Neutropenia - Describe Your Experience

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What is neutropenia?

Neutropenia is a condition in which the number of neutrophils in the bloodstream is decreased. Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell also known as polymorphonuclear leukocytes or PMNs. Neutropenia affects the body's ability to fight off infections.

White blood cells are also known as leukocytes. There are five major types of white blood cells:

  1. basophils,

  2. eosinophils,

  3. lymphocytes (T-cells and B-cells),
  4. monocytes, and

  5. neutrophils.

Some white blood cells, called granulocytes, are filled with microscopic granules that are little sacs containing enzymes (compounds that digest microorganisms). Neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils are all granulocytes and are part of the innate immune system with somewhat nonspecific, broad-based activity. They do not respond exclusively to specific antigens, as do the lymphocytes (B-cells and T-cells).

Neutrophils contain enzymes that help the cell kill and digest microorganisms it has engulfed by a process known as phagocytosis. The mature neutrophil has a segmented nucleus (it is often called a 'seg' or 'poly'), while the immature neutrophil has a band-shape nucleus (it is called a band). Neutrophils are made in the bone marrow and released into the bloodstream. The neutrophil has a life-span of about three days.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Tigana Sam, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: December 08

I recently got results of laboratory tests for neutropenia and my white blood count was low (2.7). I also have fungus on my foot since many years now despite medication. I am most of the time tired all day even if it does not affect my work and studies too much. I also infrequent episodes of enuresis and I suspect I have sickle cell since I did Emmel test when I was a kid it was positive but never followed up.

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Comment from: Ted, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 28

I was on 1500 mg of Epilim a day. I was advised by a pharmacist that this can cause neutropenia. Earlier this year I went into septic shock from cellulitis. I thought I was going to die, I didn't know what was happening to me. I should have called an ambulance. Also I have had a chronic case of fungal infection in my groin, it even got on my hand. I had it for over 8 months. I couldn't get rid of it, had to be treated with Sporanox which worked. Also I have had sore throat for a while, and I didn't understand why it wouldn't heal. Also I have a sinus condition and since being off Epilim my sinus is much better and I can breathe better. I believe I was suffering a low white cell count. Doctors never informed me of risk of this or what my white cell count was.

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