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poodlethree

Enlarged Red Blood Cells

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I have just been told I have celiac disease. This was found when the doctors were puzzled as to why my body was requiring such a large dose of thyroid medicine.

My bloodwork came back positive and so the story goes with the Celiac disorder. I have suffered with stomach problems for as long as I can remember. Terrible stomach problems. I was told it was everything from stress to IBS. I really just thought it was something I was going to have to live with.

Anyway my question is this.....with my last bloodwork my doctor noticed that my blood cells...i think he said my red blood cells seemed to be enlarged?? He said I was lacking in folic acid and could be lacking B12 however he just said to start taking folic acid asap. He told me to come back in for more bloodwork, which I will do next week...

Had anyone been told anything about enlarged blood cells. Is this normal with celiac disease?

Thank, Kathy

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I was told that my cells were tiny not enlarged. I don't know the size of them now that I have been gluten free for just over 2 months. But, I don't know if they would change size once being gluten free I have been gluten free since November 2004. I was also lacking in B12, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Vitamin D and Vitamin K before being diagnosed.

Karen

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Hi, Kathy. Enlarged red blood cells are almost exclusively found in cases of folic acid deficiency. This wouldn't be associated to Celiac Sprue, only the folic acid deficiency itself. If I were you, I would try to find a sublingual form of B12 w/ folate. Many vitamin companies offer this product, including vitacost.com and swansonsvitamins.com. $5-10, don't get suckered into the more expensive versions, no need for it.

Those with inflated liver enzymes may want to look into literature on beta caroteine, too, btw. Unlike folate and b12, however, beta caroteine is a fat soluable vitamin, meaning that it can build up in your system, so you want to be careful about how much you take of this one, on the same hand. Most of these auto immune spin offs are nothing more than vitamin deficiencies, from the anemia, to the liver enzyme issues, etc. The actual cause of the problem is what I've been after, however.

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In vitamin B12 and folic acid deficiency, the average size of the red cells (mean cell volume, MCV) increases; in iron deficiency, the MCV goes down. All or any of these deficiencies can occur in celiac. To complicate matters further, if there is combined iron/B12 or iron/folic acid deficiency, there are populations of large and small cells which cancel each other out when the average is calculated giving a normal MCV.

Hope this clarifies.

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