Macrocytic anemia is a medical condition that is caused when the bone marrow produces an abnormal amount of red blood cells. One important thing to note here is that these abnormally produced red blood cells don’t have the nutrients required for them to function normally.
Furthermore, there are two types of macrocytic anemia: megaloblastic macrocytic anemia and non-megaloblastic macrocytic anemia. Both of these types of macrocytic anemia are developed when the body is deficient in certain nutrients. Although macrocytic anemia is not a serious illness, it can lead to some serious medical problems if not treated.
Medical Conditions that can Cause Macrocytic Anemia
There are various medical conditions that can cause macrocytic anemia. Some of them are:
- Myelodysplastic syndrome犀利士
: A myelodysplastic syndrome is a group of disorders that happens when something is wrong with the bone marrow, which hinders its ability to produce healthy blood cells.
- Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is a condition that impacts the functioning of the thyroid gland. It is known to be linked to macrocytic anemia in various ways.
- Alcohol use disorder: Intaking an excessive amount of alcohol can prevent the body from absorbing the required amount of vitamin B12, which can lead to various types of anemia like macrocytic anemia, normocytic anemia, and more.
Symptoms of Macrocytic Anemia
Importantly, macrocytic anemia develops very gradually. Hence, the patient is not able to notice any apparent symptoms until the condition gets severe. When the symptoms of macrocytic anemia start to appear, they can include:
- Swelling or redness of the tongue (glossitis)
- Low appetite
- Loss of breath
Moreover, it is also important to note that the symptoms of one type of anemia can be similar to another type of anemia. Hence, it can be a bit hard to determine if the symptoms are of aplastic anemia or macrocytic anemia. However, there are a few symptoms that a person experiences only when they have macrocytic anemia. These symptoms are:
- Pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in feet or hands.
- Instability while walking.
- Memory loss
All of these symptoms can be resolved after treatment. But they can also become permanent if the person does not get timely treatment.
Diagnosis of Macrocytic Anemia
Macrocytic anemia can be diagnosed with the help of the patient’s medical history, blood tests, and symptoms. There are various tests that can be used in the diagnosis of macrocytic anemia, including:
- Hemoglobin: Hemoglobin is measured with the help of a standard complete blood count, also known as CBC. If it is less than 12 grams per deciliter (g/dL), the person is likely to be suffering from anemia.
- Blood smear: A blood smear is also an effective way to diagnose macrocytic anemia. In this test procedure, the blood cells are observed under a microscope to see if they are megaloblastic or macrocytic. In addition to that, a blood smear also helps to see if cells are cancerous.
- Reticulocyte count: Reticulocyte count is the number of red blood cells that are immature.