What Is Marcosytosis Caused by Alcohol?


Quick Answer

Macrocytosis caused by alcohol is a condition in which the red blood cells are larger than normal as the result of alcohol consumption, according to Mayo Clinic. Macrocytosis does not usually cause symptoms, and doctors frequently find it during routine blood testing. In addition to alcoholism, vitamin B-12 deficiency, hypothyroidism, liver disease, some medications and folate deficiency are all possible causes of macrocytosis.

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When a blood test reports the presence of macrocytosis, further testing is usually necessary to find the cause of the condition, maintains Mayo Clinic. Although macrocytosis does not cause symptoms on its own, some of its underlying causes are serious, and anemia often accompanies it, causing tiredness, shortness of breath and headaches. In some cases additional blood work pinpoints the cause of the enlarged cells, but in many cases, aspiration and analysis of a bone marrow sample is necessary to make a diagnosis. Treatment for macrocytosis caused by alcoholism is to treat the underlying alcoholism.

The enlarged red blood cells of macrocytosis are one of the medical signs pointing to alcoholism, according to Aroostook Mental Health Center. Other medical signs that indicate a possible alcohol problem include high blood pressure and elevated levels of the liver enzyme delta-glutamic transferase.

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