Keith’s GoutPal Story 2020 Forums Please Help My Gout! Gout and White Blood Cell Count

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  • #16323
    airjs22
    Participant

    Hello,

    I am new to this and just had my first gout experience. I am pretty healthy 29 year old male. I have had many sports injuries (3 ACL tears) and turned my ankle countless times. My diet is I guess normal for my age as is my drinking. I don’t drink during the weekdays and will drink either Friday or Saturday. More if something is going on but nothing too crazy. I rarely drink soda but enjoy my beer. Fast food more often than I should as well. I might be overweight but no more than 5-10 pounds for my size.

    I had an incident where I woke up with a very sore ankle. I thought maybe I rolled it sleep walking. Didn’t think much of it. Then a month ago I had a severe gout attack in that same ankle. Went to bed and woke up in horrible pain and ankle was very swollen. There was no bruising so after some research came across gout. I went and got checked this week and did blood work. The results came back with uric acid level of 7.7 which doc said is High. The conversation was very quick with the doc because I was driving. I will call again tomorrow but right now one thing is really bugging me I thought some of you might know.

    Everything else from blood results was great he said. Blood sugar, cholesterol etc… Except for one thing he said I had a low white blood cell count. As of now the Gout attack is 4 weeks out but I still have some pain present in my ankle and a small amount of swelling right in the joint.

    SO after all that my question is if its common for after a gout attack to have a low white blood cell count. When I google low white blood cell count it really scares the crap out of me. Doc said it could be nothing because it was NOT super low. I will ask him the exact count. The things I find online seem to note that I should have a higher white blood cell count after a gout attack so that really makes me wonder. Any knowledge would be greatly appreciated. As of now he said wait 3-4 weeks and do another blood test. In the meantime my mind is wandering…

    Thanks for any replies.


    Can Gout cause a High White Blood Cell Count?
    #16325

    Hi @airjs22, and thank you for joining the forum.

    First, I’m not a doctor, I just know about gout. My information comes from experience, and researching medical literature.

    I cannot find any specifics relating to serum tests, only synovial fluid. Even then, it is complicated and changes over the course of a gout flare, so the only meaningful data comes from a series of tests over a few days.

    A little research on WBC outside the field of gout tells me that the total itself has some significance, but again, unless it is dangerously low, a series of tests over time is required to get a better picture. More importantly, it is not the total count that you consider, but the total and the ratio of different types.

    It’s similar to cholesterol. People panic when they get told they have high cholesterol, but there is much more significance in the ratio of HDL to LDL.

    I’m approaching 8 years with this forum now. If I had a dollar for every panic caused by too little information I’d be a rich man. Discuss it with your doctor. Do not assume that it is connected to gout unless thorough tests by an experienced rheumatologist tell you it is.

    What you should be worrying about is the 7.7 uric acid level. You need to get it to 5 or lower to stop your joints crumbling. Don’t settle for anything higher than 5.

    Do you want a side bet on the WBC? My $10 says you’ll be normal on the next test.

    #16327
    airjs22
    Participant

    Thank You for the reply. That sounds like a good explanation of the WBC count. It’s just I’ve never had a low WBC count or a gout attack so the combo and news of this is a bit concerning from my perspective as to if there may be some sort of underlying cause to bring all this on. I will discuss it with my doctor for further explanation but was just curious if anyone in the forum had heard of the two being connected. My thought is that the WBC attack the crystals formed in the joint so I would think that the WBC count would be much higher, but again I really have no idea. Anyways thank you for the reply and I will continue to research and hopefully a few tweaks in my diet will bring that number down. The problem is I don’t think my diet is very bad to begin with. I avoid dairy for the most part and limit breads. I don’t eat fast food very often. I do however eat red meat so I will cut back in that area and see if it helps.

    Take Care!

    #16331

    I’ve also been thinking about the logic of this, as I can’t find any specific research.

    When you get a gout attack, white blood cells start to grow, divide, and multiply. That is the phagocytis that produces the glowing terror of a gout attack. That means WBC count must go up, at least temporarily. But the research I’ve read so far relates to joint fluid. If WBC count rockets at the site of the gout flare, does it fall in the blood stream?

    Moving on:
    “The problem is I don?t think my diet is very bad to begin with. I avoid dairy for the most part and limit breads. I don?t eat fast food very often. I do however eat red meat so I will cut back in that area and see if it helps.”

    Never forget that gout is a uric acid metabolism that is genetic in most cases. Yes, bad diet can make it worse, and in extreme cases it might be the only cause. People have very different ideas about what a bad diet is. In gout terms, the causes are excess animal purines, excess calories, and the big one – excess iron. Minor influences are dehydration and rapid weight loss, but those tend to be temporary.

    Even that does not give an absolute answer, as people have different ideas about what excess is. Excess animal purines happen when more than 15-20% of your calorie intake is from animal flesh. Excess calories are when you are fat. Excess iron is harder to judge and requires careful analysis of your blood test results and diet.

    If none of those three apply to your diet, then it is not bad, and no amount of dieting will save you from gout. If you have borderline or risky uric acid levels, you might be able to tweak your diet. This involves a lot of work making food choices that lower uric acid, and confirming the action with your own uric acid meter. Personally, I find allopurinol easier, but I’d be happy to work with anybody who wanted to try the diet improvement way.

    #24278
    Keith Taylor
    Keymaster

    I’ve recently seen a report about high white blood cell count and gout. In this case, it looks at the problem of diagnosis where both gout and septic arthritis are suspected.

    These cases show the potential difficulty involved in differentiating the synovial fluid in gout from that of a septic joint based on white blood cell count and differential alone. Furthermore, these cases highlight the importance of crystal analysis in cases of suspected septic arthritis. Given the current diagnostic capabilities available to clinicians, it is difficult, if not impossible, for the clinician to know definitively at the time that a treatment decision must be made whether a patient with a significantly elevated white blood cell count has pain as a result of septic arthritis or gout. Certainly, clinical judgment plays a role in deciding what treatment is most appropriate for these patients.

    That could be dangerous if the wrong treatment is given.

    Do you want me to do more research on the dangers of septic arthritis, high white blood cell count, and gout? Please let me know in the new gout forum. Or use the feedback form below.

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