White cell count

My latest bloods say my differential white cell count is abnormal but stable. The lymphocyte count is down and so is the monocytes. My ESR is better at 34 but the CRP is worse at 16.9. Not sure what that all means. I have GCA. I have been really ill for over a week and my rheumy has been off too but I have an appointment tomorrow and hope to get some answers. Feeling really fed up as before that I was doing well and reducing Pred from 60 to 45 gradually but now put myself back to 50. I am almost as bad as I was to start with. Forced myself to really rest yesterday to see if that might help. Was a bit better but not much. Woke every hour last night and got up at 4 am in desperation.

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5 Replies

  • Christine,

    What kind of symptoms are you experiencing? Are you having any vision changes? I am so glad that you are seeing the rheumatologist tomorrow..

    I have GCA and every time that I tried to reduce from 40mg, I would experience severe flares, vision chances and severe headaches.

    I pray that you will be feeling better. GCA can be difficult when flares appear.

    Are you under unusual stress or fighting any other infection?

    Take care, rest whenever you can.

  • So far I have never had vision changes but my head feels like shifting lead weights and tense.

  • Sorry to here that I understand how you feel. I was on 15mcg down to 5 and back up to 15mcg now due to a flare up and reducing far to soon my CRP is and has been 17 for three months. Going to see consultant tomorrow. Good luck and take care.

  • Sorry to read your mail. It is not unusual to have raised lymphocyte and monocyte count whilst on steroid treatment. As long as your rheumy/gp keep an eye on it being at acceptable levels you should be fine. Good to know you're seeing your rheumy and hope you will have some answers for your issues. I've had GCA for over four years now (I also have PMR) and it's a bit of a struggle to get down to an acceptable level of prednisolone. Thankfully I've never had any visual problems, and glad you haven't either, but it's miserable when the head aches kick in and whatever other symptoms you may have, we're all different. In my experience you learn to know your own body and when you need to take action. I'm lucky to have a good rheumy department where, if I need to, I can call for advice and if they're worried they will see me urgently. I hope you get sorted.

    Keeping stress levels down always helps. It's not for me to say, but meditation can help some folk, if you are this way inclined.

    All the best to you.

  • The white counts will be "abnormal" when you are on pred. Both ESR and CRP are very non-specific indicators - you could have something else going on besides GCA.

    GCA is a serious illness - it isn't just a cold, far more like severe proper influenza. You need to rest and treat yourself kindly - and not just for a week or two, possibly for months.

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