CLL Support Association
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Boost neutrophills/platelets

Hi, my husband currently has neutrophils 0.6 and platelets of 87. he has recently come out of hospital for treatment of pneumonia. As he has p17 deletion treatment options are limited. He had prednisilone 100mg a day for several months a few years ago which helped his cll but gave him four collapsed vertebrae. We are also advised that this type of treatment would also further reduce his immunity. Anybody got any suggestions as to supplements or anything which would help? thankyou

5 Replies

While your husband's platelet and neutrophil levels are fairly low, it is possible with care to manage at these levels without artificially boosting them. The neutrophil level is of most concern as your husband will need to be very careful to minimise his risk of infection. I've included a couple of important links relating to living with low neutrophils below. Do a search for posts here on immunity and let me know if you need more information. Neutrophils can be boosted if needed - best to discuss with your specialist whether that is advised. Exercise can also help. You also should confirm whether your husband is having blood tests frequently enough to monitor for any worsening of his condition.

Neutropenic Diet

Neutropenic Sepsis

Treatment for low platelets is platelet transfusions, but as platelets only last for around a week, it is not often done. My haematologist has told me the trigger point for platelet transfusions is when they drop under 20. Provided they remain above 50, I don't think your specialist will be too concerned, but the actual level of concern will depend on the country and specialist.

By the way, my platelet and neutrophil levels are only about 25% higher than your husband's.

I hope your husband's levels at least stabilise,



Hi there,

Neil usually gives very useful advice/links.

My experience of very low neuts (0.01 at lowest during FCR treatment), with platelets below 80 and very low Hb - resulted in a blood transfusion and GCSF injections. Important to note that I am not p17 though.

I was also given advice as to what not to eat while neuts low but there was no nutritional advice from medical team on what would help improve neut counts.


As far as I'm aware nothing will boost neutrophils platelets or than specific drugs like G-CSF or N-Plate... or transfusion, splenectomy in rare cases etc.

Perhaps a good diet and exercise might help...

Also, many foods and supplements can disrupt proper platelet FUNCTION, so perhaps certain foods should be avoided... this article outlines some common foods...


Any CLL patient can get neutropenia or thrombocytopenia, 17p has nothing to do with this, other than 17p patients may have different treatment than the rest and these treatments could cause more cytopenia.


My son was on Dexamethasone for 5 days. Had a transfusion today because his platelets were as low as 7, they were 10 last week.

I can't help thinking that if he did not have an appointment today with his doctor, and therefore did not get the infusion, he would have been in danger. He finished the Dexamethasone treatment 5 days ago, has been off Ibrutinib since then, and he has to remain off Ibrutinib until his platelets' count go up.

I really don't know what to think of this situation, except that it's bad and that it should'nt be...




My prayers go out to both of you.



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