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High WBC count during pregnancy - Online Doctor Chats

Date : 21-Feb-2012
User rating for this question
Very Good Posted in: Pregnancy
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2004
Answered : 1773 Questions
Doctor :   Hi]
Doctor :   How can I help you?
User :   Hello, I am just over 5 weeks pregnant- and on Monday I went to the ER because my thyroid was inflamed and killing me
User :   I was also spotting
User :   I have normal thyroid levels but my thyroid is very cystic
User :   anyway, they gave me reflex assuming i may have a thyroid infection
Doctor :   Ok
User :   they did an ultrasound on my thyroid as well as a transvaginal
User :   when i called back for the rest of my cbc results they told me my WBC was 17
Doctor :   Ok
User :   the nurse said oh you probably had a cold or something, I did not have a cold. I do have inflammation in my neck, but isn't that very high?
User :   I'm freaking out now because I've been reading that a WBC of 17 is very high higher than what you would have with a simple infection
Doctor :   Yes, your counts are definitely high.
User :   why would they be so casual about that
User :   I mean, HOW high is 17? could the pregnancy and thyroid inflammation account for that kind of number
Doctor :   Can you explain, what you meant by thyroid inflammation is killing me?- Can you explain your symptoms?
User :   i woke up and all of a sudden the left front of my neck was sore and inflammed
User :   im sure it was my thyroid as this has happened before and went away with antibiotics
Doctor :   Ok
User :   they found all the cysts i have but didn't comment on if it was generally inflamed on the one side
Doctor :   When did you undergo the ultrasound test?
User :   what do you think about this count do you think it is something terrible or possibly expected
User :   on monday
Doctor :   Ok
User :   ive had a few before i know i have cysts and nodules i don't know if this one showed any more or less
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   Do you have fever?
User :   nope
Doctor :   Ok
Doctor :   Let me brief you.
User :   ok
Doctor :   Raised WBC counts indicates presence of inflammation.
Doctor :   Its possible that the inflammed thyroids may be the cause, however since, I cannot physically examine you, I cannot predict it for sure.
Doctor :   Infectio
Doctor :   *Infection or inflammation any where else can also be the cause for this raised WBC counts.
User :   i have noticed my thyroid is starting to feel better with the antibiotics, also i was messing with it the night before pressing on it and feeling around in my neck before it really got swollen
User :   pregnancy can also cause elevated wbc counts right?
Doctor :   Since your thyroid hormones are normal and you don't have episodes of fever,
Doctor :   I expect that your counts should be settling down in a few days.
User :   but do you think that 17 was too high out of the range for the thyroid inflammation?
Doctor :   yes, pregnancy can raise WBC counts to mild extent.
User :   im reading that 17 is just short of leukemia, when you see simple inflammation do you see counts that high
User :   i am also a smoker, i have cut down since i recently found out i was pregnancy working toward quitting, smoking raises it as well right
Doctor :   Do you mean it was 17thousand cells/cubic millimeter.
User :   i think so
User :   they told me 17 over the phone which im assuming is short for 17,000
Doctor :   The normal range for WBC counts are 4.5 to 11 thousand are normal.
User :   yes i know
Doctor :   !7,000cells are not in the leukemic range.
User :   17 didn't sound much higher to me but apparently thats a big jump from normal
Doctor :   Any thing above 0000 are considered to be in leukemic range.
User :   pregnancy, smoking and a swollen thyroid- could that cause something like 17?
User :   for instance if you have a simple cold or infection what kind of numbers would you see that 17 is so much higher
Doctor :   Since, I haven't performed a physical examination, I cannot pinpoint the exact causes, however probably, its the inflammed
Doctor :   thyroid and pregnancy.
User :   but is 17 suitable for my condition
User :   or is it still too high and warrants suspicion of something more serious
Doctor :   you need not worry, as your thyroid profile is normal and you don't have fever,
Doctor :   You may need a repeat test of the blood counts.
Doctor :   Get it done after a week.
Doctor :   If the counts are rising, then you may need reevaluation to look for the source of infection and further course of antibiotics.
User :   thats what worries me though- that i don't have a fever and i don't have a flu or any other noticeable signs im afraid it could be something more serious and silent like cancer
Doctor :   Your values are not anywhere close to cancer.
Doctor :   Hence you need not worry.
Doctor :   Watch out for fever,
User :   hold on im buying a few more minuts
User :   minutes
User :   ok
User :   but is 17 a typical number in mild cases of infection
User :   is it an alarming number
User :   im trying to XXXXXXXX what range 17 in is as far as possible conditions
Doctor :   I would consider 0000 cells as alarming, if you are sick, having fever or swollen thyroid gland or any other signs of inflammation.
User :   so you are saying that 0000 for a swollen thyroid gland is not typical and it is alarmingly high for that?
Doctor :   the counts depend on the amount of inflammation that you have.
Doctor :   I consider this raise to the inflammed gland, if there are no other source of infection.,
User :   well thats what im worried about if that number does not seem typical of of the gland swelling and looks as if it is indicative of something more serious
Doctor :   But since you don't have other symptoms of inflammation such as fever, upper respiratory infections, urinary infections, or localised swelling,
User :   the swelling was enough to cause pain while moving, swallowing, yawning, coughing, etc
Doctor :   If I were to be your physician, I will repeat your counts again after a week.
Doctor :   Watch if the counts are settling or increasing,
User :   im not understanding what you're saying... is it more daunting that i don't have a fever and other symptoms or less daunting? and i did have localized swelling of the thyroid which is now going down with antibiotics
User :   im trying to figure out if a count of 0000 is typical in minor infections and inflammations or if that count is much higher and indicates that might not be the cause
Doctor :   Let me explain it to you in simple terms again.
Doctor :   High WBC count has multiple reasons, and has to be correlated with physical findings,
Doctor :   since, I am unable to visually examine you, its difficult to predict what the cause for this above normal WBC counts.
User :   if you saw a patient with my clinical symptoms and wbc count- would you say ok that explains the count, or this persons condition does not warrant such a high count this is something more serious is what im asking... does a count of 17 correlate more or less with inflammation of the thyroid and pregnancy, or does that seem much too high?
Doctor :   Since you had a recent inflammmation, yes its this inflammation
Doctor :   that has caused the risen WBC count.
Doctor :   Hence you need not worry.
User :   is 17 a normal elevation in minor conditions such as localized inflammation then?
Doctor :   Yes, any local inflammation can cause high WBC count.
User :   so 17 is not alarmingly high?
Doctor :   Hence you need not worry.
Doctor :   However, get a repeat WBC count after a week,
User :   i will
Doctor :   if the counts are persisting to be high, then you will need another course of antibiotics and evaluation.
Doctor :   Have you followed what I have suggested?
User :   im just worried if 17 is a very serious count
Doctor :   Your counts are not alarmingly high to suggest any serious problems as you don't have symptoms now.
User :   or if it is commonly observed in common illnesses
User :   i just felt like, if i had a fever and was very sick 17 would make sense, but since other than the swelling i feel fine, no fever etc... this must be something worse
Doctor :   Yes, that precisely what I am suggesting,
Doctor :   Since you don't have symptoms, you need not worry.
Doctor :   Its probably the recent inflamamtion and the pregnancy that has caused this rise.
User :   no what i was saying that since i DONT have symptoms, it seems scary and could be something serious
Doctor :   Yes, that is precisely why you need not worry.
User :   you aren't understanding what i am saying
User :   im saying that if you have a seriously ill symptomatic patient 17 could seem obvious- and correlate perfectly with the condition
User :   but if you find a high number like 17 in someone with very minor symptoms wouldn't this worry a doctor more? as to why someone with little clinical symptoms has such a high number
Doctor :   Please confirm you phone number, so that I can call you.
Doctor :   Thanks for consulting me.
Doctor :   Bye for now.
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