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MCV is 104. Is this sight elevation matter of concern?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2001
Answered : 2267 Questions
Dear Hematologist Doctor
My MCV (mean corpuscular volume - Avg red blood cell volume) is 104 and the normal range I believe is 80-102. This slight elevation may be caused by alcohol consumption. Is this something to be concerned about, and if so please explain the complications and risks and what I need to do to correct it. If Alcohol consumption may be the cause, would cutting down to 2 drinks a day be sufficient. I am in excellent health, married happily with a great family and no cronic medical history. Father lived to 94, mother 88 but neither smoked or consumed alcohol. I have never smoked but do drink more than 2-3 per day.
Thank you
Posted Sun, 9 Jun 2013 in Medicines and Side Effects
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 1 hour later
Welcome to healthcare Magic!
It is great to know that your heredity is so sound but to be eligible for that much age you should follow the same kind of healthy life style also. Alcohol intake in excess may not allow you to inherit this family heritage.
The MCV is higher than the upper normal limits and it is characteristic of Vitamin B12 and Folate deficiency. These deficiencies are common in alcoholics, neglected elderly persons, patients having gut parasites, strict vegetarians, and in those who are on chronic treatments like cancer chemotherapy etc. to enumerate a few.
In your case straight forward cause is alcohol intake, if your dietary habits are erratic then please improve on it. Take green leafy vegetables and fruits daily and also take some food of animal origin like milk, egg or meat which are good source of folate and vit.B12 respectively.
You can take the oral supplement in form of tab Neurobion forte twice a day for 3-4 months in a row.
You can get the vitamin B12 levels and Folate levels in blood to get current status and later can compare them when the treatment is thought to have replenished the deficiencies although a repeat Complete blood count is also okay as indirect guide.
I hope the advise would be informative and useful for you.
Take Care!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: MCV is 104. Is this sight elevation matter of concern? 23 hours later
Dr Choudhary
This was my first time I have ever gone online for a medical opinion and it is marvelous this is now available. Just to follow up a little. First, to lower the MCV I will start immediately on the Vit B12, folic, leafy vegetables, milk and get tested for parasites. In the meantime should I eat more eggs and red meat instead of chicken/fish/nuts for protein now? You mention Neurobion Forte Vit B12; I checked with Wal-Mart and they do not carry that brand, so should I hunt for it, go online for Neurobion or is it ok to get another manufacture. Also, do I need to stop all alcohol intake or can I cut back, and if so to how much. In other words can I cut back on the alcohol and use your diet & supplement recommendations for three months to see if my MCV falls back into the normal range. Lastly, what exactly does an increase of the 2% over the normal range MCV do to my body and what are the complications if uncorrected?
Thank you once again
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 39 hours later
Hi Bloedel,Welcome back.You can use any other brand with similar contents, in place of Neurobion.You can continiue the current diets with emphasis on protein and green leafy vegetable intake.The problem if untreated can cause debilitating neuropathy and anemia and associated problems.You should cut down on alcoholic intake to two three drink per week to get a commendable response.I hope that answers your query.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: MCV is 104. Is this sight elevation matter of concern? 14 days later
Dr Choudhary
You have been so helpful on my MCV blood work and drinking issue. I have no question for you at this time, but please stand by, as I recharged my account with you and may ask you another question as I see how I am doing in cutting down or stopping so I have not filled out the satisfaction questionere but will do that later.
Thank you again
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 21 hours later
Welcome back.
Thank you for your support and compliments.
I am always there to help you solve your problems.
I hope you would do well and will come up with flying colors.
Wish you all the best.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: MCV is 104. Is this sight elevation matter of concern? 15 days later
Hello again Dr Choudhary
I am still struggling with the reduction or stopping cold XXXXXXX of my drinking and I appreciate you holding my hand a little while longer. I know you are not a therapist so I will try and keep the questions medical although I may need to seek professional help. As I said before when I got addicted to smoking when I was only 30 years old, it took me ten years to go cold XXXXXXX and have not had one since. Now that you have brought awareness of my MCV and the consequences to my attention for drinking, I know I am going to kick the habit, but it may not be overnight. My question for today is about shaking or hand tremors. I used to pride myself in such a steady hand, but in the last 3-4 years they have become less steady - with just minor steadiness. Would this be one of the neuropathy symptons you mentioned and could they be the start of essential tremors or is there any way to tell at an MCV level of 104. Would I need to bring that down to under 100 if they were drinking related.
Answered by Dr. Ram Choudhary 17 hours later
Welcome back.
You have successfully quit smoking is a strong point indicative of your strong will power and I am pretty sure you will provide another proof by cutting down on the excess alcohol as well.
Enjoyment should not become punishment- should be the motto when you are relishing the alcohol.
I hope you would have improved the life style and included the advised dietary modifications and the vitamin supplements by now.
The tremors at this age may be senile tremors or essential tremors or they may be related to the neuropathy part. You can not separate them by guess work or physical examination but a Nerve conduction study can differentiate them.
Anyway there may be addition of the adversaries, when you improve on the alcohol quiting and improved dietary intake and when the vitamin supplement will start it's action then the neuropathy part will subside automatically and the problem may be solved entirely.
If not due to the neuropathy part then it is due to the essential tremors.
getting the MCV to 95-100 is a good target and will serve much of the purpose.
I hope the advise will be helpful for you.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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