My Experience with a Condition Called Neutropenia

Studies have shown that alcohol may contribute to neutropenia if you have an infection such as pneumonia. I never thought I would be diagnosed with the condition, even though I enjoy a nice glass of wine every now and then (I can’t help it; I live in Napa where I’m surrounded by vineyards.)


The Diagnosis

Neutrophils are a type of white blood cells that can travel from your bloodstream and into the infected areas of your body, and is capable of destroying microorganisms. Last year, I decided to go to my doctor when I realized something was wrong with my body, and my doctor told me that most people who suffer from neutropenia can experience anything from:

•             Ulcers

•             Skin rashes

•             Wounds that take a long time to heal

•             Fever

•             Severe abscesses

•             Decrease in neutrophils

When my doctor informed me of these symptoms and what they meant, I was a bit worried. He mentioned that having high neutrophil counts can cause an autoimmune condition, such as Crohn’s disease and even rheumatoid arthritis. Fortunately, he also told me how to combat this issue by following a few neutropenic precautions. One of the first things he recommended is to avoid taking certain medications, such as:

•             Psychiatric drugs

•             Epilepsy drugs

•             Blood pressure drugs

Even though I was told to avoid these prescribed medications, I was also told that I should consider treating my neutropenia with antibiotics that specialize in treating bacterial infections, as well as drugs that can suppress my immune system.

There is a treatment that can stimulate and improve the bone marrow, which will easily help produce more white blood cells. This particular ailment has been proven to be a life-saving procedure. My doctor also recommended that I change my medication and have him treat my infection from the source.


Stem Cell Transplant

Another treatment option that I looked into was stem cell transplant. At the time, I had a severe case of neutropenia. This treatment procedure seemed to work well in getting rid of my health issue.

There were a few precautions I took that helped me avoid getting any more infections. These include:

•             Use an electric shaver instead of a razor

•             Make sure I always wore shoes

•             Avoid getting in contact with sick people

•             Avoid animal waste and avoiding changing infant diapers

•             Clean up any cuts and scrapes with a bandage

•             Have good hygiene

•             Wash my hands

•             Brush my teeth much more frequently

•             Avoid hot tubs and rivers

Hopefully, these precautions will help prevent the condition from coming back.