09. On March 28th 09, I did another CBC using another Lab with the following results:

    WBC 2.1(reference range 4.0- 10.5) Alert
    RBC 4.02 (3.80- 5.10)
    Hemoglobin 11.7 (11.5 - 15.0)
    Hematocrit 35 (34 - 44)
    RDW 18.2 (11.7 - 15.0) High
    Neutrophils (absolute) 0.8 (1.8 - 7.8) Alert
    Neutrophils 36 (40 - 74) Low
    Lymphs 50 (14 - 46) High

    From the results, my anemia improved but my WBC went down a little bit. On the day blood was collected, I had a low grade fever (99) didn't even know until the nurse was taking my temp. Also before that day I have been having joint pains. The joint pains are still there but very mild. My doctor has now referred me to a hematologist to see what is going on with me.

    My question is, has anyone else experienced this? Is this something I should be worried about? My appt with the hematologist is 4/14 - but it seems like forever and I'm so worried. What should I expect at the visit? More blood tests or is the hematologist going to suggest a bone marrow biopsy/aspiration? I have been doing a lot of research and can't find someone with that low WBC. Any black women out there with a WBC of 2.1? Is this normal? Also forgot to mention that about two years ago, my WBC was 3.9. Sorry for the long post
    Hi Newbies,

    You are absolutely correct: black people, and to be specific, black women are known to have low white blood cell counts and it's usually completely normal. In the bloodsteam, there are a certain number of white blood cells floating around; however, there are also TONS of white blood cells which are sticking to the insides of the blood vessels not floating around. When one takes a blood sample, you are only measuring the WBCs floating around in the blood--this is not necessarily a reflection of the total white count. In general, a white count of 4 to 10 floating in the blood is normal, but black women often have a higher proportion of WBCs sticking to the inside of the vessels than floating. There is noting abnormal about this in terms of immune function.

    Now, one has to be careful as you do want to make sure there aren't other conditions causing a low white count. In your case, low iron obviously results in low hemoglobin, but can have an effect on the white blood cells too. Additionaly, as with any other young black woman presenting with low white counts and possible systemic symptoms, you have to rule out lupus. If simple screening blood tests are normal, and there are no other concerning findings, it's nothing to be concerned about.

    (For those of you who may be reading this wondering why I keep mentioning "black woman" with such emphasis: it is an observed phenomenon that black women tend to have lower white blood cell counts compared to the general population [especially non-Caribbean black women], and lupus is also more commonly found in this population) Newbies, I am NOT suggesting you have lupus--I'm just saying they'll do simple blood tests and ask you a few questions to try to rule it out.

     
    Old 04-08-2009, 07:42 AM   #3
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    Re: what to expect at a hematogist vist?

    Hi Cgranulomatis,

    Thanks for your response. My appt with the hematologist is 4/14, I will ask about doing the test for Lupus. I am concerned because my WBC two years ago was 3.9 so 2.1 is not normal for me. Thanks again.

     
    Old 04-09-2009, 01:27 PM   #4
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    Re: what to expect at a hematogist vist?

    am 56 years old black male, 5 feet 9 inches and weigh 150 lbs. I am a vegetarian and have been since 1979. I have had a low white blood count since about 1991 (the oldest records I have). I rarely get sick, I exercise regularly, I run, I bike several bike rides each year, and I also ski as often as I can. I feel fine, but I have been going to a hematologist for almost five years. My white blood count has been averaging from 1.9 to 2.8 during the past five years. I have had two bone marrow test done and both came back negative. My doctor has tested me for just about everything I can be tested for and nothing is showing up. I have read articles that say it is normal for some black folks to have a low white blood count like myself and be perfectly healthy? I want/need to know if my health is in danger or am I just an 'outlier.' Is it the food we eat, the water we drink or what. There appears to be more and more people with low white blood count. ??? I am clueless. Please, Please, Please let's keep in touch.

     
    Old 04-09-2009, 01:35 PM   #5
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    Re: what to expect at a hematogist vist?

    Hematologist visit consist of blood work and lots of questions. Questions like where you have traveled to (countries), what industries you have worked in, past family history of cancer, your diet, where you currently live and so on. You will probable be scheduled for blood work every month so they can get a baseline on your blood count. The bone marrow test is pretty painless….they use good drugs. I have had two and they really weren’t that bad. You must have someone to drive you have after the bone marrow test. I hope this help.

     
    Old 04-13-2009, 04:55 AM   #6
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    Re: what to expect at a hematogist vist?

    Thanks Wonderinglt1 for the info. I had to move my appointment with the hematologist from 4/14 to today 4/13 because my joints are killing me - they are heavy and weak. Do you have any symptoms? Thanks again.

     
    Old 04-13-2009, 07:27 AM   #7
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    Re: what to expect at a hematogist vist?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by newbies View Post
    Thanks Wonderinglt1 for the info. I had to move my appointment with the hematologist from 4/14 to today 4/13 because my joints are killing me - they are heavy and weak. Do you have any symptoms? Thanks again.
    Hello Newbies; I don't have any symptoms. I think I am as healthy as an ox. I left weights three times a week, bike anywhere from 20 - 50 miles a week, I run 6 mile runs in he annual Boulder Bolder, bike 65 - 100 mile in various bike events. I hope all is well with you. Thanks.

     
    Old 04-14-2009, 06:41 AM   #8
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    Re: what to expect at a hematogist vist?

    Wonderinglt1, thanks for the good wishes. I went to see the hematologist yesterday and a CBC was done right there and guess what? My WBC was 4.4! The hematologist was like "What are you doing here? I don't see anything wrong with you" His conclusion was that I might have had a virus then. But what kind of viral infection last about a month? My first test was on February 23rd (WBC 2.2), the second test was on March 28th (WBC 2.1) and then the third test which was yesterday April 13th WBC 4.4. I have another test scheduled for April 30th. I am thinking I might have "Cyclic Neutropenia" - where the WBC fluctuates every 21 days but the hematologist does not think so as I do not have infections every month. Will update again after my test on the 30th.

     
    Old 04-14-2009, 06:58 AM   #9
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    Re: what to expect at a hematogist vist?

    Newbie, that is GREAT news! I am happy for you. I see my hematologist tomorrow. I am now on a three month visit cycle. I still feel fine, no illness of any kind. I will update you on my CBC results tomorrow. Take care and stay healthy by eating the right foods, exercising and getting plenty of sleep.

     
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