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I have had 2 blood tests taken 3 weeks apart - both showed that I have a low white blood cell count. I had been feeling unwell (lack of energy) for a few months prior to that. There is a history of auto immune diseases in my family (sarcoidosis, Lupus, Hashimotos thyroiditis). My GP is asking me to have another blood test in a couple of weeks. Does this sound reasonable? Or should I make an appointment to request further investigations. I do have raynauds disease, skin rashes and other symptoms which could indiciate lupus, which is worrying me.

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The Answer

It’s understandable that you’re worried, however, your GP is right to repeat the blood test prior to initiating any further investigations. This is to ensure that the test result was accurate and indicated a pattern rather than a one off result which can happen occasionally.

With regards to Lupus this isn’t a condition that can usually be detected through straightforward testing as its presentation varies from person to person. Whilst a low white cell count may be indicative of lupus there are other signs and symptoms that will be looked for in order to determine whether its present or not. Once you’ve had your repeat testing it would seem sensible, if your count does remain low, to discuss this concern with your GP and any further investigations he may feel would be required.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

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