Enlarged red blood cells

Discussion in 'Symptoms' started by lisaadele, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. lisaadele

    lisaadele Active Member

    Recent blood work I had done showed (again) that I have enlarged red blood cells . The blood work shows high results for MCV and MCH. My doctor never gets excited about this and so I haven't either - but am wondering if it is something I should look into. I also have high B12 results in the blood work.

    I'm curious if others here have had these kinds of results and if they did anything about it?
    Merida and Who Me? like this.
  2. Remy

    Remy Administrator

    My MCV and MCH were increased as a result of taking Valtrex and Valcyte. It's apparently a normal side effect of those drugs, but I'm not sure if that applies to you at all.
    garnet10 and Who Me? like this.
  3. lisaadele

    lisaadele Active Member

    Hi Remy
    No these drugs don't apply to my case. I had read some drugs can cause this as well as chemotherapy and alcoholism.
  4. Who Me?

    Who Me? Well-Known Member

    Mine are slightly elevated. I took Valcyte for a short time but I think they may have been high before that.

    I have an appointment with a clinical immunologist in a few weeks. It's in my notes to ask him about that
    IrisRV likes this.
  5. weyland

    weyland Well-Known Member

    I have high MCV probably from Epivir. Not doing anything about it at this time because I want to stay on this drug.

    Are you getting adequate folate and B12 intake?
  6. lisaadele

    lisaadele Active Member

    Hi Weyland
    Yes good on both counts and B12 is high in the blood work as well.
  7. IrisRV

    IrisRV Well-Known Member

    Mine were elevated for 7 years, although now they're back in normal range. Nobody seems to care much. I have taken Valcyte and Valtrex, but I don't remember if my MCV and MCH were elevated before that.

    My B-12 was elevated too. No one was overly concerned about that either. My doctor suggested that might mean my body is not utilizing the form I was taking and suggested I switch to methylcobalamin and take methylfolate. I don't remember if we've checked it since then. :oops:
    Merida likes this.
  8. lisaadele

    lisaadele Active Member

    That's good to know... sounds like this is common enough.

    My doctor has never got excited about these results either...

    I'll keep on with the methylcobalamin that I've been taking for now but I was wondering about stopping since this was high.
    Merida likes this.
  9. Remy

    Remy Administrator

    It's pretty much always over range as long as you are supplementing...to my knowledge, there is no upper limit on tolerable intake set by the FDA because it's so safe.
    lisaadele likes this.
  10. IrisRV

    IrisRV Well-Known Member

    Agreed. It's almost impossible to overdo the B12. However, my doctor made a good point -- if it's hanging around in your blood because it can't be utilized, you're wasting your money supplementing.
    If the B12 is not being utilized, you could still be functionally deficient even though your blood levels are high. So stopping supplementing entirely may not be the answer. Changing form of B12 might help if you have a problem somewhere in the conversion chain. There are other things B12 needs to work that you might be able to supplement. One of our supplement gurus here might chip in with some suggestions.
    lisaadele likes this.
  11. Merida

    Merida Well-Known Member

    Thinking about enlarged red blood cells started me thinking about hemoglobin. This is an important topic, since it is the hemoglobin that is responsible for binding oxygen and carbon dioxide. Even within the same species there are different variants of hemoglobin - humans included. In adult humans the most common hemoglobin is hemoglobin A. Hemoglobin production requires the production of organic compounds called porphyrins. If the biochemical pathways are not functioning correctly porphyrins accumulate and "porphyria" results.

    There are many symptom overlaps between some forms of porphyria and CFS/ME. Hmmmm. Also, I wonder I'd RH D neg people have different hemoglobins ?

    I have had increased MCV too. Think this is an important and completely unexplored area?? Don't know how sed rates figure in, if at all.
    lisaadele likes this.
  12. Cannabee

    Cannabee New Member

    I have this too. Almost every CBC I've had over the last three years. High MCV, high MCH and sometimes high RDW. My B12 is high as well, but I do take lots of B12. Docs say it is nothing to be concerned with. However, this is usually a sign of macrocytic anemia. I think I recently read that low B1 can cause this too.
    Merida and lisaadele like this.
  13. Joyce Heward

    Joyce Heward Member

    I was diagnosed with macrocytic anaemia 10 years ago, and had very low folate. As you know, this causes large red cells. I felt like a zombie, no cognitive function, zapped of energy; couldn’t stand up.

    I took folic acid until a couple of years ago, when I thought it was reacting with another medicine I was taking. Blood tests last week showed that the folate was low again, so have been put on folic acid again.

    As I’ve just been given a diagnosis of CFS/ME, I’ll be interested to see how I feel in a few weeks.