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What are the signs and symptoms of macrocytic anemia?

A:

Quick Answer

Signs and symptoms of macrocytosis include fatigue, poor concentration, dizziness, pallor and shortness of breath, according to Heath Grades. In more serious cases, symptoms include dementia, depression, loss of balance and numbness in the extremities.

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Full Answer

Macrocytosis is a specific type of anemia that is characterized by unusually large red blood cells, reports Health Grades. Since the red blood cells are so large, there is also an insufficient number of them in the body.This leads to a lack of oxygen circulating through the bloodstream.

Macrocytosis is caused by a vitamin B12 or folate deficiency,states Health Grades. These nutrients must be present for red blood cells to form properly. Inadequate absorption of vitamin B12 and folate in the digestive tract is typically caused by pernicious anemia, Celiac disease or Crohn's disease. Leukemia, myelodysplasia and myelofibrosis are also conditions that lead to the development of macrocytosis.

Macrocytosis caused by a nutrient deficiency is treated with supplements of vitamin B12 in either injection or pill form, reports Health Grades. Mild cases are treated with an oral supplement, and eating a balanced diet is recommended. Mild cases of macrocytosis typically do not lead to complications. Severe cases that are left untreated for more than six months cause neurological issues due to the low levels of oxygen in the bloodstream. It is important to see a doctor immediately if any of the severe symptoms are noted.

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