Higher EBC after treatment for Anemia

This post is a response by a doctor to a question one of our community members asked.

Tracey Asks:

My hemoglobin was 8.7 a month ago and my RBCW distribution was 18.5 after taking iron supplement for a month my hemoglobin is now 12.5 and my rbc distribution is now 28.5%. Why?

Dr Edin’s reply:

Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is used to measure the range of variation of red blood cell volume. With the increase in variation of red blood cells volume, RDW will increase. Normal volume range of red blood cells is 6-8 μm and normal RDW range is 11.5-14.5%.

RDW will be increased in case of some types of anemia. In most cases, lack of iron, Vitamin B12 or folate will cause an increase of RDW.

You did not mention the rest of your blood work (MCV), which can help in the differential diagnosis of your anemia. It is likely that your iron supplements increased the level of your hemoglobin but there is still a great variety in size of red blood cells which can be caused by folate or Vitamin B12 deficiency. I would suggest you to consult your doctor and ask is there a chance that you can take folate and B12 supplements.

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