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Absolute lymphocytes low shown in blood test result. Suggest a remedy?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 10304 Questions
Hi Doc,
I'm from Canada so we might have a different normal range for lymphocyte count hrere. Anyway here are my results:
Lymphocytes 19%
Absolute Lymphocytes 0.9 (1.2 - 3.4) x10 9/L Low
The "absolute lymphocytes low" is also highlighted in my blood test result.
Also, part of my blood test is Cholesterol count; and it says:
HDL Cholesterol L 0.90 (>.91) mmol/L (Low) (note: this is being highlighted in my result)
LDL Cholesterol 2.76 (1.68 - 4.53) mmol/L
Cholesterol/HDL H 4.4 (0.0 - 3.8) % (High) (note: this is being highlighted in my result)

Those are what called my attention and worries me. The rest of my blood test results which includes urinalysis, CBC, Glucose, albumin, etc. they seemed normal because they were not highlighted and I sort of researched the count ranges and they fall on the normal ranges.
I'm worried about my low lymphocyte count. Also, are my low lymphocyte count and cholesterol count which seemed to be a problem connected? What should I do to improve them. My doctor didn't make any follow up. Here in our place, when you have a lab/blood work and when the doctor didn't call back, they said it means you're ok. But, since, I am not satisfied with that, I went and asked for the copy of my result. And, surely, I found those items that seemed to having a problem -my lymphocytes and cholesterol. What will you suggest for me to do and request to my doctor that he should further do to me. What further test should I request (if not insist) to my doctor to prescribe for me.

Thank you for your help. XXXXXXX

Posted Wed, 28 Aug 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 26 minutes later
HI, thanks for using healthcare magic'

It is understandable that you are concerned about the highlighted areas on your lab result.

Lymphocytes are part of the immune system ,they are a type of white blood cell and the main job is to respond to infection or any inflammatory process.

Lymphocytopenia is the term used to refer to a low count.

This can range from mild to severe.

Mild lymphocytopenia such as with the value that you quoted, can be associated with an underlying illness but in many cases no cause can be found.

In persons where the change is mild and no specific cause has been found then no treatment is given and the levels are observed.

In more severe cases treatment would depend on the cause.Other causes are: infections (HIV, hepatitis, TB) steroid medication, some chronic illnesses, autoimmune disease (eg lupus, RA), blood diseases.

Since your value is 0.9 your doctor may chose to observe and repeat it the next time you need to have bloods,

In terms of the cholesterol results, it quoted results for total cholesterol, LDL and HDL cholesterol.
Even though the total cholesterol is important it is not as important as analysing the breakdown. This is because a high total cholesterol can occur in a person with high good cholesterol and low bad cholesterol.

The LDL is the bad cholesterol,this is the one that causes problems when high. Some labs further divide it into small and large LDL particles, it is actually the small ones that are XXXXXXX
Your LDL value is good.

The HDL is the good cholesterol, for a male it should be greater than 1, this is the reason it is highlighted. Your value at 0.9 is just below this.
An HDL greater than 1 is thought to be protective and mean there may be decreased risk of heart disease or stroke.
Your slightly decreased value would mean that there is not optimal protection. It can be raised by increasing activity and decreasing the use of carbohydrates.
Low or reduced carbohydrate diets have been found to increase HDL.

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Absolute lymphocytes low shown in blood test result. Suggest a remedy? 2 hours later
Thank you Doc. Michelle; this is very insightful. But, can I ask this follow up question. What will I do to increase my lymphocytes? If possible, I want to know the natural way like nutritional information -i.e., what natural food would tend to help increase it. What specific vitamins or minerals could help. And, what activities or modalities could help? Those sort of things since you said that no medical treatment is yet necessary at this point except that it must be observed. And, before I forget, should my pH level of 7.0 has something to do with my low lymphocytes? When, I was doing my first set of questions, my earlier questions, I did not mention my pH level bcoz I thought it is good. But, some of my readings few minutes earlier said that it should be higher than 7.0. Does my pH level of 7.0 could be a good environment for infections or underlying illness (as you mentioned) to thrive in my body and so it is making my lymphocytes low in count? In short, are these two (lymphocytes and pH level) connected?

Thank you for your help and kind understanding. I was just worried coz from the last two months of 2012 and up until now, honestly, almost every month or every other month, I heard news that a close relative or a high school classmate of mine died or had surgery for this and that kind of diseases. And, I am also in my 45 so I'm sort of starting to be worried. In fact, I initiatively went to the doctor and convinced him to prescribe me a sort of comprehensive blood test. At first, my doctor here asked if I have symptoms or problem. I told him not in particular or at least not that is bothering. But, I want it as sort of a general or routine check-up for myself to determine my health condition. And, I will doing this on a regular basis like on a yearly basis if possible. May be I just became paranoid from the news I heard about my close relatives and high school classmates.

Thank you much,
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 3 hours later

It is natural to be worried if persons around you are becoming ill.

A healthy lifestyle is important not just for white blood cells but in maintaining a good blood pressure, blood sugars and cholesterol and reducing any excess weight.

In terms of the lymphocyte count specifically the use of vegetables and fruits are thought to be helpful. Some of the recommended vegetables and fruits are broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, spinach, beets, pumpkin, figs, berries, oranges.

Vitamins with anti oxidants (vitamin c and e) and also with omega 3 for heart health.

The pH of blood and urine can be measured.

Blood pH should normally range from 7.35 to 7.45, below this range is considered acidic.Normally the respiratory system and the urinary system would work together to correct an abnormal pH.
In the case of an acidic blood pH, the person would start to breath quickly to let out more carbon dioxide and the kidneys would start to retain bicarbonate.

Urine pH ranges from 4.6 to 8.0

In terms of a link between the blood pH and lymphocytes, an acidic environment may stop the lymphocytes from working appropriately in some cases but should not affect the absolute count.

You may want to consider a repeat of the blood pH to see if it is truly out of range and if the repeat is normal then the source should be investigated.

Please feel free to ask anything else
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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