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Can diet or food intolerances lower White Blood Cells?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 03, 2013 at 2:18 AM

I've thought i maybe gluten sensitive for a about a year or more. I have very bad bloating after just about anything i eat. Most my blood work, testing, diagnostics etc. have all been normal/healthy. Anyway the one that isn't would be my Neutrophils WBCs. All the other WBCs are withing range. Interesting as far back as 3 years ago i've had right at the bottom of the "normal" standard range. 45 days ago my WBC was 3.0 and Neutrophils 1.4 (*1.8 bottom of normal range)...Today my WBC was 2.7 and Neutrophils were 1.1. So now im getting worried. Of course Dr. google suggest all kinds of things and im hoping for simply chronic benign Leukopenia, but im wondering if it could be due to the SAD for years. 32 yrs old.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on August 09, 2013
at 06:35 PM

Just to be clear, it could be that if you really have no inflammation, 3-5 could be healthy. However, you could have autoimmunity which undermines your WBCs. Then 3-5 could be unhealthy. I'd also look at platelets as well, since they also go down in tandem with WBCs. But not always.s

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on August 09, 2013
at 06:33 PM

You know I've been hearing that also. I don't know on what basis but Dr. Fuhrman, the sub-15% animal-based calories advocate said that the normal WBC is between 3 and 4. I was floored when he said it. But he didn't cite any scientific evidence. Is it really? I don't think so because I know a ton of people with autoimmune diseases whose WBCs are between 2 and 4, and they're not healthy. I know most Hashi's tend to have low-normal WBCs: like 3.5-5.5. They're also not healthy. So, again, on what basis?

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on April 14, 2013
at 05:04 PM

It may be worthwhile getting your ANA tested but based on your symptoms, it sounds more like gluten sensitivity / Hashimoto's. The low WBC could be unrelated to all this. You don't need to see an alternative doc to get dxed. Just tell your conv doc about possible Hashi & autoimmune symptoms or go straight to an endo/rheumatologist for ANA & Hashi antibodies. I'd wait until you hear back from your hemo, though, as that is more important at this point. Rule out your CBC isn't due to something more serious.

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5 Answers

1
Acec169c573eae9e383f4df59e4899f5

on May 30, 2013
at 01:12 PM

I too have a similar experience. I have adopted a similar paleo diet and my white cell count came back under 4, slightly high liver enzymes and slightly high total cholesterol levels. Two years ago my white cell count was high on a typical grain rich diet. Another paleo poster suggested the high white cell counts are indicative of inflammation and rates between 3-5,000 indicate optimal health. I have been losing weight, my skin has cleared, I have more energy, haven't been sick in two years, in fact ive never felt better. When eating grains I was bloated, tired and gained weight almost overnight. My doctor wants me retested in a few weeks and I will be bringing some of the stories I have read on the net regarding this. Hope you figure out what is going on with you.

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on August 09, 2013
at 06:35 PM

Just to be clear, it could be that if you really have no inflammation, 3-5 could be healthy. However, you could have autoimmunity which undermines your WBCs. Then 3-5 could be unhealthy. I'd also look at platelets as well, since they also go down in tandem with WBCs. But not always.s

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on August 09, 2013
at 06:33 PM

You know I've been hearing that also. I don't know on what basis but Dr. Fuhrman, the sub-15% animal-based calories advocate said that the normal WBC is between 3 and 4. I was floored when he said it. But he didn't cite any scientific evidence. Is it really? I don't think so because I know a ton of people with autoimmune diseases whose WBCs are between 2 and 4, and they're not healthy. I know most Hashi's tend to have low-normal WBCs: like 3.5-5.5. They're also not healthy. So, again, on what basis?

0
Df63b1d315ec43a424d40855e6372530

on April 11, 2013
at 09:52 PM

Are the most common connective tissue auto immune disorders Lupus and Arthritis? Over the past couple of years i have also noticed more sever seasonal allergies, skin dryness (*i.e. dandruff and more facial dryness especially after shaving)

D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on April 14, 2013
at 05:04 PM

It may be worthwhile getting your ANA tested but based on your symptoms, it sounds more like gluten sensitivity / Hashimoto's. The low WBC could be unrelated to all this. You don't need to see an alternative doc to get dxed. Just tell your conv doc about possible Hashi & autoimmune symptoms or go straight to an endo/rheumatologist for ANA & Hashi antibodies. I'd wait until you hear back from your hemo, though, as that is more important at this point. Rule out your CBC isn't due to something more serious.

0
Df63b1d315ec43a424d40855e6372530

on April 11, 2013
at 09:49 PM

Thank you for the comment. My PCP has referred me to a hematologist. My other WBC are in the normal range. My Basic Metabolic panel was normal as well. I've never been diagnosed by a naturopath/holistic or conventional doctor with food intolerance accept lactose intolerance which ive had my entire life, but i've suspected i'm at least sensitive to wheat. Its been difficult to do an elimination diet mostly due to my own lack of self control and craving for those foods. I have severe bloating whenever i eat a big meal, any flour/wheat etc. and I do have other symptoms besides GI ones. I've had moderate depression for several years (*therapy but no drugs used) and over the past year i've had generalized anxiety with some actual anxiety attacks for the first time. I am fatigued more than i would think is "normal" and have problems sustaining a sleep ritual to normalize sleep patterns for a variety of reasons.

I think my situational issues like unemployment, family crisis, and family illness have exacerbated the above, and my inability to adapt or deal with those situations are obviously compounding my health issues. Over the past year i've had CT scans w/ contrast and ultrasounds that were normal as well as a comprehensive stool analysis. I believe i'm gluten sensitive and am aware of the importance of avoiding gluten/grains and dairy and allowing the gut to heal and seal itself to properly absorb nutrients, but like i said above my willpower is weak and im not currently able to pay for an alternative or holistic doctor that can guide me through this. I'm lucky i am able to get conventional doctors to treat me b/c of the Catholic Church's hospitals/clinics/offices etc. I also understand for many people you have try and treat yourself to get better.

0
D33a8d5f095a8532ddf7a0d6c27bfe63

(578)

on April 07, 2013
at 09:57 AM

How low was your WBC and Neutrophils before 45 days ago? If you've been low/low-normal for 3 years and you have food sensitivities, that could indicate autoimmunity. What did your doctor say about 2.7 WBC and 1.1 Neutro? That's low enough to warrant attention. See how high your Lymphs (Absolute count) are. Subtract Lymphs from the WBC. If it's lower than 2.0, you're becoming increasingly susceptible to infection.

I'd ask your PCP to have your ANA tested and ask for a referral to a hematologist. Could be autoimmune-related also. And the most frequent ones that deplete WBCs are connective-tissue related. Hashimoto's could do that also but if you don't have symptoms, I'd look elsewhere. Any symptoms like joint aches, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, muscle aches, depression, dryness, etc.?

0
Df63b1d315ec43a424d40855e6372530

on April 07, 2013
at 03:22 AM

I was also wondering if there is any proof stress/anxiety etc can lower neutrophils and calorie restriction w/ moderate exercise...i've been doing heavy lifting x3 a week and 30 mins. of cardio after or on other days. I typically don't workout at all 2 days a week and have a problem getting to sleep but usually get 8 hours a day.

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