Chronically low lymphocyte numbers

i have had a below normal lymphocyte count since 2015. a low lymphocyte count is associated with higher risk of infections, which i do seem to get in the spring. the past two years my vitamin d has been at a normal level, so it’s not related to that. my last A1c was the best ever at 5.1, so it doesn’t seem to be related to that. anyone also have chronically low lymphocyte numbers?

1 Like

For those of you not familiar with lymphocytes here is a little blurb the NIH says about lymphocytes for your daily dose of education.

In general, lymphocytopenia (a low lymphocyte count) occurs because:

The body doesn't make enough lymphocytes.
The body makes enough lymphocytes, but they’re destroyed.
The lymphocytes get stuck in the spleen or lymph nodes.

A combination of these factors also may cause a low lymphocyte count.

Many diseases, conditions, and factors can lead to a low lymphocyte count. These conditions can be acquired or inherited. “Acquired” means you aren’t born with the condition, but you develop it. “Inherited” means your parents passed the gene for the condition on to you.

Exactly how each disease, condition, or factor affects your lymphocyte count isn’t known. Some people have low lymphocyte counts with no underlying cause.
Acquired Causes

Many acquired diseases, conditions, and factors can cause lymphocytopenia. Examples include:

Infectious diseases, such as AIDS, viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, and typhoid fever.
Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus. (Autoimmune disorders occur if the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s cells and tissues.)
Steroid therapy.
Blood cancer and other blood diseases, such as Hodgkin's disease and aplastic anemia.
Radiation and chemotherapy (treatments for cancer).

Inherited Causes

Certain inherited diseases and conditions can lead to lymphocytopenia. Examples include DiGeorge anomaly, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, severe combined immunodeficiency syndrome, and ataxia-telangiectasia. These inherited conditions are rare.

1 Like

My suggestion for any blood counts outside of “normal” range is to consult a Hematologist. Particularly if the person has other medical conditions (like diabetes) then I believe it is important to follow up on everything with a professional.

In terms of “normal range” it is always important to use the range as provided by the lab that runs the bloodwork.

1 Like

How far outside of normal are your lymphocyte numbers?

quest diagnostic reference range 850-3900. my last lymphocyte count was 776. i’ve been in the 700s the past 2 years. doctors think lymphocytes just temporally drop when you have an infection and then go back to normal, which is the usual case. lymphocyte count is seen to drop with aging- but i think that begins at 65- i’m 52. i probably will see a specialist if i don’t see it in the normal range after my next CBC. i tend to get some kind infection in february to april. like cold sores or something similar, so i know this level of lymphocytes is problematic.because i have to be monitored for anemia, i have had more CBC’s than most people. from 2015 to 2017 i had 5 complete blood counts done and all of them were with lymphocyte numbers under the normal range.

1 Like

Some ideas: @vprediabetic, it is possible that you have a mild form of chronic Lymphocytopenia. Some possible causes could make sense for you (see @Chris’s post):

  • some immune system diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis – since D is one too and comes with a possible rash of others, this could be a potential issue;

  • chronic undernutrition (that can mean many things…) is also a cause. Since you are also anemic, is it possible that you are a very small eater like my mother, who also has anemia for this same reason?

1 Like

i have anemia due to very heavy periods. i don’t eat any bread, noodles, beans, pastries, etc at all. lots of bread is fortified with B vitamins and before this summer i wasn’t taking a B complex supplement. i’m hoping that supplementing with B complex will solve the problem, but it may be i’m missing something else. when i wasn’t anemic based on hemoglobin, i still had low lymphocytes, but my ferritin is always super low- like 2. maybe that is the cause. i thought it might be because of low vita d, but i have been at normal ranges of d both this spring and last. there is an autoimmune connection since my mom went to total insulin dependence within 5 years of being diagnosed at type 2. i’m keeping up with this now that i have my iron and vitamin d under control.

1 Like

I don’t have an answer for most, but we used to live near an organic buffalo farm, and if you are looking for food with high iron and B-12, then buffalo may be for you. We used to buy a whole tenderloin and break it down into steaks and stew meat. Very tasty and good for you (as far as red meat goes).


This looks GREAT :slight_smile: