Doctor insights on:
Is A High White Blood Cell Count Hereditary
My white blood cell count was 6.25... Is this normal or low? Is it okay to take prednisone for poison ivy with this WBC count?
Nothing: Nothing "happens" as a result of a high white count. The number of white blood cells on a typical blood smear is used as a tool to help diagnose many different medical problems. Generally white blood cells increase in response to an infection or physical stress. There are several types of white blood cell and analyzing the percentage of each in the white cell count gives clues to the cause. ...Read more
Depends on reason: High white blood cell (WBC) count is the body's response to physical stress or infection. Symptoms (eg fever) generally are from the underlying cause of high WBC rather than from the high WBC itself. Reasons for elevated WBC can include infection, blood/bone marrow disorder, cancer, and treatment with steroids like prednisone. Sometimes, a WBC may be somewhat high with no clear reason or symptom. ...Read more
Elevated numbers: This result may (eg bacterial) or may not (eg stress response) suggest an infection since there is no clinical context. For example, a vomiting episode or initiation of a steroid medication can temporarily increase your white blood cell count - but that doesn't mean you have an infection. Try rephrasing the question with symptoms included in it. ...Read more
Yes: Forgive my frankness. A significantly elevated white count and symptoms lasting a month, without anything from a physician as to what's going on, should prompt you to seek a different physician with whom you have better rapport. Vague complaints and leukocytosis could be bacterial endocarditis, tuberculosis, or any of several other illnesses that must be diagnosed without delay. ...Read more
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