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Had exposure to lead and cadmium. Raynoud's, in toes, fingers and nose Have severe neutropenia. Related to exposure?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2005
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70 + y o male. No known toxicological exposure except; I had exposure as a youth to cadmium and lead. Lead was pervasive when we were young, being in auto fuel. Cadmium (radioactive) was dispersed near my neighborhood in the late 1950's by the US military as part of a secret test. To see the paper Google “THE MANHATTAN-ROCHESTER COALITION, RESEARCH ON THE HEALTH
EFFECTS OF RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS, AND TESTS ON VULNERABLE” It will be the top Google link. My overarching question: Is there a possible common cause to my various symptoms of unknown etiology?

My long developing symptoms over more than a decade, include something that looks like Raynoud's, first in toes, more recently fingers and nose, “idiopathic” severe neutropenia (diagnosed), intermittent first degree to complete heart block at bundle of his (noted first about 3 years ago). Since stopping administration of CGSF more than one year ago, I have not noted any opportunistic infection. Biopsy of finger swelling showed neutrophilic tissue infiltration. All of these medical conditions seem (I am not a doctor) atypical.

Recently my finger symptoms became much worse, so I have been researching. I have thought that autoimmunity may be involved. A couple of years ago my haematologist ordered a Lupus panel; Lupus Anticoagulant Comp
, Lupus Anticoagulant Reflex
, Anticardiolip Ab, IgA/G/M, Qn
, XXXXXXX w/Reflex was negative. Reading on the topic it seems those tests may not have covered all the possibilities. Then my attention turned to lead. Then I found that I was unwittingly involved in the above reference military experiment. Interestingly my brother died of myelofibrosis.

So, this is a lot for a free public forum, but a really knowledgeable part doc part researcher might find this interesting. And if I knew a cause, it might lead to a treatment. Maybe even cure. And maybe an interesting medical paper for the doc! Or many these are unrelated medical conditions. Your opinion?

Reviewing the category I see it is " User Selected Category : Medicines and Side Effects" Uh, probably should be environmental + rhumatological. I did not select that category. Unless you consider military administered radioactive cadmium to be a medicine! LOL
Posted Sun, 29 Sep 2013 in General Health
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 30 hours later
Brief Answer:
auto-immune process is very unlikely

Detailed Answer:

This seems an interesting query. Thanks for posting the same.


I was not able to open the complete document. However, it seems like the radioactive material was tested on people without their prior consent. I am trying to get full access of the document. I would definitely read about it and analyze the conclusions of the test. Please give me a day's time on the same. I should be able to come out with a conclusive report.

Your earlier manifestations started with Raynaud's, and then “idiopathic” severe neutropenia was diagnosed.

Intermittent first degree to complete heart block at bundle of his (noted first about 3 years ago) - This is an expected finding as age advances. This can be considered physiologically normal in you.

Biopsy of finger swelling showed neutrophilic tissue infiltration - this does not seem to be related to Lupus. Your lupus panel tests have come out negative.

I do not think there is a rheumatological or auto-immune process that is on-going in you.

Now, please tell me a little more about your own health concerns. Has there been a hematology work up in you? How is the state of your fingers now? Any better?

I hope to get back to you with more information. Meanwhile, please be patient.

Thank you and regards,
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had exposure to lead and cadmium. Raynoud's, in toes, fingers and nose Have severe neutropenia. Related to exposure? 1 hour later
Hello and good day to you. Thank you for your opinion. I agree. It is not Lupus. I read all that stuff and other auto immune symptoms. Not any seem to fit all that well. What I suspect is that everybody is different, and autoimmunity expresses itself in many individual ways. Even heart electrical function is sometimes mentioned. But I get ahead of myself.

My fingers are better now, but this is long term. They get better and worse. My first G-CSF injection was after my hematologist saw them. He thought it was infection. So, Nupogen 300 u gm and an antibiotic. And the finger got better. Recently my fingers have gotten worse, with joint stiffness. That prompted me to start thinking about researching my health a bit more.

Yes, maybe all the symptoms are not auto-immunological. I consider it possible these symptoms are unrelated, and if related and not immunological, then caused by an infectious agent. Or not?

As to the heart block, I was told "it never gets better" by two cardiology specialists, and then it did. That was a surprise. One it just got a lot better. That was while I was injecting the C-GSF, so I thought maybe the injections mahy have something to do with my hart improvement. I found nothing much (scientific) to support that theory.

WWW.WWWW.WW should start a download of the PDF on cadmium sulfide dispersal in St. XXXXXXX The download takes a long while, as it is 600 pages. Cadmium exposure may not be important to my health, and certainly you need not read all that. It does represent an interesting and sad piece of American history. When I looked at the map and saw I grew up near the border of one of the two test areas, I was in a bit of a state of shock. One thing I have found on the net are papers that say heavy metal exposure when young can result in autoimmunity when older, and that the metals, well, lead, resided in bone for decades. However, I know that proves nothing. Maybe a clue?

Yes, I had in depth heamatology, including a Neutropenia International Registry, and saw Dr. XXXXXXX XXXXXXX in Seattle Washington USA, who is co-director of the registry. He said adult male onset of neutropenia is very rare, and offered no suggestion as to what may have caused it. Of course, early exposure to toxins is on the list, but I did not think at that time about toxins. A few days ago I read an article in Scientific American on lead, and that started me looking on the net to learn more, which turned up the cadmium experiment. (That it was allegedly radioactive does not seem to me to be important).

I was a regular user of G-CSF, self injecting and keeping a log of injections and then collecting all my test reports, and got a copy of my GP files going back to 1998 (I think). So all that is available & on the hard drive on this laptop.

One day I just quit the injections and blood tests. My last injection was 2012-03-10 300 u grams and the ANC on blood drawn 2012-03-16 11:52 was 500 per u/l. I have not checked since then. I expected to see infections. Although some counts were <300 u/l I just never noted a problem. Not yet. Though G-CSF did seem to eliminate occasional cold sores. It is a bit expensive for that purpose!!

I called it Raynaud's (fingers and toes) because what I read of that diagnosis fits my observations. But I never got a diagnosis on the toes or fingers.

I will send you more information. I can upload my entire medical file. The bone marrow workup was expensive.

One hope I had that was getting away and reducing stress would help. Well, I feel pretty good! But I have no idea if my ANC is improved. Do you think I should find someone here in the Western Cape to order a WBC workup?

What is your time zone? Here it is GMT+2. I will get you more information. I think I can send you one CBC pretty quickly.

Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 18 hours later
Brief Answer:
Possible bone marrow suppression and auto-immunity

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for writing back and uploading the blood report. I have looked into it diligently.

I am sorry for my delayed response. I was thinking over your concern and slept over it last night.

Yes, everybody is different, and autoimmunity expresses itself in many individual ways.

“idiopathic” severe neutropenia was diagnosed in you. I understand that. However, the G-CSF injection was started after your hematologist saw them and thought it was infection. No, I do not think infection was the cause here. It was more of bone marrow suppression for the myeloid series, especially the Neutrophils. Possible lead and cadmium exposure could be taken as cause.

There was joint stiffness, probably you developed auto-immunity at one point in your life.

Your case seems unique. Perhaps, the injections made your heart better. The G-CSF helped your heart in a way. The heart and the joints are closely related when it comes to auto-immunity.

Yes, I have saved the document WWW.WWWW.WW I will surely read in depth when time permits.

Early exposure to toxins especially heavy metals and radio-active materials do cause bone marrow suppression. Probably the neutrophil series were affected in you, as I said earlier.

No, this is not Raynaud's.

Yes, please do repeat the full WBC counts now with ANC as well.

My time zone is + 05:30. I am sorry again to keep you waiting. I just did not want to rush into any conclusion.

I would be happy if you write back for further discussion on this.

Good day ahead.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Had exposure to lead and cadmium. Raynoud's, in toes, fingers and nose Have severe neutropenia. Related to exposure? 1 hour later
I saw your in healthcare magic personal page, and then noted you are on Facebook (as am I)

If you wish to continue a dialog outside of healthcare magic, my personal email is YYYY@YYYY .

I will get a local doc to write a prescription for a blood panel. I am curious. I can send you a lot more. Just ask. Or the whole batch.

No need to apologize for being slow to get back to me. I paid a fee to a company I never heard of, and did not trust it. Now I do. Take as much time as seems reasonable.

What might be interesting is exchange of links to papers related to the topic. If you are interested in that, let me know.

The paper on cadmium dispersal in St. XXXXXXX has some numbers regarding maximum possible exposure. I have not really studied that, or put it into context for other cadmium exposure, such as secondhand smoke from cigarettes. I have lived a good long life, so things going wrong are to be expected. Still, no reason not to look more deeply.
Answered by Dr. Shanthi.E 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
detailed below

Detailed Answer:

I am sorry; I do not interact with patients XXXXXXX or outside my work.

I have read a part of the article on the St. XXXXXXX It's interesting. However, I am running a busy schedule to look into other research related topics or papers at this moment.

Please ask me any specific medical query that you may have.


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