What Does It Mean When Mchc Is High?

26.07.2023 0 Comments

What Does It Mean When Mchc Is High
Frequently Asked Questions –

What happens if MCHC count is low? A low mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) count is when there is less hemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen, in red blood cells. Low MCHC indicates that red blood cells are less capable of delivering oxygen to the body’s tissues. What level of MCHC is dangerously low? While a dangerously low MCHC value may vary from one person to another depending on health conditions, a MCHC level lower than 30 g/dL, especially in the lower 20s, may warrant concern. What happens when the MCHC level is high? A high MCHC can mean that you have a higher than normal concentration of hemoglobin in your red blood cells. Health conditions like hereditary spherocytosis and autoimmune hemolytic anemia may cause a high MCHC. What is hypochromia? Hypochromia is when red blood cells appear more pale than usual when examined under a microscope. This is a side effect of having a low MCHC, since hemoglobin carries the pigment that gives red blood cells their color.

Should I worry about high MCHC?

Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) refers to the average concentration of hemoglobin inside a group of red blood cells. A MCHC result may be high in people with some types of anemia, liver disease, or an overactive thyroid. Other factors, such as cancer treatment, can also affect it.

  • MCHC refers to the average concentration of hemoglobin in a given volume of red blood cells.
  • A normal MCHC level for an adult is 31-37 grams per deciliter (g/dL),
  • MCHC values by themselves are not always a sign that a person has any underlying health problems but may prompt a doctor to do further tests.

High MCHC is diagnosed as part of a blood test known as a complete blood count or CBC. This test provides information on the white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. A doctor may order a CBC as part of a routine physical exam to help screen for a wide variety of diseases.

  1. A doctor may also order a CBC to monitor how an existing condition is responding to treatment.
  2. There are several potential causes of high MCHC.
  3. It often occurs in people with conditions that cause the red blood cells to be fragile or easily destroyed.
  4. Causes of high MCHC include: Autoimmune hemolytic anemia : This is a condition in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks its own red blood cells.

Sometimes, high MCHC develops on its own, but it can also occur alongside lupus or lymphoma, It can also happen as a result of taking certain medications. Macrocytic anemia : A type of blood disorder where some of the red blood cells are much larger than usual.

Sometimes a B-12 deficiency can cause macrocytic anemia, Hereditary spherocytosis : A genetic mutation that makes the membranes of red blood cells fragile. This condition is typically passed down from a parent to a child. Severe burns : Burns may cause a person to have hemolytic anemia and high MCHC. Liver disease : The liver stores and processes hemoglobin, so people with liver disease often have some form of anemia.

If their liver is damaging the red blood cells, then a person may have high MCHC. Overactive thyroid : Thyroid problems frequently lead to changes in a person’s red blood cells. Medications : In rare cases, high MCHC levels have been found in people taking immunosuppressive or chemotherapy drugs.

fatigue jaundice weaknesspalenessabdominal discomfortenlarged spleenrapid heartbeatfainting

Symptoms of macrocytic anemia are similar to those of hemolytic anemia, but also include:

weight lossloss of appetitebrittle hair and nails diarrhea trouble concentratingmemory problems

Symptoms of liver disease often include common symptoms of anemia, in addition to:

nauseavomitingupper right abdominal pain

People with hereditary spherocytosis may have symptoms of anemia and might also develop gallstones, People with high MCHC due to an overactive thyroid may experience:

sweatingexcess hungerfatigueweight losspalpitationsrestlessnessweakness

Treatment for high MCHC depends on the underlying cause. Doctors usually treat autoimmune hemolytic anemia with corticosteroids, such as Prednisone. Initially, doctors will prescribe a high dose and then lower it over time. In severe cases of hemolytic anemia, doctors may recommend removing the spleen.

poultryeggsred meatshellfishlentilsdark, leafy greensfortified grains and cerealsnutritional yeast

If a person has hereditary spherocytosis, a doctor may also recommend:

blood transfusionsremoving the spleenremoving the gallbladder

Liver disease can often be managed with lifestyle modifications. However, a doctor may also prescribe medications or recommend surgery to remove part of the liver. People with severe burns will require treatment in the hospital to prevent infection and shock if necessary.

If severe burns cause high MCHC, doctors will likely order blood transfusions. The outlook for a person with high MCHC varies depending on the underlying cause. In many cases, making nutritional changes may be sufficient treatment. In some cases, a person may require a blood transfusion or even surgery.

It is essential for anyone with high MCHC to talk with their doctor about the underlying cause and what can be done to lower it.

What happens if MCHC count is high?

Interpreting test results – MCHC is interpreted in comparison to its reference range and also in relation to other RBC indices. The reference range is the set of results that are considered to be expected among most healthy adults in a designated population.

Reference ranges are established by each laboratory according to their own practices and equipment. MCHC is reported as grams per deciliter (g/dL). The American Board of Internal Medicine lists a typical MCHC reference range as 33-36 g/dL. The MCHC result is compared to other RBC indices and measurements on a CBC to diagnose anemia and determine the underlying cause.

If you have anemia, MCHC results are categorized as follows:

  • Lower than MCHC reference range is called hypochromic anemia, which is often caused by iron deficiency.
  • Within MCHC reference range is called normochromic anemia if you have symptoms of anemia. This condition can be caused by sudden blood loss, kidney failure, artificial heart valves, or aplastic anemia, a rare type of anemia in which the body does not produce enough RBC.
  • Higher than MCHC reference range is called hyperchromic anemia, which may be caused by spherocytosis, a rare hereditary condition in which the body makes abnormally shaped RBC. Hyperchromic anemia can also occur when RBC abnormally clump together, referred to as RBC agglutination.

MCHC is generally not interpreted separately from other blood values. To be a meaningful diagnostic test, it must be compared with RBC indices collectively. Talk to your health care provider about the meaning of your specific test results. Your MCHC levels may have some implications for your health.

  • What does my MCHC result mean for my health?
  • Can any diagnoses be made based on my MCHC results?
  • Are there any follow-up tests needed based on my MCHC results?
  • Is there anything I should do to improve my health if my test results are abnormal?
  • Red Blood Cell Count (RBC) Test Learn More
  • White Blood Cell Count (WBC Blood Test) Learn More
  • Platelet Count (PLT) Blood Test Learn More
  • MCV Blood Test (Mean Corpusal Volume) Learn More
  • MCH Blood Test (Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin) Learn More
  • Blood Smear Learn More

Can infection cause high MCHC?

Causes of High MCHC 8 This type of anemia can happen for a number of reasons, including: Autoimmune conditions. Infections. Sickle cell disease.

Can stress cause high MCHC?

Abstract – Some recent reports showed that a brief exposure to a mental stressor during 3-20 min may induce hematological changes in humans. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of academic examination stress on erythron variables, such as the number of red blood cells (RBC), hemoglobin (Hb), hematocrit (Ht), mean corpuscular volume (MCV), mean cell Hb (MCH), mean cell Hb concentration (MCHC), RBC distribution width (RDW), and serum iron and transferrin (Tf).

  • The above variables were determined in 41 students in three conditions, i.e.
  • The stress condition (the day before a difficult oral exam) and two baseline conditions, i.e.
  • A few weeks earlier and later.
  • At the same occasions, subjects completed the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), the state version of the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) and the Profile of Mood States (POMS).

Academic examination stress significantly increased Ht, Hb, MCV, MCH and MCHC and significantly decreased RDW. There were significant relationships between the stress-induced changes in the PSS, STAI and POMS scores and those in Ht, Hb, MCV and MCH (allpositive) and RDW (negative).

What is a dangerously high MCH level?

What Is High MCH and What Can It Mean? – MCH levels over 34 pg are generally considered abnormally high. The most common reason for high MCH is macrocytic anemia, which is a blood disorder in which the body fails to produce enough red blood cells. In macrocytic anemia, red blood cells that are produced are larger than usual, each carrying more hemoglobin than normal-sized cells would.

  • This condition can be caused by deficient levels of vitamin B-12 or folic acid in the body; nutrients found in foods like fish, liver, green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals.
  • These contribute to efficient red blood cell production and may be lacking in your diet, you may not be able to absorb them or there may be other reasons your body cannot process them.
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Symptoms of macrocytic anemia can include:

Unexplained fatigue Heart palpitations Pallor Heart complications

Since this can interfere with heart function, early diagnosis of macrocytic anemia is important. Other possible reasons for a high MCH test include several other forms of anemia, thyroid dysfunction, chemotherapy, certain infections, over use of estrogen-containing medications, some forms of leukemia and hereditary spherocytosis; a condition that causes a shortage of red blood cells.

Does B12 deficiency cause high MCHC?

2) Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency Vitamin B12 and folate deficiency can increase MCHC. That’s because they can impair the production of red blood cells without affecting hemoglobin.

What level of MCHC is dangerously high?

Some health conditions, including autoimmune hemolytic anemia, can cause high MCHC results on a blood test. MCHC stands for mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. It’s a measure of the average concentration of hemoglobin inside a single red blood cell.

as part of a complete physical screen to evaluate your overall healthto aid in screening for or diagnosing various diseases or conditionsto monitor a condition once you’ve been diagnosedto observe the effectiveness of a treatment

The CBC panel gives your doctor information about three types of cells in your blood: white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. The MCHC value is part of the red blood cell assessment. MCHC is calculated by multiplying the hemoglobin result from the CBC panel by 100 and then dividing by the hematocrit result,

The reference range for MCHC in adults is 33.4–35.5 grams per deciliter (g/dL). If your MCHC value is below 33.4 grams per deciliter, you have low MCHC. Low MCHC values occur if you have anemia due to iron deficiency, It can also indicate thalassemia, This is an inherited blood disorder in which you have fewer red blood cells and less hemoglobin present in your body.

Learn more about low MCHC and its possible causes. If your MCHC value is above 35.5 grams per deciliter, you have high MCHC. A high MCHC value is often present in conditions where hemoglobin is more concentrated within your red blood cells. It can also occur in conditions where red blood cells are fragile or destroyed, leading to hemoglobin being present outside of the red blood cells.

Can COVID cause high MCHC?

3.1. Blood parameters – Comparison of RBC parameters indicated reduced MCV, hct, hb and MCH in male COVID‐19 patients compared with healthy male controls. Female COVID‐19 patients showed lower MCV and higher MCHC than the respective control participants. In general, RBC count, hct, hb, MCH and MCHC were lower in females compared to males (Table 1 ).

Can high MCHC cause headaches?

In severe cases, symptoms of anemia and high or low MCHC values can include: Fainting. Headaches.

Why is my MCH always slightly high?

Symptoms of low MCH levels – Share on Pinterest A loss of regular stamina and tiredness may be symptoms of low MCH levels. At first, many people with low MCH levels do not experience symptoms at all. When low MCH numbers persist or fall too low, symptoms start to appear. Symptoms of low MCH include:

shortness of breathloss of regular staminaconsistent tiredness dizzinessweakness in the body

Low MCH numbers can also affect the skin. The skin may become pale or bruise very easily in someone with low MCH levels. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should contact their doctor immediately. High MCH scores are commonly a sign of macrocytic anemia.

liver diseasesan overactive thyroid glanddrinking alcohol regularlycomplications from certain cancers complications from an infectiontaking too many medications containing estrogen

Can dehydration affect MCHC?

Dehydration may result in an increased mean cell haemoglobin concentration. This is because blood plasma volume is reduced, as water is distributed around the body to the cells and tissues which need it most. You should aim to drink little and often throughout the day.

Can exercise increase MCHC?

Hemodilution was observed in both training groups, reflected by decreases (p Mean corpuscular Hb (MCH) and Hb content (MCHC) increased (p.

Does MCHC cause anemia?

A low mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) means red blood cells do not have enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein and low MCHC may indicate anemia. Hemoglobin is responsible for the red color in blood and for circulating oxygen around the body.

  1. The lack of oxygen caused by a low hemoglobin concentration may cause fatigue and other anemia symptoms.
  2. The mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) test is a standard part of the complete blood count (CBC) that is done during blood analysis, and the MCHC value is used to evaluate the severity and cause of anemia.

Low hemoglobin may help a doctor determine the cause of a person’s anemia, although doctors will not treat the condition based on a low MCHC alone. Anemia is characterized by a low level of hemoglobin. This may be caused by normal conditions, such as pregnancy, or by having an iron-deficient diet.

fewer blood cells being producedred blood cells being destroyed faster than they can be producedblood loss

Causes of blood loss include wounds, ulcers, hemorrhoids, or cancers. It can also be caused by regular events, such as frequent blood donation and menstruation. The following types of anemia are associated with a low hemoglobin concentration: Iron deficiency anemia This condition can be caused by an iron-deficient diet or by an inability to absorb iron.

  1. When less iron is available for red blood cell development, the red blood cells become smaller and paler.
  2. Pernicious anemia This can be caused by a diet that is deficient in vitamin B-12.
  3. The condition also affects people who cannot absorb vitamin B-12.
  4. Aplastic anemia This condition is characterized by a reduced number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets.

Hemolytic anemia This happens when red blood cells are removed from the body before the end of their lifespan and are not replaced quickly enough by the bone marrow, In rare cases, anemia may point to other more serious conditions, including:

cancer or leukemia treatmentsbone marrow defectsgastrointestinal tumorskidney and liver diseaseinflammatory disorders

Kidney disease may cause anemia because the kidneys are not able to produce enough erythropoietin. This is a hormone that signals the bone marrow to make red blood cells. Chemotherapy for cancer treatment may also affect the production of new red blood cells, resulting in anemia. The following medical conditions can destroy red blood cells faster than they can be made:

enlarged spleenporphyria urinary tract infection thalassemiavasculitishemolysis

Share on Pinterest Symptoms of a low hemoglobin concentration may include shortness of breath, weakness, and cold hands. A slightly low hemoglobin concentration does not always produce noticeable symptoms and may not always be a sign of illness. Some people are unaware that they have low hemoglobin until they have a routine blood screening.

weakness and fatigueshortness of breathpale skin and gumsfast or irregular heartbeatcold hands or feetdizziness or headache lack of concentrationchest pain

These symptoms will alert a doctor to the possibility of anemia. There are many underlying causes of anemia. The first step in developing a treatment plan is to establish what type of anemia is present and to assess its severity. A MCHC test will help point a doctor in the right direction.

vitamin B-12 and folate ferritin and iron saturation

Folate and vitamin B-12 help the body produce red blood cells. Ferritin is an iron-containing blood protein, while iron saturation is the amount of iron that is available to use. If internal bleeding is a factor, then a person may require an endoscopy or an X-ray.

During an endoscopy, a camera is used to detect possible causes of bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Share on Pinterest An inability to absorb iron or an iron-deficient diet may cause iron deficiency anemia. Treatment for anemia may include dietary changes, supplements, medication, or blood transfusions.

Some of these treatments may be carried out in a hospital. Severe iron-deficiency anemia may require iron injections, intravenous iron therapy, or a blood transfusion. The aim is to restore red blood cells, hemoglobin, and iron levels. On average, adult men need 8.7 milligrams (mg), and adult women need 14.8 mg of iron per day.

After menopause, women can reduce their iron intake to 8.7 mg per day. A synthetic form of the human erythropoietin protein can sometimes be used instead of a blood transfusion. This medication stimulates the bone marrow to make more red blood cells and to increase hemoglobin. While this treatment has been approved by the FDA for some applications, such as anemia caused by chemotherapy, it has not been approved for all types of anemia.

It is still prescribed if necessary to avoid blood transfusions. Some types of anemia can be prevented by following a diet that has enough iron, vitamin B-12, folate, and vitamin C to produce healthy blood cells. Red meat, poultry, and seafood are all good sources of iron.

  1. Vegetarians and vegans may need to increase iron intake with beans, lentils, tofu, and peas.
  2. Iron-fortified food products can also be helpful.
  3. These include cereals, soya and nut milks, and some orange juice brands.
  4. Many types of anemia are mild and easily treated.
  5. Some types may last a lifetime but can be managed with medication and dietary changes.

The MCHC test can help a doctor determine the cause and severity of anemia. While a low hemoglobin level may help identify anemia, treatment will be based on a variety of factors, including the individual’s general health and any underlying health conditions.

What cancers cause high MCH levels?

High MCH Levels – An MCH level above 31 picograms/cell is considered abnormally high. This is most commonly associated with the following conditions:

  • Certain types of kidney diseases, including kidney cancer
  • Congenital heart defects
  • Lung disease, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and pulmonary fibrosis
  • Polycythemia vera, a rare blood disease typically caused by a genetic mutation where the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells
  • A side effect of certain medications (e.g., anabolic steroids)
  • Living in a high-altitude region
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People with high MCH levels may have symptoms including:

  • Blood clots
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Itching

What is a normal MCHC level for a woman?

MCHC blood test: normal range – The normal range for MCHC levels is usually between 32g/dl and 36g/dl, If your MCHC levels come back within this range, you would be considered to have normal results. However, some types of anemia are still active with normal MCHC levels. Below are the types of anemia that could occur with normal MCHC levels.

Blood loss anemia Bone marrow failure Hemolytic anemias

How do you fix high MCH levels?

High MCH – Treatment for anemias caused by B-12 or folate deficiencies are commonly treated by lifestyle changes, such as adding foods rich in vitamin B-12 and folate to your diet. Your doctor may also recommend taking supplements of these vitamins to further boost your B-12 and folate levels or, if absorption is a problem, prescribe B-12 injections.

  1. The outlook for people with abnormal MCH values depends on the condition that’s causing it.
  2. Low MCH values are often caused by iron deficiency anemia.
  3. Typically, this condition can be treated with lifestyle changes including consuming foods rich in iron as well as taking iron supplements,
  4. In the rare case that your low MCH value is caused by thalassemia, you may require blood transfusions if your symptoms are severe.

High MCH values caused by a deficiency of the vitamins B-12 or folate can also often be treated with changes to your lifestyle that include dietary modifications and supplements, or injectable B-12. If you’re concerned about your MCH results, be sure to talk to your doctor about them.

What does a MCHC of 31.5 mean?

Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC) MCHC stands for mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, MCHC is part of the red cell indices, together with MCH and MCV, Those parameters reflect the size and hemoglobin content of red cells.

  • They have traditionally been used to aid in the differential diagnosis of anemia,
  • The mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) is the average concentration of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
  • MCHC is the average concentration of hemoglobin in a given volume of packed red blood cells, or in other words, the ratio of hemoglobin mass to the volume of red cells.
  • What are red blood cells?
  • Red blood cells play an important role in your health by carrying fresh oxygen throughout the body.
  • Calculation of MCHC:
  • MCHC is not measured directly but is calculated from the hemoglobin (Hb) and hematocrit (Hct) concentrations:
  • MCHC = Hb (in g/dL)/Hct (%)
  • What is Hemoglobin?
  • Hemoglobin is the protein molecule that allows red blood cells to carry oxygen to tissues within your body.
  • What is Hematocrit?

A hematocrit test measures how much of your blood is made up of red blood cells. Hematocrit is the ratio of the volume of red blood cells to the total volume of blood. Your blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, Difference between MCHC and MCH: Although closely related, mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration ( MCHC ) and mean corpuscular hemoglobin ( MCH ) are distinct measurements.

  1. While MCH represents the average amount of hemoglobin in a single red blood cell, MCHC reflects the hemoglobin concentration in a given unit of packed red blood cells.
  2. As with MCV and MCH, calculating the MCHC can help you assess anemia and other blood disorders.
  3. Note on errors in hemoglobin concentration and red cell indices: Errors can occur in automated measurements of the Hb and red cell indices.

Such erroneous results are usually suspected from a markedly elevated MCV, a markedly abnormal MCHC or a discrepancy between MCHC and MCH. Such errors can be caused by poorly mixed specimen, marked elevations in lipid levels, or raised WBCs among other things.

  1. Your MCHC can fall into low, normal, and high ranges even if your red blood cell count is normal.
  2. – Low MCHC: Hypochromic
  3. – Normal MCHC: Normochromic
  4. – High MCHC: Hyperchromic
  5. The MCHC basically tells you whether your red blood cells have more or less hemoglobin than what would be expected.
  6. More about MCHC and anemia:

An example of a type of anemia that exhibits normochromic is pernicious anemia, which is caused by a lack of vitamin B12 in the body. An MCHC result below 32 means that the red blood cells contain less than the normal concentration of hemoglobin or are hypochromic, a condition that occurs with iron-deficiency anemia and thalassemia,

Because there is a physical limit to the amount of hemoglobin that can fit into an RBC, an MCHC level above 35 is rare. References: Lee JM, Nadimpalli SB, Yoon JH, Mun SY, Suh I, Kim HC. Association between Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration and Future Depressive Symptoms in Women. Tohoku J Exp Med.2017 Mar;241(3):209-217.

doi: 10.1620/tjem.241.209. PMID: 28320987. Sarma PR. Red Cell Indices. In: Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors. Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations.3rd edition. Boston: Butterworths; 1990. Chapter 152. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK260/ : Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration (MCHC)

Does low iron cause high MCH?

Symptoms of High MCH – If you have high MCH due to anemia, you might experience symptoms of the anemia. For both folate- and vitamin B12–deficiency anemia, that can include fatigue, weakness, headache, and paleness. With folate–deficiency anemia, you may experience sore mouth and tongue.


High and low MCH levels are treated differently based on which disease or medical condition is causing the abnormal levels. A healthcare provider will first have to determine why your MCH levels are low or high. They will likely look at the other results of your complete blood count for a full picture. There are other measurements of your red blood cells’ health:

Mean corpuscular volume (MCV): Measures of the average size of your red blood cells Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC): Measures the amount of hemoglobin a red blood cell has relative to the cell’s volume Red cell distribution width (RDW) : Measures differences in the volume and size of your red blood cells

Anemia is usually what’s associated with abnormal MCH levels. If it’s determined that anemia is causing the abnormal MCH levels, the healthcare provider will then have to figure out what is causing the anemia. Depending on the cause and how severe the anemia is, you will receive a tailored treatment. Treatment for anemia might include:

MedicationSupplementsBlood transfusionBlood and bone marrow transplantSurgeryDietary changes

MCH stands for mean corpuscular hemoglobin. MCH measures the average amount of hemoglobin within a red blood cell. MCH is one measurement of your red blood cells’ health that is recorded during a complete blood count. The normal range for MCH is 27 to 31 picograms per cell.

Anything above or below that may indicate an underlying condition, usually a type of anemia. Low levels of MCH can indicate iron-deficiency anemia while high levels of MCH can signal anemia caused by low levels of folic acid or vitamin B12. A healthcare provider will determine what is causing your abnormal MCH levels.

If it’s anemia, they will determine what type of anemia it is and what is causing it. Then, they will be able to manage the cause and work to get your levels back to normal levels.

What level of MCHC is dangerously high?

Some health conditions, including autoimmune hemolytic anemia, can cause high MCHC results on a blood test. MCHC stands for mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration. It’s a measure of the average concentration of hemoglobin inside a single red blood cell.

as part of a complete physical screen to evaluate your overall healthto aid in screening for or diagnosing various diseases or conditionsto monitor a condition once you’ve been diagnosedto observe the effectiveness of a treatment

The CBC panel gives your doctor information about three types of cells in your blood: white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. The MCHC value is part of the red blood cell assessment. MCHC is calculated by multiplying the hemoglobin result from the CBC panel by 100 and then dividing by the hematocrit result,

The reference range for MCHC in adults is 33.4–35.5 grams per deciliter (g/dL). If your MCHC value is below 33.4 grams per deciliter, you have low MCHC. Low MCHC values occur if you have anemia due to iron deficiency, It can also indicate thalassemia, This is an inherited blood disorder in which you have fewer red blood cells and less hemoglobin present in your body.

MCHC Test | Mean Cell Hemoglobin Concentration | Significance | Causes of High and Low

Learn more about low MCHC and its possible causes. If your MCHC value is above 35.5 grams per deciliter, you have high MCHC. A high MCHC value is often present in conditions where hemoglobin is more concentrated within your red blood cells. It can also occur in conditions where red blood cells are fragile or destroyed, leading to hemoglobin being present outside of the red blood cells.

What level of MCHC is concerning?

Other tests – Your doctor may also order diagnostic tests for other conditions, including:

  • An endoscopy, during which a lighted camera is moved through the upper part of your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This can help show ulcers or cancer. Also, a biopsy performed during this procedure tests most reliably for celiac disease.
  • X-rays of your upper GI, which involves drinking a thick liquid containing barium. This substance makes it possible for some ulcers to show up on the X-ray of your stomach and small intestine.
  • Additional blood tests, which can provide some screening indicators for celiac or Crohn’s disease.

A typical MCHC result is 32–36 grams/deciliter (g/dL) or 320–360 grams per liter (g/L), although this may vary depending on the lab. Levels outside this range can indicate anemia. A healthcare professional will advise you on your individual result. The most common complication of living with low MCHC levels is lack of energy and decreased stamina.

  1. This can limit your activities.
  2. In severe cases, anemic hypoxia can occur as a result of low MCHC levels.
  3. When MCHC levels are very low, your body could struggle to provide enough oxygen to all its tissues.
  4. As a result, these tissues are deprived of oxygen and unable to get rid of carbon dioxide.
  5. This can actually become life threatening.
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Common symptoms of anemic hypoxia include:

  • fast heart rate
  • confusion
  • rapid breathing
  • sweating
  • shortness of breath
  • wheezing or coughing

Once your doctor is able to detect the underlying cause of your low MCHC levels, they’ll come up with a plan of treatment. The most common cause of low MCHC is iron deficiency anemia. To treat this, your doctor may recommend the following:

  • Increase iron in your diet,
  • Take iron supplements,
  • Get more vitamin B6, which is necessary for proper absorption of iron.
  • Add more fiber to your diet, which can help improve the intestinal absorption of iron.
  • Take no more than the daily requirement of calcium, as too much can make it difficult for your body to absorb iron.

You can buy iron supplements and vitamin B6 supplements online. The best way to prevent a low MCHC level is to prevent iron deficiency anemia. To do this, try to make sure you’re getting enough iron and vitamin B6 in your diet. Keep in mind that the iron in spinach is not as readily absorbed because of its oxalic acid content.

  • spinach (best if cooked to reduce the oxalic acid content)
  • beans
  • seafood
  • red meat, pork, and poultry
  • peas

Foods rich in vitamin B6 include:

  • bananas
  • wild (not farmed) tuna
  • chicken breast
  • salmon
  • sweet potato
  • spinach

MCHC refers to the average concentration of hemoglobin in your red blood cells. Hemoglobin is the protein that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. A low result in an MCHC blood test may indicate iron-deficiency anemia. In some cases, it may be a sign of an underlying condition, such as celiac disease or cancer.

What if my MCH and MCHC are high?

What Are the Causes of Increased or Decreased MCH and MCHC Levels? – In instances when hemoglobin is highly condensed inside the red blood cells, a high MCHC and MCH result is common. It can also happen in situations when red blood cells are weak or damaged, resulting in hemoglobin outside the red blood cells. The following situations can result in high MCHC and MCH calculations:

Diseases of the liver. A thyroid gland that is hyperactive. Consuming alcohol on a regular basis. Problems caused by various types of cancer. Infection-related complications. Using an excessive amount of estrogen-containing drugs. Vitamins are deficient, especially B vitamins, such as folate and B12, which are in short supply. Similarly, those who have undergone some forms of gastric surgery may not be able to absorb iron as efficiently as they should. Excessive menstruation can lead to anemia and iron deficiency in women. Celiac illness (gluten, a protein present in wheat, barley, and rye, causes an immunological response). Microcytic anemia (a low MCV indicates the presence of tiny, frequently hypochromic red blood cells in a peripheral blood smear). Malnutrition or dietary deficits.

A few circumstances can cause low MCH and MCHC levels. They are as follows:

An autoimmune disorder (the immune system of the body attacks healthy cells in this condition). Blood loss can occur inside or externally and is frequently caused by surgery, injury, or monthly bleeding. Kidney disease. Inflammation of the liver. Thalassemia (a common hereditary blood condition caused by hemoglobin gene abnormalities). During the period bleeding profusely. Not getting enough iron from the diet (vegans and vegetarians). Peptic ulcer disease. Bleeding from various causes. Gastric bypass surgery was performed (weight-loss surgery). If expecting a child. Have recently given birth.

Can diabetes cause high MCHC?

Discussion – It has been documented that qualitative and quantitative changes in red blood cells of diabetic patients are common and a significant cause of premature death in these patients.6, 27 In the present study, a statistically significant difference was observed in the RBC parameters of T2DM patients and the non-diabetic group.

  1. The mean RBC count, Hct, and Hgb values were significantly lower in T2DM patients than in the control group.
  2. This finding is in harmony with reports from India, 28 Libya, 29 Sudan, 30 and Ethiopia.20, 21 The relative decrease in RBCs count, Hct, and Hgb level might be that long-term hyperglycemia causes the generation of free oxygen radicals and irreversible glycation of hemoglobin and RBC membrane proteins.

All these acts in concert lead to decreased deformability, increased aggregation, aging of RBCs, and decreased survival of RBCs.10, 12, 31 The reduced deformability and increased aggregation in RBCs unfavorably increase blood viscosity that affects the microcirculation, leading to microangiopathy, again results increased RBC destruction.12 However, contrary to our report, pieces of literature from Pakistan 32 and Ethiopia 33 reported increased RBC count and Hgb level in type 2 diabetic patients than in the non-diabetic group.

This might be due to the effect of hyperinsulinemia, in which insulin has a synergetic effect with erythropoietin and stimulates erythroid progenitors resulting in increased erythropoiesis.34 In addition, MCHC values were found significantly lower in the diabetic patients as compared to the non-diabetic group.

Similarly, studies conducted in Saudi Arabia 35 and Sudan 30 reported that the MCHC value was decreased in T2DM patients than in the controls. Erythrocytes stayed in hyperglycemic conditions throughout their life span and are subjected to several structural and functional changes including hypochromia, anisocytosis, and poikilocytosis.36 Hypochromia is indicated by decreased MCHC and is a common finding in iron deficiency anemia, thalassemia, and anemia of inflammation.37 It has been accepted that DM is associated with long-term inflammation and increased inflammatory cytokines like interleukin 6 and interleukin-1.17, 38 Thus, inflammation inducible cytokines and hepcidin plays a significant role in the development of microcytic hypochromic red blood cells by retention of iron in reticuloendothelial cells.39 However, contrary to the current findings, pieces of literature from India, 28 Libya, 29 and Gondar, Ethiopia, 21 reported a higher value of MCHC in T2DM patients.

The increased MCHC value in diabetic patients may be associated with morphological and functional modifications of RBCs due to chronic hyperglycemia. Hyperglycemia increases the attachment of hemoglobin to the inside of the RBC membrane network including band 3 and spectrin proteins.40 This may result in the formation of spherocytic cell and alter the mechanical properties of RBCs.

The Hgb attachment to the spectrin network also increases the intracellular or cytosolic viscosity of the RBCs that are associated with MCHC.41 Regarding RDW, the current data showed that RDW values were significantly increased in type 2 diabetic patients as compared to the non-diabetic groups.

This report is in agreement with several studies conducted in Pakistan, 32 Saudi Arabia, 35 and Ethiopia.20, 21, 33, 42 An increased RDW shows the presence of anisocytosis among the circulating RBCs, which is associated with a defect in red blood cell production and rapid destruction of RBCs.43 Long-lasting inflammation and a higher level of oxidative stress are common in the diabetic environment, and they are known to reduce RBCs’ survival resulting in variation in erythrocyte size and lower red blood cell count.44 In the present study, the mean RBC count, Hct, and Hgb were significantly decreased in patients with poor glycemic control as compared to patients with good glycemic control.

The finding is supported by some work of literature from India, 45 and Ethiopia.46 The possible mechanism could be due to many biochemical changes in the RBC membrane including impaired ATPase (Na + /K + ATPase and Mg 2+ ATPase) activities. Chronic hyperglycemia increases sorbitol accumulation in erythrocyte and this affects Na+/K+-ATPase activity leading to osmotic imbalance, reduced deformability, and cellular death.47, 48 It has been reported that the activity of RBCs ATPase was significantly decreased in T2DM patients with higher glucose.

In addition, a significant negative correlation was reported between ATPase and hyperglycemia.47 Hyperglycemia also increases the rate of membrane lipid peroxidation and enhanced Ca 2+ intracellular levels, ultimately triggering the process of eryptosis.40, 48 Therefore, the interplay between inflammation, oxidative stress, and the undesirable effects of hyperglycemia on the mechanical and hemodynamic features of the RBCs can be inferred to the lower values of red blood cells and their parameters in patients with uncontrolled glycemic levels.

This study also included the correlation of RBC parameters and glycemic controls in diabetic patients. In the correlation analysis, a statistically significant negative correlation was determined between glycemic control and RBC count, Hgb, and Hct. The negative correlation between RBC, Hct, and Hgb with glycemic control in diabetes might be due to oxidative stress resulting from the imbalance between free radicals and the body’s antioxidant defense systems.

Evidence showed that diabetic patients were susceptible to oxidative stress and higher blood glucose level had an association with free radical-mediated lipid peroxidation, leading to reduced RBC survival. The persistent hyperglycemia is the primary cause of glucose autoxidation, glycation of hemoglobin, membrane protein, and activation of polyol pathway with increased oxidative stress.49 The red blood cell is a central focus of oxidative stress because it is thought to undergo a high rate of endogenous and exogenous H 2 O 2 production from hemoglobin autoxidation, glycoxidation, and lipoxidation.10, 50 In addition, diabetic nephropathy is one of the complications of diabetes due to changes in metabolic and hemodynamic pathways such as hyperglycemia, oxidative stress, glomerular hyperfiltration, and glomerular and tubular epithelial hypertrophy.51 When there are structural and functional changes in the kidney like damage to the peritubular fibroblasts, there is erythropoietin deficiency and low Hgb that leads to anemia.17, 51 The present study has to be interpreted in the light of limitations.

One limitation of this study is that we cannot determine a cause–effect relationship due to the cross-sectional nature of our study design. In addition, morphological evaluation and other contributing factors closely linked with RBC parameters like micronutrient levels in the study participants were not determined.