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    enlarged red blood cells
    alex013 posted:
    i've had a recent blood test to be told i have enlarged red bloods, can you explain this
    J_Harrison_Hohner responded:
    Dear alex: As part of a complete blood count and differential ("CBC & diff") one gets the number of red blood cells as a percentage (hematocrit), and the amount of hemoglobin. If these are low the person is said to be anemic. There are many types (and causes) of anemia. One way to help identify the cause of an anemia is to look at the individual red blood cells (RBC) and see if they are enlarged, normal size, or too small ("macrocytic", normocytic", or microcytic"). The MD then looks at the blood work to see if you have increased numbers of reticulocytes (very young red blood cells). Some POSSIBLE causes of enlarged red blood cells might include: deficiency of vitamin B 12 (eg strict vegetarian), deficiency of folate, low thyroid, kidney disease, or problems with bone marrow. Depending upon how severely abnormal your RBCs are, your MD would likely order some additional tests. Yours, Jane

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