Your Eosinophil Count

What Causes Abnormal Eosinophil Count?

Abnormal eosinophil count can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'generally fatal'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose abnormal eosinophil count, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "abnormal eosinophil count" as a symptom.  Here are eight of many possibilities (more below):
  • Drug Side-Effects
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis
  • Asthma
  • Parasite Infection
  • Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • Cirrhosis Of The Liver
  • Leukemia
  • Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
unusual stool color
regularly feeling unusually cold
being very skinny
diffuse bone pain
multiple painful cervical nodes
major unexplained weight loss
recent dry cough
regular unexplained vomiting
very easy bruising
regular unexplained nausea
difficulty breathing in cold weather
nails that are mostly white
... and more than 60 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of abnormal eosinophil count:
Cause Probability Status
Leukemia 97% Confirm
Dermatitis Herpetiformis 18% Unlikely
Hodgkin's Lymphoma 18% Unlikely
Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma 2% Ruled out
Parasite Infection 0% Ruled out
Asthma 0% Ruled out
Drug Side-Effects 0% Ruled out
Cirrhosis Of The Liver 0% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

If you indicate having had recent lab tests, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
White blood Cells - Eosinophil Percentage [fraction]
Possible responses:
→ Don't know
→ 0 to 6% [0.00-0.06] (normal)
→ 7 to 10% [0.07-0.10] (slightly elevated)
→ 11-20% [0.11-0.20] (elevated)
→ Over 20% [0.20] (high)
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate normal eosinophil count, slightly elevated eosinophil count, elevated eosinophil count or highly elevated eosinophil count, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Hodgkin's lymphoma often causes severe eosinophilia.

Leukemia

Acute Eosinophilic Leukemia (AEL) is a rare subtype of acute myeloid leukemia in which most of the cells in the blood and marrow are eosinophilic cells.  Chronic Eosinophilic Leukemia (CEL) is a disease in which too many eosinophils are made in the bone marrow.

Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma

As with Hodgkin's lymphoma, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma causes eosinophilia (elevated eosinophil levels), but to a lesser degree.

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