White Blood Cell Count - 19,000 - What does this mean?

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Colitis Confusion
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/8/2009 2:59 PM (GMT -6)   
My doc just called and he really freaked me out with his tone and my high WBC count. He wanted to talk to another doc and then maybe put me in the hospital or start remicade immediately. Does this sound right? I feel pretty good today. Only one bloody bowel this morning, no fever, no chills, I'm at work, etc.....
Asacol - 12 per day
Prednisone - could be back up to 40 mg : (
Imuran - 100 mg
Omega 3 - 1 per day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 823
   Posted 1/8/2009 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
I know that is a high count and well above what is considered the normal range.
Dx 2006 right after the birth of my daughter
Lialda now down to 1 pill a day!
Canasa on and off as needed
Probiotics Daily

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 1366
   Posted 1/8/2009 3:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, apparently the normal range is 4.5-11.0 th/uL (so around 4,500- 11,000).. Right now, mine has been at least 14.5 for the past two months, last time my doc said it was pretty high but most likely indicative of inflammation. WBC also goes up when you're under a lot of stress as well. Did he tell you what the rest of your blood levels looked like? Are you anemic as well?

Not sure why he'd jump right to hospital admission though, has your CBC been abnormal before? Mine just wanted to wait and see if it would go down (which it didn't) but some doctors take things more seriously than others, which isn't necessarily a bad thing!!

Female, 23, Ulcerative colitis (pancolitis) since 1999; GERD; gastritis; osteopenia in femur head & lumbar spine from long term prednisone use...

Current Meds:
Lexapro 10mg, Azasan 100mg


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 1580
   Posted 1/8/2009 3:57 PM (GMT -6)   
At least your doc is proactive and if you can get off the peed once on remmicade that would at least be a good thing. I've been curious to see how I would respond to remmicade but I certainly do like the idea of having to use it though. Feel better.
Moderate Pancolitis
Dx'd 05/2007
7 Pentasa per day (4/3)
Corti Foam p.m. 2X per week
Prebiotics and Probiotics, Bowel Soother, Fish Oil, Calcium, Multi Vitamin and Melatonin
Trying to reduce sugar in my diet but cannot tolerate artificial sweetners
I excersice daily
Did I happen to mention I HATE this disease!!!
01/03/09 Trying a few new things...I'll report back after 90 days

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 1/8/2009 4:02 PM (GMT -6)   
Prednisone does increase the WBC tremendously. I was at 14,000 myself after taking 40 mg of Pred for 2 weeks. Don't they do any other tests on you? Lipase? CBC? Hepatic panel?

Scarlett, 38 yo., TX
Pancolitis since 3/1997
Worst flare of my life from 8/2008 until mid 12/2008 - bye bye flare! Was about friggin' time ...
6 x Asacol a day
0 mg Prednisone (stopped Dec 14, 2008)
75mg 6-MP (started Dec 1, 2008)
Flintstones Complete Vitamins

Colitis Confusion
New Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 17
   Posted 1/8/2009 4:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the replies thus. I believe he did all the standard blood work + liver, kidney functions as it was a blood draw to mainly make sure I'm handling imuran o.k. He only mentioned the WBC count being way out of whack, so I assume the rest is normal.
Asacol - 12 per day
Prednisone - could be back up to 40 mg : (
Imuran - 100 mg
Omega 3 - 1 per day

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 1015
   Posted 1/8/2009 6:12 PM (GMT -6)   
Pred does make WBC high. On pred mina actually got to about 25,000. I was sent to a specialist to make sure I didn't have luekemia or anything else going on. It turned out to be just inflamation and pred.

My last WBC was high as well, 16000. He ran a few more tests and said it was fine. It just means there is inflammation in your system somewhere, it doesn't always mean fever or anything. Having bloody stools I would expect you to have a higher WBC. Its a good thing your doctor cares and wants to look into it more but I wouldn't worry to much.
Kelly, 30, suburbs of Chicago, IL

Left sided UC diagnosed 1/98 age 19, Pan colitis diagnosed 1/07
Currently on 4x3 Asacol, no more pred after two years!!!! Off imuran as remicade is working!
Prontonix once daily for acid reflux, zofran 8mg every six hours for nausea
Remicade started 3/1/08...just had 4th infusion

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 1/11/2009 3:13 PM (GMT -6)   
I have had a chronic elevated WBC for 5 years - well before my UC diagnosis. I was seen by a hematology oncologist to rule out any types of cancer. I had a bone marrow biopsy amongst many other tests done. My Dr. said that some people can just simply be "outside of the norm". So what is normal for one is not always normal for others. My counts are typically between 12-18,000 at any given time.
Newly diagnosed August 2008
Currently on 15mg prednisone, 12 Asacol per day, Mesaline enema nightly,Multi vitamin, Omega 3 and Calcium
Realizing that disease is a real pain in the ass!
Mother of a 5 year old and 12 old trying to get through each day with a smile on my face!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 5975
   Posted 1/12/2009 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   
     I would think Imuran would lower the white count.  I am on 6MP and my white count was down to 2.4.  I am NOT happy about this but my GI doctor said that the low white count signifies that the 6MP is doing its job.  Yeah, but I have to be extra careful about germs.  With a white count that low I can catch anything that comes down the pike and don't have the antibodies to fight it off!
     Another thing.  I was on prednisone for seven months last year.  My white count never went above 7,000.
62 yr old granny. South Jersey
Diagnosed with ulcerative proctitis in 1998 in hospital
Hospitalized (2nd time) in May 2008
Update 11/03/08...finally in remission!!  Hope I don't jinx myself.  Off the prednisone since 11/01/08...now see if I can stay off for longer than two weeks.  Other meds: 6MP (75 mgm), colazal (6 per day), Benicar and Toprol (high blood pressure meds), Probiotic (2 per day), fish oil capsule and multi-vitamin and calcium with vitamin D.

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