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 A. Schuyler, NP Your Own Question
A. Schuyler, NP
A. Schuyler, NP, Nurse Practitioner
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 16036
Experience:  Board Certified NP, MS, RN. 25 years private practice & hospitalist
3157612
Type Your Health Question Here...
A. Schuyler, NP is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What does it mean when my RDW keeps going higher every time

Customer Question

What does it mean when my RDW keeps going higher every time they check it.
JA: Have you seen a doctor about this yet? What medications are you taking?
Customer: Right now I am receiving iron infusions 2x a week it is still low , but not as low as it was. Yes I'm seeing my oncologist, as the hematology this time
JA: Are you keeping a personal medical record while dealing with this?
Customer: i take a ton of meds, the only thing that is new is the xarelto. My husband and I were hit by a state cop that ran a red light, no lights or sirens
JA: Anything else in your medical history you think the doctor should know?
Customer: I was the passenger and he hit my side, I was immediately knocked out my husband said. I had a severe concussion I am having some cognitive issues still I'm concerned about the RDW because I've had cancer twice
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 2 months ago.

Hello,

Welcome to Just Answer. My name is***** and I will be helping you today.

Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 2 months ago.

Hello,

RDW is red cell distribution width. It measures the variation in red blood cells volume/size. It gets higher when there are anemias based on deficiency in iron, folate or B12. It can also be from blood loss or a heriditary disease called thalassemia intermedia. All by itself, it doesn't mean a whole lot. It is used along with mean corpuscular volume (MCV) to try to distinguish various types of anemia. Since you are having iron infusions, you likely have iron deficiency anemia. That is something your hematologist could tell you.

Please let me know if you need additional information about this.

Kind regards,

Schuyler

~

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
My HGB is now after 9 infusions is 12.2
My MCH is 32.3 and as I said the RDW is 16.1. It started out low and is climbing
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 2 months ago.

MCH is mean corpuscular hemoglobin and will always track along with hemoglobin. Since you have iron deficiency anemia, these numbers don't mean anything except as a method to measure that. It has nothing to do with cancer and doesn't diagnose anything. It's just part of a complete blood count.

It does sound like you are responding to the iron infusions since the hemoglobin is going up. However, you should not get hung up over these other numbers that don't really tell you anything about any other disease process.

Best regards,

Schuyler

~

Customer: replied 2 months ago.
Posted by JustAnswer at customer's request) Hello. I would like to request the following Expert Service(s) from you: Live Phone Call. Let me know if you need more information, or send me the service offer(s) so we can proceed.
Expert:  A. Schuyler, NP replied 2 months ago.

Since you have not accepted the live phone call, I will try to continue to help you.

As I mentioned, RDW is the variation in cell size/volume. Since you are undergoing therapy with iron infusions this is understandable. Iron is required to make hemoglobin which is required for red blood cells. As you are getting more iron, you are making more red blood cells and the new cells are smaller than the older ones. This makes for a larger variation in cell size.

Your hematologist should have explained all of this to you.

Kind regards,

Schuyler

~

Related Health Questions