How to Live with Neutropenia
Living with neutropenia may be a bumpy road, but it does not make it impossible to live a healthy life. Following safe hygiene and dietary practices, talking to your doctor, and knowing when to seek medical attention can keep you in tip-top shape, even with a weakened immune system. While you will need to be cautious to avoid contracting illnesses, there are ways to make living with the condition easier!
Learning About Neutropenia
Understand what neutropenia is.Neutropeniais a condition in which a certain type of white blood cell (neutrophils) is partly absent from the bloodstream. This makes the body more susceptible to illness.There are several levels of neutropenia, depending on the number of neutrophils in your body; while the number of neutrophils per level may vary, Georgia Health Sciences cites them as the following:
- Mild neutropenia:Neutrophil levels between 1500 and 1900.
- Moderate neutropenia:Neutrophil levels between 1000 and 1400.
- Moderate to severe neutropenia:Neutrophil levels between 500 and 900. Risk of illness is high.
- Severe neutropenia:Neutrophil levels lower than 500. Risk of illness is extremely high.
Be aware of the types of neutropenia.Neutropenia can be temporary or chronic. Many instances of the condition occur side-by-side with other conditions (e.g. as a result of chemotherapy). However, this is not the case for everybody, and it is a good idea to learn about the chronic types of neutropenia.
- Chronic congenital neutropeniais caused by a genetic disorder and causes chronic severe neutropenia, leading to constant recurrent infections.
- Chronic idiopathic neutropeniais a form of neutropenia most common in females. There is a slight neutrophil deficiency, but it is usually not as severe as with congenital neutropenia.
- Cyclic neutropeniashows up as chronic repeating episodes of neutropenia, recurring on average about every 21 days and lasting from three to five days.
- Autoimmune neutropeniais when the body does not recognize neutrophils and attacks them. This is most common in young children, but can occur in adults as well.
Recognize the many causes of neutropenia.Some people are born with neutropenia, while others acquire neutropenia later in life. There are various causes of neutropenia, whether it is a genetic mutation, the result of an illness or infection, or a result of medical treatments (e.g. chemotherapy).
Talk to your doctor.Your healthcare provider will explain the type of neutropenia you have, and review when to call for medical help. Be sure to consult with them for advice and assistance if you have concerns.
Keeping Yourself Disease-Free
Make good hygiene a habit.Since low neutrophil levels will leave you more prone to disease, it is crucial to be hygienic, to lessen the risk of illness.
- Wash your hands regularly. Sing the Happy Birthday song while washing your hands, as the song will give you enough time to wash your hands properly. Be sure to wash your hands after using the bathroom, after coughing or sneezing, after shaking hands with someone or touching anything handled by other people.Afterwards, use a paper towel to dry your hands.
- Wipe from front to back after using the bathroom. Cleaning from front to back is particularly important for females, though cleanliness in this area is important for any gender.
- Brush your teeth with a soft toothbrush. This helps prevent cavities and exposure to pathogens. Soft toothbrushes are less likely to cause injuries to the gums.
- Shower daily.
- Do not share food, cups, utensils or other personal items, such as toothbrushes.
Do laundry regularly.Clothes, sheets, and towels can harbor bacteria, which is not what you want when your immune system is weak. Try to do your laundry frequently, and avoid wearing the same clothes multiple times prior to their wash.
- Wash facecloths, hand and bath towels daily. While this may seem excessive, these towels are prone to gathering bacteria, and should be washed regularly even by those who do not have neutropenia.
Take precaution with foods.If food is not properly prepared, it can harbor bacteria that can make you sick. Ensuring that you handle food carefully is incredibly important.
Use hand sanitizer as needed.Hand sanitizer can kill harmful bacteria on your hands, so if you cannot wash your hands when you normally would, rub hand sanitizer thoroughly into your hands, until it dries.
- That being said, do not rely on hand sanitizer alone. Hand sanitizer does not kill as many germs as hand washing does.Make sure you wash your hands whenever possible, and use hand sanitizer in addition to it.
Avoid using tampons.Tampons are often associated with bacterial infections such as toxic shock syndrome, and it is not a good idea to risk an infection while neutropenic. Use sanitary pads instead.
- Exercise similar caution with menstrual cups. While these are considered safer than tampons, they still pose a risk of toxic shock syndrome.
Keep household surfaces clean.
Use gloves for some household tasks.
- Wear vinyl or household gloves when cleaning up pet waste or cleaning a cat litter box.
- Wear gloves when gardening, as some pathogens are found in garden soil.
- Put on gloves if you need to change a baby's diaper, as feces can carry bacteria. However, avoid handling diapers of a baby with diarrhea, even with gloves.
Avoid using hot tubs and Jacuzzis to help prevent pathogen exposure.
Avoid interacting with people who are sick.While it may not be possible to completely avoid sick people, try not to engage in physical contact with someone who appears sick or is sneezing or coughing. As well, avoid being their caretaker. Always make sure to wash your hands after being around a sick person, even if they are only sick with a cold.
- Take extra caution with children, especially if they have been in contact with others who have been sick or if they have not been vaccinated.
Engage in intimate activity only if safe to do so.Some forms of intimacy (such as sexual activity, or in severe cases, kissing) can result in transmission of disease while neutropenic. You should discuss with your doctor what activity is safe for you and your partner to engage in prior to any intimacy, and avoid these activities when your partner is sick. While it is often safe to hug and kiss others while neutropenic, always check with your doctor first, especially if your white blood cell count is very low.
- Avoid oral and anal sex, as these can pass along infections, and anal sex in particular can cause tears in the skin.
- Use a water-based lubricant and condoms when having sex, to prevent transmission of any kind of disease.
Avoid crowded places.It is recommended to steer clear of crowds and busy areas, since it is likely that someone in a crowd will be sick.
- Go shopping when you know store traffic will be light.
Wear a N-95 mask.AnN-95 maskis a type of mask for your nose and mouth that filters what you breathe in.You can find a semi-permanent mask for sale online or you can buy disposable masks. Make sure the mask is rated N-95. You should wear a mask when you are neutropenic and when doing the following:
- Visiting your doctor or when you are around sick people.
- Visiting a public place.
- House cleaning.
- In the area of a construction zone.
Visit your doctor on a regular basis.
- If safe, ensure you get a flu shot seasonally that contains a dead vaccine.
- Hold off on visiting your dentist if your white blood cell count is particularly low. You can ask your doctor about visiting the dentist.
||Information about neutropenia.|
- Use a paper towel to open a public bathroom door.
- The suggestions given in this article should help prevent a risk of exposure to pathogens or germs. Be sure to check with your healthcare provider before following the information given in this article.
Zucchini Bread Pancakes
I Got to Be a Grandma Thanks to a Cancer Clinical Trial
How to Understand Your Kid Needs in Hindi
You won’t believe what can make your hair look shiny
Moms Graphic Selfie Goes Viral for Proving a C-Section Isnt the Easy Way Out
Juvia’s Place Celebrates Ulta Partnership With Afrique Collection
8 Side Effects Of Hormonal Birth Control Every Woman Should Know
How To Use Flax Seeds For Hair Growth
Best Clippers for Fades
How to Make Honey Cornflakes
Cookie Treat Bags
Ryan Giggs’ sister-in-law given 500 for abortion
Matt LeBlanc: Cate Blanchett said, It’s so great that you’re the new host on Top Gear. Can I come on