Low RBC and high MCV

(Tamarac, FL)

My Complete Blood Count readings were all considered normal except for RBC of 3.79 and MCV of 104.5. I'm 81 go to the gym four to five days each week. Usually do two 30 second anerobic high intensity interval training procedures on the eliptical machine with a total time of twenty minutes. Then spend about forty minutes on various weight machines.

Blood pressure is normal and only perscription medication is for reduction of prostrate size.

From what I've read the RBC and MCV would make more sense if the RBC was high and MCV was low.

Comments for Low RBC and high MCV

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Not Absorbing
by: Kerri Knox, RN

So, the first, and more serious thing that you should get checked for, if you have not already, is for blood in your stool. Especially in a man, a low RBC usually indicates that there is blood loss somewhere. The most likely site of any 'slow' blood loss in an older person is the gastrointestinal tract. HOWEVER, if you had a slow bleed, it would be LIKELY that you would have a low MCV because you'd be producing lots and lots of new red blood cells. So, the 'slow bleed' is less likely with a high MCV, but it's still something that should be checked and 'ruled out' since it's a serious condition.

If you've already been tested for a bleed with an easy stool test that you can even do in your home, and you do not have a bleed in your gastrointestinal tract, then the MOST likely scenario is that you have intestinal malabsorption.

So, in the case of intestinal malabsorption, having a low RBC and a high MCV makes perfect sense. In this case, a low RBC means that you are not absorbing iron well, so you are not producing red blood cells properly; a high MCV means that you are not absorbing Vitamin B12 properly.

In the case of someone of your age, there could be a few reasons for this. You likely have one or more of the following:

1) Gluten Sensitivity or Celiac Disease
2) H Pylori Bacteria
3) Low Stomach Acid Levels

It's unlikely that your doctor will check for any of these, or even suspect them. But you don't need your doctor's help to determine if these are your issues, these are all easy for you to check for yourself and, with a little work and/or tests you can do in your home, you can discover which one(s) of these are your issues and remedy them before they start affecting your energy and health.

Kerri Knox RN

Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen
Functional Medicine Practitioner
Immune System
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