My routine annual blood tests results showed that I had some enlarged red blood cells. I had a re-test four weeks later and it was the same. My Doctor is referring me for more tests and hasnt really discussed what it could be? I hate waiting for referrals which can take 6 to 8 weeks to be seen by anyone and I am worried that whatever it is might be getting worse. Also I have taken out travel insurance because I am going on a Cruise and I dont know what to tell them yet. I am a bit in limbo?

13 Replies

  • Have you had your B12 tested? Enlarged red blood cells or high MCV - mean cell volume - can indicate b12 anaemia.

  • No I havent had those tests so I will ask. Thanks.

  • A good start would be to request printouts of your last few blood tests maybe going back a year or so.

    Then post them on here with the dates and reference ranges.

    It helps to see the big picture. People can see things changing etc.

    While you are having tests it's important not to start anything new or to change things without the doctor telling you too.

    If you do have low b12 but start to take b12 before a diagnosis is confirmed it can give skewed blood test results and prevent you from getting timely treatment.

    You could post them as pictures of the printouts, one per post but remember to remove identifiable info like your name or Gp name etc.

  • Ok I will ask GP for that information. My blood tests were okay last July and so something must have happened since then when had my annual bloods done in February.

  • "Ok" is fine in isolation but can tell a nice story when you get a good timeline.

    B12 things can take a long time to come to light even though the tell tale signs were there when you look back.

    As b12 etc levels drop other things start to change.

    The causes of b12 can start years before the levels get to be an issue. Healthy people store around 5 years or more worth and will need to use that up first before they "run out".

  • Do you have any symptoms? See the pinned PAS post for a list.

    You have macrocytic anaemia. There are many possible causes but two of the most common are a lack of B12 and/or folate. One would hope your doc is going to test for those (if it hasn't been done already).

    Don't take any supplements until those two have been tested as it will skew the results, making it very difficult to get a diagnosis.

    If you do have any of the symptoms then make another appointment with the doc and demand those two, at least, be tested ASAP. Failure to treat either of those deficiencies can have serious consequences.

  • Thanks for that I will ask my GP as I havent had tests for these and have just been referred to Hospital.

  • No other symtoms.

  • B12/folate deficiency is the most likely cause however there are a number of other conditions that can cause enlarged red blood cells


    in terms of the cruise I would suggest that you ask your GP if he feels that you should be mentioning this in relation to travel insurance.

  • Thanks for that. Yes I do have to tell the travel insurance company and then it is up to them if they will cover it or not. I need a fast diagnosis though because time is running out until I pay the final balance.

  • I am off to USA next month, I've insured through insure and go, although I do have a PA diagnosis they have been really good, they wanted to know my blood test result and then put on my insurance as covered for an extra fee of 8.00.

  • That is very helpful;. I will look them up. Thanks for that. Enjoy USA. I have been 3 times and once to Canada and have always had my insurance through Staysure but I do not thin k they insure if you have an undiagnosed condition . I already have travel insurance but I am worried to tell them just yet un til I get a diagnosis in case they void the whole lot? My Cruise is in September but I have to pay the balance in June.

  • I was waiting for the results of heart monitoring test last year and my travel insurance said they had to have the results if I had had a test, or they wouldn't cover any health issues. It depends what they regard your position as at the moment as you are waiting to hear about a referral. It is dodgy if you don't tell them as they can refuse to pay if you claim for a health issue, though not if you had to claim for anything else

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