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Macrocytic anemia: symptoms, causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

One of the most frequent alterations in the blood is that the concentration of erythrocytes or hemoglobin decreases, a disorder known as anemia and is usually an indication that something is not right in your body. The cause and low concentration of these blood components generated can vary. Mostly it is due to some disease or the deficiency of certain nutrients due to an incorrect diet, so there are several types of anemia, including macrocytic anemia.

The incidence of macrocytic anemia is more common than is believed, ranking third among the types of anemia in the population. In most cases, it is due to a deficiency of vitamin B12, so people who exclude foods of animal origin from their diet are prone to suffer from this disorder since this vitamin is not found in vegetables.

Although the discomfort generated may be mild, it is essential to treat anemia. If it runs its course, it could cause complications due to the low oxygen supply to the different tissues. Therefore, it is essential to undergo regular medical check-ups, especially if you suffer from a disease that alters the production of red blood cells or hemoglobin. If you want to know more about it, at FastlyHealwe invite you to read the following article on macrocytic anemia: symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is it, and how many types of macrocytic anemia are there?

Macrocytic anemia is called a group of anemias that are characterized by the larger-than-normal size of red blood cells but with standard color. The deficiency in these blood cells in the body can be due to their release in their immature forms or because their production slows down.

The types of macrocytic anemia can be divided into:

  • Hematological: are those that arise from diseases of the blood.
  • Non-hematological: when it is not directly related to the formation of erythrocytes or hemoglobin.

In the first division, there is a subgroup known as megaloblastic anemia, resulting from the alteration in cell division and whose leading representative is pernicious anemia. Also, in this division are those produced by the lack of bone marrow necessary to form blood cells, such as aplastic anemia and myelodysplastic syndrome, or by the early destruction of red cells, a disorder called hemolytic anemia.

However, even if they belong to the same group, it does not mean that the cause or mode of action that alters the production of red blood cells or hemoglobin is the same. Due to the number of possibilities, it is essential to identify the correct pathology and carry out the indicated treatment according to the type of anemia. You must visit a doctor and have frequent check-ups.

Symptoms of macrocytic anemia

The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia depend on each person; however, symptoms are generally mild or, in some cases, nonexistent. Among the most frequent, the following stand out:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Have pale skin
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Get dizzy when standing or exerting
  • Feeling chronically tired
  • Fatigue
  • Difficult to focus
  • Respiratory problems
  • Redness or swelling of the tongue
  • Bleeding gums

If macrocytic anemia has been permanent for an extended period, neurological damage can occur from lacking vitamin B12 in the body. For example, you may experience confusion, depression, tingling in the hands and feet, loss of balance, and, in severe cases, dementia.

Causes of vitamin B12 deficiency anemia

A deficiency of cobalamin generally causes macrocytic anemia. However, it is also possible that it is due to the lack of other nutrients necessary for the division and production of red blood cells, such as vitamin B9 or folic acid. To supply these nutrients to the body, you must make a balanced diet, rich in vitamins of this type, since its deficiency can be caused by nutritional factors, such as consuming a vegetable diet not planned correctly, malnutrition during pregnancy, and, in the children, poor nutrition.

Likewise, some disorders can make it difficult for the body to absorb vitamin B12 properly. For instance:

  • Chronic alcoholism.
  • Abundant diarrhea.
  • Surgeries to remove some areas of the stomach or small intestine.
  • Suffer from Crohn’s disease.
  • Some alteration in the function of the thyroid gland.
  • Some liver disease.

Treatment for macrocytic anemia

Treatment will depend on the cause of the macrocytic anemia, and the goal will always be to increase the level of vitamin B12 in the body. This is why therapy could include injections of this nutrient once a month, although there may be more at the beginning if it is a very high deficit. In addition, you probably need a structured diet that includes foods rich in this type of vitamin, such as beef, dairy products, eggs, seafood, and poultry.

Also, the doctor may choose to include oral vitamin B12 supplementation in the treatment of macrocytic anemia. In general, by restoring normal cobalamin levels in the body, treatment can end; However, it is essential that if you suffer from a disorder that favors its deficiency, you also combat or keep it under control to avoid anemia again.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Macrocytic anemia: symptoms, causes and treatment , we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart and circulation .

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