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Done with complete blood count test. What are the findings from the report? Treatment?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2003
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Felt a little sick, like I was maybe fighting something. Went to doctor. Had CBC blood work done. Note from doc on lab results said "low lymphs, typical of virus, retest cbc in three weeks." Looked online and started getting real scared. Typed in "low absolute lymphocytes" and first thing that popped up was AIDS/HIV. Following the office visit I went on vacation and felt subsequently fine. Got back, opened mail and saw results from lab last night. Now not sleeping. Absolute Lymphocytes was 660, a previous test a year ago was about 980 (think it was around 25%). Both below the 1,000 mark I see many people suggest is "normal." Percentage this past test of lymph was 9.9%. Eosinophils was also out of range low at 0. WBC count was in range. Neutrophils % was normal like 82% (a little elevated relative to the test a year ago). Gonna get bloodwork re-done, but totally freaked out. Haven't had any unprotected sex encounters except one by accident when a condom broke (was in for maybe 5 seconds before I realized) and this was maybe 3 years ago. Don't do drugs or needles, etc. So unfortunately most of the research I am doing on line, before rescheduling for new bloodwork to be done, indicate an underlying cause for low lymph count. Not much says, "typical virus will cause this drop." Wondering if I have hiv/aids and its been incubating or whatever, slowly lowering my lymph count, or if I'm likely fine, and just so happen to be on the low end of the range, and the low count in particular was likely do to not feeling well at the time of the bloodwork. I have four kids, so there are always germs and viruses going around. I plan on going back for CBC and I think I am fine, but am i guess looking for a) maybe sanity check; b) discussion on a 660 level of lymphocytes relative to what many patients might experience when fighting something or just getting over something; c) other thoughts to help me calm down...? Is a 660 count low or 980 from last year? Thanks in advance. Have the bloodwork report at home if additional info needed of course.
Posted Mon, 30 Sep 2013 in Infections
Answered by Dr. Vaishalee Punj 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
It can be due to many causes

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for posting your query on XXXXXXX

The normal value of lymphocyte count is 800 - 1200 with a mean of 1000. Thus a value of 660 is on lower side. I know it can be freaky.

To reassure, a low lymphocyte count can be due to many conditions. It is a very non-specific value. Whatever the doctor is suspecting, he will need to confirm it with other tests specific for the condition. The conditions that can cause it are:

a. infections like HIV, tuberculosis, typhoid fever, brucellosis, malaria
b. non-infectious conditions like cytotoxic drugs, alcohol, steroids, radiation therapy
c. other causes like sarcoidosis, SLE, rheumatoid arthritis

At a level of 660 count (i.e. above the count of 500), the following symptoms may occur:
-usual infections may take a longer time to recover
-other symptoms may be present like diarhea, cough, fever, fatigue, weight loss, oral candida, minor skin rashes may be seen

For now, you can relax and go to sleep. There are tests to rule out any suspicions and there are medicines available if something comes up. It is very much possible that it may be transient due to a viral infection and it may come back normal in the repeat test.

Take care.

Dr Vaishalee
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