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sarapnsc's avatar

Why would someones white blood cell count be up...cancer/leukemia & lupus has been ruled out. White blood cell count seems to be rising slowly.

Asked by sarapnsc (1439points) September 10th, 2008

Would there be any suggestions to take to the doctor to run a test on something else? I know having a higher white blood cell count is an infection in the body, but what type of infection could it be? There is no change in body weight or level of energy. Thank you all, suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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11 Answers

sarapnsc's avatar

Also, their are no medications being taken, except for vitamins, no alcohol. They do smoke. Thanks!

allengreen's avatar

I had an infection in my intestine a few yrs back, and I felt fine. As it turned out the infection was eating a hole in my large intestine. A couple days after my 35th bday, I went into toxic shock, rushed to the ER—they wanted to remove my intestine but I refused, and have been health since losing 50lbs and stopping to eat meat.

If you have white blood cells elevated you must have some kind of infection somewhere. DO SOMETHING NOW, DO NOT WAIT LIKE I DID, IT ALMOST KILLED ME.

eambos's avatar

When Dr. Shi gets here there will be a lot more answers, but I do know that an elevated WBC count can be a sign of infection. The body is trying to fight off the infection.

augustlan's avatar

@Allen: Glad they were able to fix you up.

sal949's avatar

Any infection causes elevated white cells. Could be a urinary tract infection (most common in the summer months). Any symptoms? i.e. feeling the need to pass urine frequently, often just small amounts. Sometimes you can experience a burning sensation, abdominal cramps, or even just notice a slight odour or darker colour to the urine. If in any doubt get a sample to your practice nurse or GP – they will usually dipstick test it straight away.

augustlan's avatar

Related story: When I was a young teenager, I had horrible stomach pains all the time, and no one could figure out why. I was taken to the ER several times, but they never found anything wrong. About the 4th time I was in the ER, I had an extremely elevated white blood cell count. That, combined with the location of my pain convinced them that I had appendicitis, and I was scheduled for surgery to remove my appendix the following AM. The next morning as I was being prepped for surgery, they took another blood draw, and my white cell count was completely normal! Surgery was called off, and my appendix never did burst. I later deduced that my stomach pain was stress related…but never understood the high white cell count until I read the link in Jason’s post above. Thirty years later, I finally get it! Thanks Jason :)

scamp's avatar

@augustlan My daughter had something similar happen, and after 6 days in the hospital they found an ovarian cyst. A year later it turned into a tumor and had to be removed on an emergency basis. Luckily it was benign.

@sarapnsc , I hope whoever is having gets an answer soon and feels better. Good idea bouncing possible causes off of our doctors here so the patient knows which questions to ask their primary care provider.

shilolo's avatar

Sarapnc. The story you tell is difficult to tease out (sorry). An elevated white blood cell count frequently is a sign of infection, but not always. First of all, it would be important to know how elevated the white blood cell count is, and what the breakdown of the cells is (I.e. are they mainly lymphocytes, neutrophils, basophils, or eosinophils). Second, it would help to know if this is a long-term issue, or more acute (recent). Third, there would be a whole lot of questions that an infectious doctor would ask, which I can’t go into depth here, but would include symptoms (fevers, chills, sweats, rash, etc.), medical history, family history, social history (including pets, immunizations, travel history) and allergies. A physical exam would follow, as would a series of blood tests. Cancer can be difficult to “rule out”, though obvious cancer can be eliminated. As for autoimmune conditions, lupus is one of many that can cause changes in white cells. The bottom line is that without knowing a whole lot more about the person’s condition, it is impossible to even speculate on an infectious cause.

sarapnsc's avatar

I will get as much information as possible and come back and post it. Thank you guys so much!!!!!!!!!!

Moegitto's avatar

My friend had a very high white cell count. He had a Gran Mal seizure and was hospitalized. After a couple of months, his MRI showed that he had lesions on his brain, which today we dont know what it was from. He went to the doctor last Monday to get an MRI read out, and his white cells are just above normal now. The doctors still don’t know what made him have a seizure or what the lesions were, but their gone now. You want to make sure to keep going to the doctor to keep up on your cells!!!

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