One of the primary components of your body and existence is blood. The blood constitutes the following components:
- Red blood cells
- White blood cells
Each of these components has a specific function to perform for the proper functioning and maintenance of your body. Apart from the function of each of these components, the size of them also matters. Yes, you read that right. The size of a red blood cell can determine if you are low or high on iron.
Having a detailed idea about the mean corpuscular volume before reaching out to a doctor can help you in various ways. So, instead of panicking about your health, go now through the entire blog and learn how the mean corpuscular volume test can determine the size of your red blood cells.
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About the mean corpuscular volume blood test
Often, healthcare professionals calculate the value of the mean corpuscular volume during a complete blood count test. The purpose of this test is:
- To understand the size of your red blood cells on average
- To check how the red blood cells are carrying oxygen to the different parts of your body
It is important to include the mean corpuscular volume test in your routine blood test. Having extremely small or extremely large red blood cells can lead to certain stressful medical conditions. If the results of your blood sample showcase a variety of red blood cell sizes, it is sure to produce a health abnormality. To perform this MCV test, medical professionals use an automated machine. Here, the doctor uses the same machine to perform the complete blood count test.
When should you perform the MCV test?
Most of you may ask if there is any particular time to perform this MCV test. First of all, you can include the MCV test in your routine blood test. For performing the test, the doctor will instruct you according to your health condition. Make sure to follow his instructions to get accurate test results. Simultaneously, catch hold of a reputed clinic or lab to get flawless results.
Mean corpuscular volume ranges
The ranges of MCV that help to determine health conditions are as follows:
- A person with a normal level of MCV ranges between 80 to 100 femtoliter. This range is known as normocytic.
- If the value is less than 80 femtolitre, it is known as microcytic.
- On the other hand, a value of more than 100 femtolitres is known as macrocytic.
Symptoms of high MCV
Generally, people with high MCV experience anemia. Some of the common symptoms of high MCV include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Paleness and dullness in the skin
- Low blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
What causes high MCV levels?
People with red blood cells larger than the usual size are said to have high MCV levels. In addition, a deficiency of vitamin B12 and folate or vitamin B9 leads to an enhanced size of the red blood cells. This is a clear case of macrocytic anemia. Some of the reasons for a deficiency in vitamin B12 are:
- Vegan diet
You will find a deficiency of vitamin B12 in people who consume a vegan diet. People following a vegan diet, avoid eating animal products. However, vitamin B12 is present in abundance in animal products.
- Autoimmune gastritis
This inflammatory health condition affects the parietal cells of your stomach and prevents it from making adequate intrinsic factors. This prevents the vitamin B12 to enter in your bloodstream.
- Other factors
Some of the other health factors that can lead to deficiency in vitamin B12 and B9 include tapeworm, chest feeding, consuming excessive alcohol, cancer treatment medications, and Crohn’s disease.
What causes low MCV levels?
When people have red blood cells smaller than the usual size, it is a condition of low MCV level. This causes iron deficiency and microcytic anemia. Given below are the factors that lead to an iron deficiency and low MCV levels:
- Loss of blood
The patients of colon cancer experience bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract. Again, people who experience heavy blood flow during menstruation, lose a lot of iron.
Due to consuming a plant-based diet or avoiding animal meat protein from the diet, it results in a lack of adequate amounts of iron in your body. They should take iron supplements separately to prevent the MCV level from lowering.
- Reduced iron absorption
Some diseases prevent you from absorbing iron. Such diseases are:
- Crohn’s disease
- Ulcerative colitis
- Weight loss surgery
The doctor prescribes iron supplements to every pregnant woman to foster the proper development of the fetus.
Therefore, you can go now to a reputed clinic or lab to undergo the MCV test along with a complete blood count test. Since this is a matter of your overall health, undergoing the test earlier can prevent a lot of unwanted diseases.
Mike Farrier possesses over 18 years of hands-on experience in software and web development, SEO, social media marketing, eCommerce, and digital marketing. He has been active in the online domain since 2019, serving as a seasoned SEO and digital marketing consultant.
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