View Full Version : Low White Blood Cell Count vegan-related?
06-29-2005, 01:56 PM
I have been vegan most all of my life and am very healthy, active and feeling great. Recent blood work showed low WBC, everything else fine. Could this be vegan related...anything I should be doing or could be doing to improve this...my doctor suggested eating a bit of meat but I just can't see myself doing that. I have none of the common problems or situations that cause low wbc. More often I am having slight immunity problems like minor infections, (maybe due to low wbc).
06-29-2005, 03:42 PM
If your doctor suggested meat for iron intake, maybe you ought to up your consumption of beans and dark leafies?
06-29-2005, 08:02 PM
My iron, H and H etc were great on the blood tests, but I will increase those foods which I already eat lots of anyway.
06-30-2005, 04:35 AM
I looked around a little bit, and this caught my attention. It’s worth searching on the net:
“The significance of an increase of the number of white blood cells in the blood is it means that the lymph system is producing more white blood cells in response to the presence of pathogenic bacteria and viruses in the body. The higher the white blood cell count, the greater is the number of pathogenic organisms.”
From this article, It looks like white cell counts can be directly related to the amounts of pesticide/herbicide we ingest from store bought items. Are you eating organic? Or at least washing your veggies/fruit really well? You might be putting something into your system that your body thinks it has to fight.
I know that seems sort of flip flop from what you said, but it's all got to be connected some how. Something is keeping it too low...
06-30-2005, 12:33 PM
how low are your white blood cells? have you been sick a lot lately? has your wbc been checked before recently? it may be normal for you to have a lower wbc than the avg person.
my mil has low wbc. she's going for some type of treatment, but i forgot what it is. but i think her body thinks that her wbc are a disease and try to kill them.
i did get her a vitamin at the hfs called "blood builder." the lady at the hfs said that lots of people have used this and its helped a lot. i dont remember the brand name of it. i'm pretty sure that it has iron and folic acid in it. (her dr told her to get more folic acid, and was excited that this vitamin had it.)
06-30-2005, 04:32 PM
my wbc has been slightly low in my last few tests, just a couple of points below reference range. By itself, seemingly insignificant, and maybe it is my personal norm, but coupled with a few skin infections which for me is highly unusual since I keep house and body very clean, and don't normally get them. I so rarely get sick in any other way, seems to be a sign of lowered immunity lately, a bit of a concern. I am so very healthy and feeling great every day, maybe slight increased fatigue on some days, more off than on, but not much other than that.
I will try this blood builder formula, even tho all my vit b/folic blood tests were fine and my doctor reassured me I am not deficient in any vit b's or folic. I am excited to try this even tho I have been taking b's and folic by themselves, maybe a better formula/balance would be good.
interesting...I wonder if that would apply to 'low' wbc. Organic foods are not easily found where I live and I am not as thorough as I should be in washing conventional produce - I should buy and use that special produce soap...a wake up call for me, thanks.
07-01-2005, 07:38 AM
Gosh, if your wbc is only a couple of points outside the range, I definitely wouldn't worry about it! Ranges can't be perfect, kwim?!
07-01-2005, 05:23 PM
yes, wbc is just out of the low range, but progressively getting lower over the last few tests, and coupled with even lower neutrophils, and together with the few skin infections, I would like to see what can be done. I was doing some research on leukopenia and so far have not seen any mention of a vegan diet playing a role. Hope to learn more.
07-02-2005, 06:30 AM
Gotcha. :) If you've read The China Study, you'll probably be convinced that a whole foods vegan diet is the healthiest one around! Too bad most of the medical profession is clueless!:rolleyes:
07-02-2005, 12:43 PM
I am a long time whole foods vegan - - wishing the medical professionals, friends and family would come to understand more about it.
07-02-2005, 06:41 PM
Yeah. Unfortunately, having the title "Dr." does not mean you have dietician/nutritionist credentials, as they are not required to take those studies.
Why on earth should doctors have to know what's good for us to eat? (yes, that was meant to be snarky).
07-06-2005, 06:49 AM
how about getting a second opinion? are there any specialists in your area?
08-05-2005, 12:09 AM
Ok, I am a brand new member but I had to jump in here. I am not a doctor, but I am a laboratory technologist, I work with this stuff every day. I am appalled that a doctor would suggest that you eat meat to increase your wbc count! That is just ridiculous. Usually they will suggest that if your H&H is low, for the iron, but you can get that from veggie sources, as was mentioned here. Meat has nothing to do with your wbc count. Get a second opinion.
08-05-2005, 12:56 PM
Yes - - I hope I live long enough to see the day when vegans are not looked at by non-vegans as fanatic anti-social evil cult members, but, seen as they truly are . . . caring, 'TOTALLY RESPONSIBLE AND TAKING FULL CONTROL OF THEIR LIVES AND HEALTH', 'giving-back-to-the-world' people who willingly make the choice to treat their bodies as temples, who do not pull down a whole country with rampant illnesses and obesity caused by harmful foods, who choose not to burden loved ones and society with their diseases from not eating healthy, who are gentle on the earth with their plant based diets, conserving our planets resources and who are not afraid to go against the majority no matter what. I really like my doctor and can't really get out of my town too easily to find another, so I will stay with this one, and who knows, after seeing me for a while as a patient, this doctor just might do some research about vegans, or attend a seminar or something - well that's what I am hoping anyway, and maybe staying with this doctor is my small way to add to the growing awareness of what the vegan diet can do (I must be the only vegan (except for my husband) for many miles around here). I think my low wbc is a bit worse, and might be genetic who knows, and not related to vegan diet at all, but it sure would be nice to never hear anyone suggest eating meat again at every little or big health concern I talk about. Not only do I choose not to eat meat/dairy/egg etc, but I really couldn't do it, ever, since it would make me very sick and nauseous. I am A positive blood type - so for me - - my body NEEDS to always keep vegan. I think many years from now us vegans will be understood and never again have to face what we face today.
08-10-2005, 09:16 PM
I am a nurse and cannot think of a vegan-related reason that your WBC might be low. This can be a sign of bone marrow suppression, and as you said, it means your immunity may be compromised. If your other lab values are normal, then I don't think diet is an issue. Some people might have a "normal" value for them that is slightly outside of the normal ranges; however I agree with those who suggested getting a second opinion, especially if you have noticed that you are getting sick more easily.
08-11-2005, 03:26 AM
r17stars, thanks, I am seeing my same doctor in a couple of weeks and will talk more about it. I will get a second opinion some time after this. All my other values were perferct, except neutrophils were low also, but I feel great except for the concerning increasing minor infections.
08-11-2005, 03:33 AM
(minor skin infections. that is)
.....the more I think about it and how I feel otherwise, which is great, the more I think it is not diet related at all, and that my healthy diet contributes greatly to the fast healing of any infection episodes with no meds. But I will certainly keep on top of it.
08-11-2005, 05:23 AM
What kind of skin infections? Rashes that appear for no reason? Or cuts/bug bites gone bad?
08-11-2005, 07:38 AM
cellulitis skin infections, that is all, nothing else, and they all come and go with no meds or rxs - so even though it seems there is some ongoing immunity problem, I still must have alot of strong whatever to always fight them naturally.
08-11-2005, 07:42 AM
my doctor says these are from the normal bacteria on clean skin that everyone has, but that I just don't have that little extra immunity to prevent them after any tiny break in the skin.
08-11-2005, 10:24 AM
I know you are working with/waiting on doctor instructions, but maybe in the meantime you should consider increasing the amount of healthy skin factors into your diet. Like Omega 3 fatty acids from Flax, zinc from various seeds like pumpkin, healthy oils (like extra virgin olive) labeled “cold pressed” or “expeller processed”, selenium (found in whole wheat, brazil nuts, etc.), green tea (polyphenols in green tea have anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial to skin health overall), and water water water!
08-11-2005, 02:07 PM
annie7, that is good advice - - I have already been increasing most all those items lately, esp the water, but do need to increase the selenium and esp omega3s - - that would probably help alot since I have not been as consistent with those lately in this heat wave as I normally am. Thanks for that reminder.
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