Does a Low MCV Mean that I Have Anemia?

My main symptom is tiredness the thing is that every time I go to the doctor they only tell me that I have hypoglycemic and to eat every 2 hours. But they don't care about the MCV and MCh that are always low

The hemoglobin is 12.80 and my Rbc is 5.74
WBC-5.7 but my MCV is in 71.0 and the MCH is 22.3 Should I just take Iron and b12 to see how I feel?

Comments for Does a Low MCV Mean that I Have Anemia?

Click here to add your own comments

Microcytic Anemia
by: Kerri Knox, Registered Nurse

So, please read my page on MCV Blood Test and you will see that you have a condition called 'Microcytic Anemia' and it means that you are constantly having to replace red blood cells in your body for some reason.

If you look on the MCV Blood Test you'll see this is usually an indication of Iron Deficiency Anemia caused from blood loss.

If you are a younger woman, then it's almost certain to be from your menstrual cycle. If you are post-menopausal woman or a man, then this could mean something more serious such as a bleeding ulcer or some such chronic bleed in your body.

While this is called AN 'anemia', your body has been able to replace this lost blood sufficiently to keep your hemoglobin within normal range, so in a way your doctor is right not to be concerned. But to know if you should take iron or not, you would need to get an iron or ferritin level, or both. It is not safe to simply take iron because you are tired, as there are a lot of downsides to taking iron and it should not be done unless there is a medical reason to take iron. I would 'suspect' that your iron or ferritin level is low, but with a normal hemoglobin, you should know for sure if you have a low iron or ferritin before taking iron.

Or alternatively, you should find and fix the reason for having to replace your blood cells so often, such as getting an H Pylori Stool Test which will test both for blood in your stool, and the H pylori bacteria which could be the cause of the bleeding, if there is any. H Pylori infection can also cause malabsorption of iron, and could explain the low iron, if that is present. So, finding H pylori can possibly find the cause of all of these problems- it can also make you feel tired.

Now, as for fatigue, LOTS of things can make you tired, and as you suggested, it's one of the Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency. Unlike iron, the blood test for B12 is useless and it's perfectly safe to do Vitamin B12 Deficiency Treatment without first being tested. In fact, it's probably a BETTER idea since the blood test will almost surely be wrong and simply cause confusion.

Tiredness is also one of the common Symptom of Vitamin D Deficiency, and getting tested would very much be recommended. This would be a good place to start and one of these problems is likely going to help your fatigue. If not, then come back and we can try a few more things.

Kerri Knox, Registered Nurse

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Understanding Blood Test Results.

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.


Search this Site
Custom Search


Vitamin D Fact Sheet
Free Vitamin D Fact Sheet by Getting
My Newsletter