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Can drinking alcohol prior to blood test affect WBC count and platelet count?

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Orthopaedic Surgeon
Practicing since : 1994
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Can moderate-to-heavy alcohol drinking for several years plus drinking 72 hours prior to blood test affect both WBC (3.9 was 5.5 4 years ago) and Platelet count (109--was 162 4 years ago)? Thanks much for your answer. Concerned.
Posted Thu, 3 May 2012 in X-ray, Lab tests and Scans
Answered by Dr. Praveen Tayal 4 hours later
Thanks for posting your query.
Alcohol intake directly does not interfere with the production or destruction of the blood cells. But chronic alcohol intake causes some nutritional deficiencies in the body which interferes with normal blood cell production.
It can cause a decrease in number and function of RBCs, WBCs and platelets making you more prone to anemia, infections and bleeding disorders.
Chronic alcohol intake causes folic acid deficiency and reduces blood cell precursors in bone marrow thus decreasing the blood cell production and maturation.
Your blood test reports can be a result of chronic alcohol intake.
It is best to stop taking alcohol to revert these effects.
I hope this answers your query effectively.
In case you have additional questions or doubts, you can forward them to me, and I shall be glad to help you out.
Wishing you good health.

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