How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Mark Your Own Question
Dr. Mark
Dr. Mark, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 11946
Experience:  U.S. Physician/Surgeon in Neurosurgery
206912
Type Your Health Question Here...
Dr. Mark is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What are the dangers and or symptoms of large red blood cells

Resolved Question:

What are the dangers and or symptoms of large red blood cells? I have been told by my Doctor that mine are large and I am worried.   Thank you
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
Was this part of a routine blood test?

Or were you having particular symptoms?

Do you drink alcohol - alot? Or have a poor diet?
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Yes, it was part of a routine blood test   NO, I was not having any symptoms. Yes, I do drink alcohol a lot. No, I do not have a poor diet.
Expert:  Dr. Mark replied 8 years ago.
OK.

The enlarged red blood cell that your doctor was referring to is called "macrocytosis", or simply the larger size of the red blood cell on the blood test, as measured by the lab.

It can be seen in a number of conditions, but when the enlargement is mild, the reason for the enlargement is effects of chronic alcohol use on the bone marrow (which makes the red blood cell).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macrocytosis
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/macrocytosis/AN01287

It can also come from Vitamin B12 deficiencies, folate deficiency, liver disease, or medications, so if the macrocytosis is severe, it can cause anemia and require treatment directed at the underlying condition. Most commonly, it is simply a finding on the blood test - but is an indication that your alcohol use can be affecting your body in an adverse way.
Dr. Mark and 3 other Health Specialists are ready to help you