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Old 02-23-2021, 12:12 PM
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Low Iron; Low White Blood Count & NSAIDs

After noticing my white count was persistently low/borderline low over 3 separate blood tests over the course of a year, I was referred to a hematologist. They have effectively ruled out cancer, which was my big concern, but what was the cause of the low white count? Well, due to increased aches and pains, I had been taking prescription Naprosyn twice a day over the last year. Hematologist told me that pretty much all NSAIDs will lower the white count. Who knew? So a month ago as soon as I learned that, I stopped all NSAIDs. My white count is still low normal, but at least it's in the normal range and no longer low or borderline. WBC count increased approximately 33% in the last 30 days.

But of course now I'm dealing with aches and pains for which I've been using Voltaren cream, which was recommended by the hematologist. Although Voltaren is a NSAID, the amount your body absorbs is supposedly negligible. I'm not so sure about that, as a few years ago I was prescribed Voltaren in pill form, and it gave me such blinding headaches that I stopped taking it after only 2 days. With the cream, I definitely have headaches again, but maybe about 10% of what they were with the pills. Doctors really don't have any other recommendations for my aches and pains. I would recommend the Voltaren cream as it does seem to be effective as topical pain relief. If anyone has some recommendations for other non-NSAID pain relief, please feel free to comment.

During my blood workup, on the last test my iron was tested for the first time in years. It was low. Not anemic-low, but close to it. I've been started on iron supplements. I've done tons of searches on iron deficiencies and AAS, finding nothing regarding potential links. Wondering if I missed something, please feel free to chime in if you can shed light on this. Doing research on iron deficiencies, I was amazed at all the potential blood implications due to low iron. There are also a ton of physical complaints related to low iron, but I had no symptoms whatsoever.

Regarding the iron, I eat a pretty well-balanced diet, but my red meat intake is next to nothing. Maybe once a week, twice a week at most. However, I do have at least a little spinach on most days. Hematologist told me that while spinach has iron, it's really hard for the body to absorb it from spinach during digestion. She said red meat is a much better source, but stopped short of recommending that I up my red meat intake, preferring the iron supplements instead.
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