Thyroid UK
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Some insight

Hi all

Very concerned right now and in a flood of tears...

For a few weeks now I have been getting stomach cramps & looser motions but for the last few days that has seemed to stop however I have done a HB, WCC, Plt & MCV blood test, all are normal except for the MCV which is very raised to 112, what can this mean exactly? I had a FBC taken 4 months ago and all were normal & my MCV was 94 so really confused.

My thyroid levels were taken too in March and they were all normal.

Any advise please, so petrified now I have colon cancer...

13 Replies

MCV is mean corpuscular volume and is the average volume of a red blood cells. Whilst 112 is raised it is not massively raised. It is not possible to intepret it's significance without the rest of your blood results. Just to reassure you raised MCV does not signify colon cancer but it can be an indicator of hypothyroidism! A change in bowel habits should always be investigated, please do go to your GP who should offer to test your faeces for any blood (often called occult blood, eg small amounts of blood not visible to the naked eye) and depending on that result he/she would then consider more invasive forms of investigation. Good luck.


Hi there

Thank you for your reply. My bloods were taken Saturday afternoon (drank a few drinks Friday night), I used an online service. From Saturday afternoon till Wednesday morning my bloods have been at room temperature (I assume), I read that MCV can be raised because of this issue.

I am also on Warfarin for life but my FBC in 2015 and March of this year where all in the normal range so I am not quite understanding why the sudden spike in MCV, I guess only a Doctor can tell me this but thank you for your input.

I have terrible HA & in January my throat started to play up, been for ENT, FBC, chest xray and Gastroscopy which were all normal, my dr said its nothing to do with the thyroid but hey ho....


I'm baffled about your blood tests and how they were done. Why did you get blood taken on a Saturday when labs are unlikely to do non-urgent work on a weekend? Why do you think your blood spent several days at room temperature? Who did your testing? Are you in the UK?



Sorry my mind is racing away with me...I ordered blood tests online with a company called Babylon & yes in the UK.

It was a pin prick test so a home test kit, I filled the small sample bottle on Saturday afternoon, the item was in my handbag, car and home till Monday morning which is when I posted it in the morning. On Tuesday I emailed the company and they said their lab has not received the sample yet, yesterday (Wed morning) they informed me they have received it on Wed morning and doing the test, I got my results last night which showed a high MCV level.


Some tips for future blood tests :

1) Do the finger pricking first thing in the morning, having fasted since your evening meal the night before.

2) Don't drink anything other than water after your evening meal the night before.

3) Make sure you drink enough water. Avoid dehydration, but don't overdo it.

4) If you take levo, don't take any meds for 24 hours before collecting the blood. Instead, take your missed dose after you have collected the blood.

5) Package up the blood and anything else necessary and take it to the Post Office. You need to send the blood "Guaranteed Next Day Delivery by 1pm". It costs more than normal post, but it is absolutely essential. To get your package delivered that quickly you need to be at the Post Office no later than about 2pm or 3pm. Check with your local Post Office when the latest posting time is for the special delivery I've mentioned, before you even do the testing. The blood should be posted the day it is collected and must not be posted on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday.

Based on how you did your test I would be very dubious about the results. Blood testing has to be done as promptly as possible for the results to have any validity.


I would agree with HB, if the blood has been kicking around for days it is probably useless. I use Medichecks and they say on the instructions not to do the test on Friday or over the weekend as it won't get to the lab in time for accurate results.

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Thank you both just been to Boots and saw a pharmacist although she was not very clued up with the levels of blood testing etc. she said that lowered MCV would be Iron deficient anemia which is very present in colon cancer and not raised MCV. She said that the most likely scenario would be that the bloods have been hanging around too long, the alcohol the previous night or B12/folate deficiency which is very common apparently however I have no weight loss, fatigue etc. so not entirely sure why MCV would be raised even, thyroid could be the issue too but again this was tested in March so not very sure if this can raise/lower in a matter of 4 months.....

I think going to the GP tomorrow and speaking with him and asking for a full blood screening again and taking it from there should be my best bet, what do you guys think?


If this is the first raised test I seriously wouldn't worry, everyone's blood results vary from time to time and it's unlikely a doc would be worried by one high result, he/she might suggest a retest sometime. You are obviously stressing over what might be going on so a GP visit will probably put your mind at ease.


The only thing I think about is cancer......I have heard so many times of peoples results coming through abnormal and they are found to have cancer..


My mum had bowel cancer and it certainly wasn't diagnosed on any blood results.

Your symptoms could have been caused by many things, more than likely a virus or such like. Blood results can't be looked at in isolation and rarely does one raised result mean something drastic is going on, go see your GP so you can stop worrying.

1 like

I am sorry to hear that and thank you for your input I appreciate it...

My fiance and I had sore belly's one weekend at the same time about a fortnight ago, his symptoms have gone but mine is still niggling....


There you go then, probably a virus or something dodgy you ate, it's just taking you a bit longer to recover.


Hi both

Saw the dr yesterday and he was not concerned at all, he is leaning to the side of the fact that the sample could have been kept in the wrong temp for too long. He found it strange esp that my hb was normal too as with raised mcv there is almost always an abnormailty with this to define anemia

I mentioned my stomach and he wasnt too concerned about this either but said i should go back if it persists for the next 2 weeks as raised mcv isolated could also indicate parasites in the gut or further investiagtions for malabsorption issues, ofcourse i mentioned bowel cancer and he said its noted that my wbc would most likely be abnormal for this and that mcv would actually be lowered indicating internal bleed and which would suspect iron deficiency which is a common finding first indication of this cancer

He did say if i wanted to i cant do a fbc again in 4 weeks BUT through the surgery and NOT online including the fact that the bloods i had tested was not a FBC but just a few tets that are included in a fbc

So there you go, wait and see! Oh and he also said lay off Dr Google as they have no letters behind their names lol

What do you guys make of this?


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