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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Enlarged Red Blood Cells
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8 posts in this topic

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in May 2007 and have been feeling much better thanks to the gluten free diet. However, after having blood drawn for a routine physical, my primary care physcian noted that my red blood cells are quite enlarged, and are actually 2 to 3 times the size that a red blood cell should normally be. He sent me to a Hemotologist who did more testing and came up with the same results of enlarged red blood cells. The Hemotologist did extensive testing and could find no reason for the cells to be so enlarged, and finally dismissed the matter, saying it must be normal for me. I don't seem to have any symptoms, except that if I get a cut or have blood drawn, I bleed excesively. Has anyone else had this or heard of this and could it be related to celiac disease?

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I was diagnosed with celiac disease in May 2007 and have been feeling much better thanks to the gluten free diet. However, after having blood drawn for a routine physical, my primary care physcian noted that my red blood cells are quite enlarged, and are actually 2 to 3 times the size that a red blood cell should normally be. He sent me to a Hemotologist who did more testing and came up with the same results of enlarged red blood cells. The Hemotologist did extensive testing and could find no reason for the cells to be so enlarged, and finally dismissed the matter, saying it must be normal for me. I don't seem to have any symptoms, except that if I get a cut or have blood drawn, I bleed excesively. Has anyone else had this or heard of this and could it be related to celiac disease?

Have you had your nutrient levels tested? My mean cell volume was too high for a long time until I supplemented my very low levels of D, B12, and folate, particularly, but also took a Mega B supplement and a multi-mineral. They are back to normal now.

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Smoking and drinking can also effect the blood cells.

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Have B12 and Folate been checked ?

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I have the same problem with my red blood cells being too large. I always have a low RBC count result when I get my blood checked. So, I'm interested to know the reason for this, too. I have anemia, too - not sure if there's a connection there. B12 is low, so I take a sublingual B12 along with Floravit iron. Vitamin D level is deficient (taking D3 supps). My folate is good. I don't smoke or drink.

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Just off the top of my head....

Enlarged red blood cells is a trait of Pernicious Anemia.

Pernicious Anemia has a correlation to Celiac disease.

In this disorder the gut lining lacks intrinsic factor for absorbtion of vitamin B12.

It is not the easiest thing to get diagnosed.

I am concerned that the doctors you have seen are willing to dismiss this symptom and not finding any answer for you. As the with Pernicious Anemia this can have very serious health complications.

Please don't take this as any type of diagnoses, just as a possible scenario, and why you need to find a doctor willing to diagnose and treat you.

Good luck!

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This is something I would like to know the answer to also so please keep us informed if you go for second opinion. (Same blood work always say related to lupus now that been dignoses with celiac probably say due to celiac but they never do anything more)

Good Luck <_<

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Do you know what your RBC indices (MCV, MCH, MCHC) and hemoglobin and hematocrit are? What about your RBC morphology? Do you have ovalocytes or elliptocytes? Enlarged RBCs can have many causes. For example, it could be related to pernicious anemia, megaloblastic anemia or your liver could be depositing lipids onto your RBCs. Make sure they do plenty of testing, but it could be megaloblastic anemia of unknown cause. If they cannot find a cause I would continue to get regular CBCs.

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