Get your Health question answered in 3 easy steps
A Doctor will be with you shortly
Ask a Doctor Now
165 Doctors are Online

Blood test showed slightly elevated RDW and normal MCV. Feeling tired, headache and difficulty to sleep. Concerned

Sep 2012
User rating for this question
Very Good
Answered by

General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2008
Answered : 1416 Questions

I had my blood test done a few weeks ago and i have a slightly elevated RDW (15.9) and normal MCV. I exercise every day ( i used to play tennis 4-5 times a week) but lately i feel very tired and quite unable to keep up the pace. I also have terrible headaches and difficulty in sleeping. Since i got my results i have been taking Milgamma N (two pills /day) and started to feel much better. I am not sure if it is only B12/B9 anemia or it can be Iron related as well. I would like to know your opinion. These headaches/loss of balance usually become a huge problem while and after jogging. I have also heard that jogging a lot can make you loose iron through the feet..., maybe this can be an explanation....?Thank you!
I weigh 87 kg and i am 1.86, my blood pressure is good and i have no other health condition.
Posted Fri, 23 Nov 2012 in Blood Disorders
Answered by Dr. Das Arindam 3 hours later
Thank you for asking a question.
Firstly, an increased level of RDW should be interpreted with the whole report. RDW itself is not a very specific indicator of any particular disease.
RDW means red cell distribution width. An increased level of RDW indicates that the red blood cells of the examined blood are of different size and shape. It is also known as anisopoikilocytosis. It indicates iron deficiency anaemia, megaloblastic anaemia, thalassemia, abnormal hemoglobin variants,anaemia of chronic disease,etc.
Now, from your history, all the other parameters like Hb, MCV,PCV,MCH,MCHC all are supposed to be normal. So, it can be definitely said that you do not have any abnormality related to RDW level. Because in that case the other parameters should also be increased or decreased.
If you have had megaloblastic anaemia, the MCV level should have been increased above 100 fl. A decreased Hemoglobin level should also be present. So, you do not have megaloblastic anaemia due to deficiency of vitamin B6 and B12.
You do not have iron deficiency. Because in that case the hemoglobin and MCV level must be lower than normal.
As you took the multivitamin agents, you may feel good and more energy due to the vitamin and micro nutrients. But it is not the real picture.
Your headache may be due to refraction error of eyes. For this you have to check it. The headache may be due to migraine. For this, you should consult with a neurologist for further investigation and management. It may also be due to decreased sleep, for which you can take any mild sedative.

Summary - This isolated, slight increase of RDW does not denote any abnormality. For your headache, you should consider the abovementioned conditions and consult with respective doctors.

Hope this information suffices. Let me know if you have any more question.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Share on Google+
Question is related to
Lab Tests
Medical Topics

The user accepted the expert's answer

Ask a Hematologist

© Ebix, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All the information, content and live chat provided on the site is intended to be for informational purposes only, and not a substitute for professional or medical advice. You should always speak with your doctor before you follow anything that you read on this website. Any health question asked on this site will be visible to the people who browse this site. Hence, the user assumes the responsibility not to divulge any personally identifiable information in the question. Use of this site is subject to our Terms & Conditions
Already Rated.
Your rating:

Ask a Doctor