Since white blood cell count is a sign of systemic inflammation, it’s no surprise that those with lower white counts live longer.
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This whole concept of the risks of being normal in a sick society is explored further in my video When Low Risk Means High Risk (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/when-low-risk-means-high-risk/).
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Just turned 26 a couple of weeks ago, my first bloodwork in my life done 2.5 year ago at 23... everything was in "normal range" but I wanted optimum levels.
Glucose was 87 and WBC 8.2 back then, last bloodwork a month ago.... glucose is 75 and WBC 5.47
I changed my life for good thanks for the video Dr Greger.
I have 3.7 white blood cells on my test. I pass with flying colours on everything else. I exercise and eat well, sleep well most nights. My doctor said I am healthy. I have no other accompanying symptoms so , I just need to get it up a few points, right?
I've been 4.5, 6.8, 4.4, and the latest: 3.9 in the last 4 years. Just started 7 months ago doing a big salad in the evening, some carb at breakfast, and protein at lunch. No rice, limited bread (some, but much less than before). Eating less in the evening, along with 1000 mg of cinnamon bark, 1000 iu of Vitamin D and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar in the evening before bed mixed in water. All other differentials are normal. I have ulcerative colitis that is well controlled with no inflammatory makers (sed rate is <2 and no white blood cells in stool - both very good). WBC count was flagged as below 4.5, so low - but I guess not to worry. I have another WBC scheduled in 3 months time. Feel fine. Thanks for this video.
I’ve been told my wbc is 0.8 is that bad. I hardly get sick and I have no symptoms. They’ve referred me to a haematologist and I’m scared it could be Leukemia as stated by the dr. Please someone reply if they’ve had a Similar experience and what was your outcome.
hibo hassan if u have no symptoms u are not sick. I had the same thing happen to me 5 years ago and I was going crazy. The problem was I wasn't a normal human. Im not overweight and I eat healthy. Remember that the Medical industry is full of people who dont think outside the box. Its a business. So remember when u are sick ur body will let u know. Until then u are healthy.
would that include a person who been born with heart touble that does not smoke .how can a smoker be more healther than a none smoker.(black lungs starts to show in a smoker) long time smokers and oxygen level is not high but low.I have worked in respertory ]atients who I have changed tek a tube that help them breath that is placed in their neck.. some has speech box to help them communicate. I was a can also a RST for many of years living in Michigan.
I'm a recent vegan (less than a year) and I have low WBC. I am relieved to find this video, but I'm also wondering if this same information is true for low platelets, as I have both in the below normal levels. My platelets are exceptionally low.. if anyone has an answer please let me know
okay I have to go to a hematologist on Wednesday and my primary care dr. told me my white blood cells are low and that way he recommended me to a hematologist. So I just realized ever since I started taking omeprazole for my Gerd (acid reflux) my wbc are low. I need help because I'm so nervous I just hope everything will be okay please pray for me I'm a nervous RECK!!!!
High platelet count seems to correlate with cancer based on some researches. My RBC have been recovering after taking B12 but platelet and WBC remain low. Wonder if we can draw a similar conclusion from low platelet count as from low WBC?
Yes, thank you for that. Over the years the Drs have been concerned because I have a low white blood cell count - my response was always I don't get sick, so I doubt that I need much, this didn't amuse them - but this video certainly makes me feel better and also to know that I have been right all along. Thank you Dr. Gregor.
Once you reduce your weight, stop smoking and drinking, etc. How do you reduce inflammation to lower your bodies response to increase your WBC count, thereby improve your quality of life and extend your life?
At the end of the day, we're responsible for our health, not our doctors. Also remember that different labs have different numbers, and different margins for error. An informed patient is usually a healthier patient. Good health to you.
Joseph1NJ I will ask my doctor for copies and research more about it, this video made me realise that my normal might not be different than most people's. Plus it seems like something new and interesting to learn :-)
Thank you for the response. I wonder what "inflammatory markers" they're referring to. Something I've been doing for a decade is to get a full copy of my blood work. The assistants will be glad to make a copy for you. Of course now, it's online, at least for me. Anyway, you will know what tests were done, what your numbers are, spot trends, possibly suggest what tests you want done next time, etc. I'm not suggesting you stress over it. But for less than an hour once or twice a year to review it, it's worth it.
Joseph1NJ I'm not sure which test they did exactly (I really need to stop trusting doctors as much and do my research from now on) but they told me I have inflammation markers present, specifically rheumatoid ones, hematologist told me I might have rheumatoid arthritis but for now she's not sure why am I even seeing her. Doctors told me neutropenia is a problem, they know I'm vegan but all failed to mention it might be normal for me, I suspect they don't know.
You're an inspiration!! Love all your work and donate to your site! Just had 2.86 with an immediate retest the following day which came out to 3.00 . Got sent to a hematologist who ordered more thorough blood testing. I was quite worried until this video just magically appeared in my Youtube front page. I'm feeling better now. Been mostly vegan for about 9 months now. Please keep doing your thing for as long as possible. I feel like you're having a major impact on health and society.
Thank you so very much for this video. What a relief!! My red blood count has been rising steadily after I started taking B12 and avoiding coffee with my meals. Am no longer anemic. However, my white cell count has been consistently below the reference range. Doctors, lab technicians, friends are all telling me to eat red meat "'because you cant reduce the complete wholesome nutrition of meat to a B12 pill"
People assume we are less healthy because we're vegan, no one thinks that if we weren't vegan we would be really sick instead (I have some inflammation levels raised, I believe that if I weren't vegan I could have full blown arthritis by now).
Long shot, but would anyone know why I get pus filled pimples on my chin pretty much daily? Eating antioxidants and broccoli helps, but it's short of curing me. White blood cells attacking the toxins my skin is getting rid of maybe?
Love your videos-truly inspiring and as a scientist myself, I love to implement different things into my lifestyle for the hopes of extending lifespan and of course health span! I have stopped eating meat and follow a whole foods plant based diet thanks to your inspiration and pointing out the science to support how diet can change lives-its too bad most medical doctors don't share that opinion. Anyways I am hoping you can do a follow up on what can be done to lower WBC and also chronic inflammation? Thanks for doing what you do-my grandma too is much of the inspiration of why I do what I do today as well! Ashley
Thank you for this information Dr Greger!
My white blood cell count has been low for as long as I've been getting my blood tests (annually over the last 4 years). I was a bit worried as the doctors flagged it as a potential issue to monitor. I asked them if perhaps it was a normal count for me personally as my test results were quite consistent over the years and I wasn't ill. They didn't agree and thought it would be something I'd have to have regularly checked as I was borderline. I'm glad to know now that they were probably basing their normal white cell count off of the unhealthy average (I live in Australia and we also have a SA(ustralian)D diet)!
I had the same experience as everyone else commenting- I'm a long time vegetarian, recent vegan & my previous doctor was worried about my "low" white blood cell count. This makes more sense. I've since switched to a PCRM doctor (they promote plant based and presumably see more veg*ns) who never brought up my WBC count- I guess in their patient population, it wasn't remarkable.
I always felt like I was chronically inflamed before going vegan and now I recover quicker from physical activity, I get sick less, my post-concussion symptoms began clearing up.... I just feel less inflamed all the time and I never knew why (I was just happy to finally be feeling good)! I'm SO CURIOUS to get my bloodwork data from my doctor now to see if there was a noticeable drop in my WBC!
Wow, this is so interesting! My Dr told me I "should be sick all the time" because my WBC count is so low. I get sick less than once per year and even then only mildly for about a day. It makes total sense the "normal" is just the average "not actively dying" person, and the average person has been building up to heart disease, diabetes etc for many years before considered sick. We need to redefine what it means to be "unhealthy", to give doctors a better understanding of what needs their intervention. Right now most doctors consider someone fine unless they actually require medical intervention to keep living. Simply existing without being on 10+ medications does not mean someone is actually healthy.
my husband is on immune suppressants. He had IGF nephropathy which destroyed his kidneys. He now has a donar kidney-- his mother's. What does this mean for him? Anything he could be doing to ensure he stays healthy? If he has too little of white blood cells his body will reject his donar kidney. He's been plant based for the past 3 years.
Wish I knew why my Hematocrit is always either at the high end of 'normal' or it's high. I've been Vegan for 16 years. I was told by the nurse that in the 'olden days' that they would've put leeches on me and bled me. Ugh!
again I like to highlight that the video is getting dislike adjust a tell me who dislike this video this is a video based on fact researches and data think about it how would you end up disliking any of the informational videos provided for free to you you must be a really big idiot or somebody who is getting paid to do so
After taking a look at your videos, I am vegan btw but now thinking may be I should not exist at all because everything apparently is killing me. Sorry Doc but your videos are confusing I know you are highly intelligent being above us God of diet but spare us and be more straight forward one video saying good next saying bad does not help at all.
Finally the word is out! This is WHY whole food plant based vegans usually and consistently have a Low blood cell count according to the "normal" values. I wish my doctor knew this instead of thinking I'm abnormal!
My husband had a low WBC AT last check and doc was trying to send him to a hematologist. Having already established that many of these docs today are clueless, we declined the referral and instead did research which led us to this same conversation about inflammation. We determined that -- if you are not inflamed or fighting disease, your WBC need not be high. So he was actually healthy because his WBC was low -- not the opposite. Why don't docs know this??? People, please take responsibility for your health and research for yourself. Docs today seem to focus mainly on prescribing "a pill for every ill" instead of wholistically healing the human body.
Thank you for finally doing a video on this! I, too, was sent to an oncologist after my white count dropped from 4.0 to 2.7 after switching to a plant based diet. I am rarely sick and cuts heal up fast. Nevertheless, I was sent to an oncologist. It was expensive and it took forever to get released. Early on I mentioned the articles I had read about low white counts and a plant based diet, but the oncologist thought I was confusing a red blood cell count with a white blood cell count because I was on a vegan diet. He thought I was asking if my vegan diet was unhealthy for my blood cell count.
omg since i started eating plant based my wbc count has declined dramatically and i was concerned that this meant my immune system is impaired but now i find out it's actually a good thing!! thank you so much dr greger
Optimal Cholesterol is anywhere between 50 and 70 mg/dl. (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15172426) Atherosclerosis starts progressing at levels above 75 mg/dl. (http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/circulationaha/108/22/2757.full.pdf)
Yay!!! I am so happy you are covering this topic! Every physician I've ever seen over the years has worried me about my white count. I've consumed a whole food plant based vegan diet for years, my weight is ideal, I have no health problems, take no meds, & I feel fantastic at 56 years of age, so my low WBC has been a mystery UNTIL NOW!! Thank you Dr. Greger!!! I love you!! You have given me more reason celebrate my good health & happiness! I can't wait for the next video! I'm going to guess that my WBC is another reason to smile!
I have both low red and white bloodcells, i don't have any energy etc. could you give me an idea what could be the causes?
I'm a male.
hemoglobine: 7.6 mmol/l
hematocryt: 0.35 l/l
erytocyt: 3.4 x10E12/l
leucocyt: 3.5 x10e9/l
trombocyt: 101 x10e9/l
those are all too low according to the normal values..
also my mcv and mch are too high..
mcv is 101 fl (which according to google would point to anemia due too b12 shortage, my b12 was 376 pmol/l though i've probably walked around my entire life with basically no b12 (first blood test i had was <37), though my anemia was a lot less worse back then (just 8.4 hemoglobine)
mch is 2.2 fmol
MCHC 22 mmol/l
RDW 13.2 %CV
as far as nutrient deficiencies as a possible cause goes, i already gave the b12 result, folic acid was also tested, that was 12 nmol/l they didn't test iron, that will be included in the re-test though i can't imagine being deficient in that, plus then my mcv should be low rather then high right?
My CRP was <1.0 mg/l
What could be the possible causes for something like this?
+Ella L. how would she know? she has the same data that you have if she can determin the type you can too.
My main concern of asking this here is wether really bad things like leukemia can be excluded. cause most of the other options google gives me don't seem very likely.
well, if you're interested in causes of anemia, just do some research on the internet?
and i would also recommend you to ask your doc at the next appointment, what type of anemia you have; that's important.
+Joseph Leandre Jones the 37 was *smaller then* 37 (they don't measure any lower) pmol/l this was my serum B12 that's waaaaaay too low, that's absense. But now it should be high enough with the 376pmol/l
My doctor didn't say what kind of anemia i had, though all she had was the same data i'm giving you.
.. i gave you my b12 and folic acid levels and i can't imagine being short in iron.. i have no blood loss that i'm aware off..
My doctor did say something that these things could be caused by things like bacterial infections, which i see as a possibility perhaps. i should come back after 3-4 weeks (which is around now) to test again and then iron will be tested as well..
the low white blood cell count is a good thing apparently according to dr. greger.
I wasn't making this post in hopes of telling me the cause, there's too little data for that.. however i hoped for a list of possible causes and why you can exclude certain things.
you definetly have anemia, but this can have many causes (lack of iron, b12, folic acid; blood loss,...). you can find out the cause, if you look at the blood cells (shape, colour, etc.) - did your doctor tell you what kind of anemia you have?
low white blood cells can be a result of anemia, but again: it can have many causes.
Wow, finally! I have been vegan for almost 18 years and about 8 years ago my doctor was concerned because my white blood cell count kept getting lower. She sent me to a hematologist (which scared the crap out of me) who couldn't find anything wrong. She now just accepts it and ignores the "abnormal" count. This video is the first time I've heard what I suspected all along. This is why I love Dr, Greger!