Home Blood problems Poikilocytosis: what it is, causes and treatment

Poikilocytosis: what it is, causes and treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Poikilocytosis is an alteration in the shape of red blood cells, cells that we all have in the blood and responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body. Liver problems, anemia, or complicated issues such as bone metastases can cause these changes.

If you want to know in more detail what poikilocytosis is, its causes, and treatment, keep reading this article from FastlyHeal.

What is poikilocytosis

Red blood cells are cells present in the blood. Their primary function is to transport oxygen to different tissues. Typically, they are rounded. When this is not the case, and they adopt different shapes, it is when there is poikilocytosis.

In poikilocytosis, red blood cells can be oval, elongated, rocket-shaped, teardrop, and saddle-shaped. There are times that this alteration of the shape is very subtle and accompanies different diseases, especially anemias. Still, there are cases in which the figure is so markedly abnormal that it already suggests a condition.

Seeing this, it is understood that the causes of poikilocytosis are the most varied. Each of them will have its specific treatment.

Poikilocytosis due to ferrocene anemia

When there is not enough iron in the blood, the red blood cells take an elongated shape. It is a widespread cause of anemia, and the treatment will consist of increasing the amount of iron present in the body, which can be achieved based on the consumption of foods rich in this mineral. Although the most frequent indications are for meat and liver, they also generate toxins in the metabolism. Therefore, it is convenient to resort to sources of iron that also provide vitality to the body and help in the recovery of the lost balance, such as:

  • Lentils.
  • Green leafy vegetables: spinach, chard, lettuce, endive.
  • Other vegetables such as broccoli, carrots, and radishes.
  • Citrus: orange, tangerine, grapefruit, lemon, lime.
  • Other fruits: apple, pineapple, plum, cherry, peach (peach), pear, blackberry, coconut, currant, papaya, grape, dates.
  • Oatmeal, brown rice
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pine nuts.

Poikilocytosis due to hemolytic anemia

Among the causes of poikilocytosis, we also find hemolytic anemias. In this case, the body destroys the red blood cells before they complete their whole life cycle, which should last 120 days. You can feel:

  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Headache.
  • Lack of concentration.

Many reasons can cause hemolytic anemia, and the treatment will depend on what it is. If it is an autoimmune disease, medications will be indicated to lower the body’s responses; if the cause is an exposure to a specific drug or toxin, it is essential to eliminate that contact; there may be an infection, among other possible reasons.

Poikilocytosis from liver problems

Blood cells can also alter their shape in chronic processes that affect the liver. The liver has many functions: it is like a giant sponge that helps us filter toxins, produces hormones, and participates in complex metabolism processes. For this reason, when it is sick, it can give a variety of symptoms.

It is essential to avoid unnecessary drugs, overly processed foods, and alcohol. According to the cause of the liver problem, diets that help its recovery, drugs, and when the damage is very severe, it is difficult to recover, but it is never too late. Good habits can help.

Poikilocytosis due to vitamin deficiency

The lack of folic acid or vitamin B12 can cause poikilocytosis to appear due to nutritional deficiencies or diseases preventing these vitamins’ absorption or production. The solution is to re-incorporate them into the diet. It is suggested to incorporate vitamin B12 with meat and dairy intake, but there are other healthier options such as fermented (sauerkraut, kombucha, kimchi) and spirulina algae.

Folic acid is vitamin B9 and is present in various fruits and vegetables, among which are: citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, and legumes. It is also usually added to multiple products. Take care that they are free of preservatives, colorants, flavorings, etc.

Other causes of poikilocytosis

There are many other reasons why the shape of red blood cells can be altered. The treatment will solve the primary cause as far as possible for all of them. Among them, we can mention:

  • Renal insufficiency.
  • Alcoholism.
  • After removal of the spleen.
  • Poisonings
  • Elevated uric acid.
  • Use of heparin.
  • Sickle cell anemia.
  • Congenital diabetes
  • Congenital diseases.
  • Diet rich in beans.
  • Leukemia, Lymphoma, and Myeloproliferative Syndromes.
  • Bone metastasis of tumors.

If you have doubts about what your problem may be, you should consult with your trusted doctor so that together you can talk about the issue and can guide you through diagnosing and solving what ails you.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Poikilocytosis: what it is, causes and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart, and circulation.

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