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January 24, 2002

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Question from Washington, DC, USA:

Since my diagnosis of type 1 diabetes more than three years ago, my white blood cell count has always been below the norm (3.0-3.1). My doctor claims that this is nothing serious, but I need a second opinion. Is there any danger in having such a low WBC? Are there any tests available to determine the cause? Can a change in a diet help? Is this related to type 1 diabetes?

Answer:

I doubt that a WBC of 3.1 is serious. There are components of the WBC, which I’m sure your doctor has looked at, and if they are okay, in all likelihood everything is okay. I don’t know of any change to WBC caused by type 1 diabetes, and I expect your count was as it is prior to diagnosis. If you can handle infections, etc., then you are okay.

LD