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Leukopenia and Multi-vitamins to boost immunity

Updated on March 2, 2016

This is what Leukopenia looks like inside your body

What's Leukopenia?

Before my mother died, two years ago next month, and sick for a whole year, she was diagnosed with having leukopenia with blood work by an hematologist. At first, we thought it was an reoccurrence of a cancer scare, since had had lung cancer many years ago.For once a month, she went to the hospital to get vitamin B12 shots in her arm in the same area of the cancer wing.

Now fast forward, to June 2014, my family doctor told me I had Leukopenia, too, when I was there for my physical follow-up. It wasn’t hereditary. It’s the polar opposite of having leukemia. Leukopenia is defined having a reduction count of white cells in the blood, which are typical of many diseases like anemia, hemorrhaging, etc. Because, in addition, white cell production has been inhibited, or the blood cell count can dip due to infection. You shouldn’t have less than 3500 white blood cells in every micro-liter.

Last June, my white blood cell count hit borderline low. Last December, it returned back to normal. This summer, I have my next follow-up with my physical.

What causes Leukopenia?

Virus infections can lower the white blood cell count as cells die off from infection, and causes the body to slow bone marrow function. Medical treatments can temporary deplete your body of white blood cells like chemotherapy, antibiotics, diuretics, and radiation therapy. If you’re anemic or experiencing a vitamin deficiency, you might not enough nutrients it needs to build an adequate supply of healthy white blood cells. It could lead to leukopenia or your cells to die off prematurely.

Other causes of Leukopenia

Here’s a list of other diseases that can cause harm to the immune system and the white blood cells, lading to leukopenia: AIDS/HIV, hyperthyroidism, lupus, myelodysplastic syndrome, parasitic diseases, kostmann’s syndrome, leukemia, myelokathexis, or myelofibiosis. Hypersplenisism, a condition that causes the spleen to become overactive, can prematurely destroy white blood cells.

My box of Centrum multi-vitamins from earlier this year

Symptoms and treatment

Blood tests ordered by your doctor can find out, if you leukopenia or not. If it’s chronic low blood count (like I had last fall), it could make you vulnerable to infections. Wash your hands regularly and throughly, wear a face face mask and avoid anyone with a cold or other illness are prevention methods.

Mild leukopenia is often temporary and will cease as your symptoms lessen. If severe, you would need to seek treatment to prevent a potential life threatening condition from developing.

Anemia is a common symptom, when it indicates that the red blood cell count is dipping along with the white blood cells count. Bleeding from the uterus that’s not caused by menstruation is menorrhagia, another symptom. Other symptoms include frequent headaches or mood swings, fatigue, irritability or hot flashes, inflammation in the mouth as around the cheeks, lips, tongue cheeks, tonsils, etc., and stomach lining inflammation.

Low immunity is what I have had, due to a change of lifestyle. The loss of my mother had brought on some stress, along with a change of diet of eating healthier foods. And this is before I started the gym in October 2014. I experienced cold-like symptoms last year. (For those who read my pi-yo hubs, when I referred to my “cold”, I referred to my Leukopenia condition.) I also had a drop in Vitamin B and B12 since last summer, when I’ve lost 25 pounds in over a year, since I walked Downtown to church and the library. Also I've walked to my local store, and to my gym, five days a week, and attended multiple gym classes, morning and afternoon/evening. I’ve also had fatigue and headaches, too.

Leukopenia is treated by stimulating the bone marrow to product additional white blood cels. Steroids, cytokine and chemotherapy are also used to stimulate the bone marrow. Multi-vitamins that contain copper and zinc is another treatment to ensure you’re giving enough nutrients to product healthy blood cells.

I'm taking my Sundown multi-vitamins with 2 gummy tablets a day with meal

Get Your Daily Dose of Vitamins

There’s three ways to get your daily multi-vitamins to boost your immunity: fresh produce, multi-vitamins and B-12 shots. This is your sure bet to prevent leukopenia.

The easiest and cheapest way is to buy produce at your local grocery store or farmer’s market, every time you go to the store. Whether it’s canned, frozen, fresh, or juiced, even in smoothies, you’ll get enough to start everyday. Or you can grow your own vegetables and fruits in your own garden as well. It would save you lots to money and have it, all year-long.

Next up is buying multi-vitamins at your local pharmacy or grocery’s pharmacy. From chewables, gummy, tablets or gel capsules, you’ll have them one a day with your meal and drink, except for Sundown’s vitamins, when you take them twice a day. There’s not too expensive around $10-15, and it’s best to get them, when they’re on sale. Or if you have coupons, you can save some money. If it’s buy one, get one free, it’s a great bargain to stock up on your vitamins for you and your family. There’s ones for adults, children, men and women and even seniors. They range from 60 to 130 count, so it’s best for you to get them when it’s high like 100 and above that would last you, at least, three months. Alive, One a Day, Centrum, Sundown Naturals and Naturemade, even your own store generic brand, are the vitamins to try.

Lastly, there’s the B-12 shots. My mother had to take them once a month at our local hospital. Her health insurance covered the cost. Only your doctor can prescribe it to you. It lasts less than a half-hour best, just to get the shot administered into your body. To pass along the time, bring a book or your Kindle to read. Even if you have to wait in the lobby, if there’s a hold-up, it can last a bit longer, too.

So make sure you get your daily vitamins every day and stay healthy all year-long!

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    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 15 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      CE, only a year ago I changed my profile pic. I haven't updated it. Thanks for sharing my hub my friend. I never heard of it, until my mother had it. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Au fait profile image

      C E Clark 15 months ago from North Texas

      Had never heard about leukopenia before. So now I've learned something new, thanks to you taking the time to share. Good advice regarding the vitamins even if one doesn't have leukopenia. Sharing this great info with my followers.

      I don't know how long ago you changed your profile picture, but I love it! It looks great.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 18 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Chitranagada for stopping by and commenting.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 18 months ago from New Delhi, India

      Very important and informative hub about boosting immunity with multi Vitamins to treat Leukopenia. I am sure this article would be very helpful for many.

      Sorry to learn about your mother.

      Please take good care of yourself and thanks for sharing your valuable experience with others.

    • Kristen Howe profile image
      Author

      Kristen Howe 18 months ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Flourish. Oh no. It sounds like it. I prefer vitamins over those shots she had to take at the hospital.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 18 months ago from USA

      I'm sorry about the loss of your mother. I'm glad you are taking good care of yourself. My mother has chronic, unexplained iron and vitamin B deficiency just like my grandmother and great grandmother and they think it's genetic. It causes a lot of the symptoms you reference.