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Anonymous asked in HealthDiseases & ConditionsOther - Diseases · 9 months ago

What could explain a a person with high WBC but low hemoglobin and low hematocrit?

Could it mean they have an infection but at the same time be anemic due to diet (this male person has no known injuries to cause internal bleeding)?

This is a hypothetical question, not based off a real person.

2 Answers

  • 9 months ago

    It can be both due to two separate mechanisms or related due to infections that can suppress bone marrow activity, hemolysin (Clostridium infections), cold agglutinins (viral infections). One can also have G6-PD deficiency causing hemolysis with bacterial infections.

    There's much more information there than simply a high WBC or low HH. You have to look at what fraction of the white count is elevated (lymphs or neutrophils) and equally important look for reactive lymphs or toxic changes in the white cells like toxic granualtion, Dohle bodies or vacuolated neutrophils.

    As far as the anemia it is important to distinguish nutritional anemias which have altered size red cells from other types of anemia which are normocytic (normal size red cells) normochromic ( normal hemoglobin content). Nutritional anemia is usually seen as small red hypochromic cells or large red blood cells.

    There's a lot of information that can be obtained that isn't presented which can aid in diagnosing.

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  • 9 months ago

    It means they have two things going on - one is anemia and the other is an immune response to something such as infection allergies, or autoimmune problem. 

    Celiac disease can cause both of these to occur.    A person with these symptoms should have a fecal occult test and also be tested for celiac disease if there is no other explanation.

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