Author Topic: High red blood cell count & enlarged red blood cells  (Read 7279 times)


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High red blood cell count & enlarged red blood cells
« on: December 28, 2010, 07:56:03 AM »
At my 1st rheumy appt. last week, he told me that previous blood work showed a slightly high red blood cell count & enlarged red blood cells. I asked what that means, but he didn't answer. He did ask if I have gas heat or if I've had a lot of fires in the fireplace, which I have neither. He said carbon monoxide can cause problems with red blood cells. The dr. who originally ordered the lab work didn't say anything about it, so guess he wasn't concerned or just didn't notice it.

I googled it, but there's so much info. out there I have no idea what to make of it.

Even before all of my problems flared up in September (extreme fatigue & weakness, pain all over, but especially in my eyes, mouth, jaw, & neck; dry mouth & eyes...), for almost a year I've often had some problems breathing while lying down, feeling like I'm not getting enough oxygen in. No one has been able to explain that.

Anybody know anything about high red blood cell count or enlarged red blood cells? Could it be some type of oxygen deprivation?


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Re: High red blood cell count & enlarged red blood cells
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2010, 08:55:07 AM »
Hi MiJoy

Pernicious anemia (PA---which I've had for 30 years) is a macrocytic anemia (meaning "large celled") that is typically caused by vitamin B12 deficiency.  Taking oral B12 will not improve this situation as PA is caused by the (probably autoimmune) loss of the parietal cells in the stomach that produce "intrinsic" factor necessary to make use of the ingested B12.

I have required high level injection (1000 units) cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12) for these years.  Occasionally very high levels of the vitamin are prescribed orally for those with some parietal cell function remaining.  There are tests to determine whether a person may have PA but the results can be difficult to interpret once B12 supplementation has begun.

Here is a discussion of PA at:

Quote:  "Pernicious anemia is a disease where large, immature, nucleated cells (megaloblasts, which are forerunners of red blood cells) circulate in the blood, and do not function as blood cells; it is a disease caused by impaired uptake of vitamin B-12 due to the lack of intrinsic factor (IF) in the gastric mucosa."

Best wishes in your hunt for answers, MiJoy
Mary Ann in Wisconsin

"A man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that is unlocked and opens inwards as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push." 
          Ludwig Wittgenstein


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Re: High red blood cell count & enlarged red blood cells
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2010, 02:02:50 PM »
Mary Ann,

Thanks very much for the info. I'm not sure if I'm reading the info. correctly, but is it saying that a person with PA has a low red blood cell count? I have a high red blood cell count as well as the enlarged red blood cells. So that would mean I don't fit the criteria for PA. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

I appreciate your reply. It would be nice if doctors would come out & tell you what they're looking at. Strange thing is that the GP that ordered this blood work in October didn't say anything looked abnormal. (I've since found a much better GP.)

This little elementary school teacher is discovering a whole lot of diseases out there I never knew existed.



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Re: High red blood cell count & enlarged red blood cells
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2011, 06:37:26 AM »
Anybody got anymore info. about high red blood cell count?

All of my bloodwork came back negative for ANA, SSA, & SSB & everything else is normal except
they said I'm a little dehydrated. I don't understand that because I drink a minimum of 2 48 oz. bottles of water per day!!
When I asked the PA why that would be she had no answer except just keep drinking water.

My next rheumy appt. isn't until the end of the month, & I'm so anxious to get some answers.

I already got my GP to refer me to another rheumy out of town because I'm not so sure about the one I went to, but that appt. isn't until April.