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Multiple Myeloma Side Effects- Low Neutrophils aka Leukopenia- Help!

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First, “neutrophils” are while blood cells. “leukopenia” is occurs when a person’s white blood cells drop during chemo for your multiple myeloma.

Hi David-My induction chemo for my recent multiple myeloma diagnosis was stopped last week because my neutrophils dropped too low. My question is if you know of any supplements or foods to increase the immune system’s production of neutrophils to eliminate this MM side effect aka leukopenia.  Thanks, Sarah

Hi Sarah,

Leukopenia is one of the most common multiple myeloma side effects caused by chemotherapy. If a patient’s white blood cells drop far enough below normal the patient’s chemotherapy may be reduced or even halted altogether. The fear of course, is that low white blood cell count can expose the patient to infections that he or she can’t fight off.

Also, to clarify “neutrophils” are while blood cells. “leukopenia” is occurs when a person’s white blood cells drop during chemo. Secondly, I’m sure your oncologist has told you that you are at increased risk of infection.  As always, I encourage you to read the info contained in the links below.
According to many of the search results listed in the links below, these supplements and/or foods may be able to increase neutrophil count in the blood.
Let me know if you have any questions.
Keep in mind that
  • nutritional antioxidants,
  • both food and supplements,
  • integrative therapies and
  • anti-MM supplementation
can help you fight MM while you reduce your reliance on conventional MM chemotherapy regimens. To learn more about this, please watch the short video below:


Hang in there,
David Emerson
  • MM Survivor
  • MM Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:


What every physician needs to know about leukopenia:

Leukopenia” is a general term referring to a reduced number of white blood cells in the peripheral blood. It is almost always due to a decrease in one subset of white blood cells. It can be due to:

  • Granulocytopenia: A general term referring to all granulocytes, including neutrophils, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils
  • Neutropenia: A reduction in the number of neutrophils
  • Lymphopenia: A reduction in the number of lymphocytes

Since monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils comprise a relatively small proportion of the total circulating white blood cell pool, leukopenia is almost always due to neutropenia or lymphopenia.

Consequently, the terms granulocytopenia and neutropenia are often used interchangeably. A complete lack of one of the other granulocytic series is also abnormal and may have an impact on innate immunity, but is rarely a cause of a depressed total white blood cell count.

The definition of “leukopenia” varies, but in most laboratories the lower limit of a normal total white cell count is 3000/μl to 4000/μl. Neutropenia is defined as an absolute neutrophil count (ANC) of less than 1500/μl. However, this number has been determined largely in cohorts of Caucasian individuals, and there are several ethnic groups in which the range of normal neutrophil counts is shifted toward a lower number. This is discussed in the entry on ethnic neutropenia. Agranulocytosis, a complete lack of granulocytes, refers to a specific subset of neutropenia that has a unique differential diagnosis.

Mild or chronic reductions in white blood cells can be benign and in the absence of alarming symptoms may not require further evaluation. However, new or severe leukopenia, especially neutropenia, especially when accompanied by any of the signs or symptoms described below, should prompt a thorough investigation…”

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