Yesterday I posted some of my recent labwork. I was a little upset to see my white blood cell (WBC) (aka leukocyte) count was high – I’ve never had that happen – and immediately I assumed I must have a horrible infection (at best) or leukemia (at worst). I did some research on the causes of elevated WBCs and found that use of steroid medication can cause an increase in total WBCs. However, the increase should be in the neutrophils, while the other types of white blood cells should actually decrease, according to this article:
Glucocorticoid treatment results in increased polymorphonuclear leukocytes in blood as a result of increased rate of entrance from marrow and a decreased rate of removal from the vascular compartment. In contrast, the lymphocytes, eosinophils, monocytes, and basophils decrease in number after administration of glucocorticoids. A single dose of cortisol results in a 70% decrease in lymphocytes and a 90% decrease in monocytes, occurring 4 to 6 h after treatment and persisting for about 24 h.
Well, I have high neutrophils, but also high lymphs and monocytes. So maybe I do have an infection. Or maybe the Lichen Sclerosus is causing this. Sort of a chicken-and-egg situation. Did the autoimmune condition cause the increased white blood cells? Or did an infection of some kind cause both? My doctor wants me to retest my CBC in 3 months.
In the meantime, I’m learning that eating a diet high in histamine (e.g., a standard American diet) makes everything worse – the Lichen Sclerosus gets worse, mood gets worse, fatigue gets worse, and I get all itchy. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night itching everywhere – all over my torso.
I suspect I have Mast Cell Activation Disorder (MCAD), which could be causing these other problems. I’ll be researching and sharing more about this in the near future.