Laxatives: Rdw Elevation Risk

can laxative use cause elevated rdw

Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a test that measures the variation in red blood cell size. It is often used to diagnose anaemia and can indicate other underlying health conditions. Laxatives are medicines used to treat constipation and can be bought over the counter. They work by softening stools or stimulating the lower intestine. Laxative abuse is associated with several health risks, including damage to the digestive system, dehydration, and mineral deficiencies. However, there is no direct evidence linking laxative use to elevated RDW.

Characteristics Values
What is measured by RDW? Variation in red blood cell size or volume
RDW reference range 11.6-14.6% in adults
RDW results meaning High RDW may indicate an underlying condition, such as anemia, autoimmune conditions, and liver or kidney disease.
RDW test preparation No special preparation is required. However, if other blood tests are ordered, the patient may need to fast for several hours.
RDW test procedure A healthcare professional uses a small needle to draw blood from the individual’s arm.
RDW and laxative use No direct relation found

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RDW and nutrient deficiencies

A high RDW result, also known as a high RDW count, can indicate a nutrient deficiency. Nutrient deficiencies that can cause an increase in RDW include:

  • Iron deficiency
  • Folate deficiency
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency

These deficiencies occur because iron, folate, and vitamin B12 are all needed to produce healthy red blood cells. If left untreated, these deficiencies can eventually lead to anemia.

A high RDW result can also be indicative of other conditions, such as:

  • Thalassemia
  • Liver disease
  • Kidney disease
  • Cancer
  • Autoimmune conditions

If you are experiencing a high RDW count, it is important to consult with a doctor to determine the underlying cause and receive appropriate treatment.

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RDW and liver disease

RDW, or red blood cell distribution width, is a test that measures the variation in red blood cell size or volume as part of a complete blood count. It is often used to help determine the cause of anaemia.

High RDW results may indicate an underlying condition, such as anaemia, autoimmune conditions, and liver or kidney disease. Liver disease can cause an increase in RDW as the organ regulates most of the chemical levels in the blood. If liver disease is present, the size of red blood cells is often affected.

RDW can be used as a non-invasive method to predict liver cell failure and portal hypertension in cirrhotic patients. A study by Hu et al. found that increased RDW was observed in liver disease patients and was associated with worse hospital outcomes. Another study by Karagöz and Tanoglu concluded that RDW is a potential prognostic index for liver disease.

In addition to liver disease, high RDW can be caused by nutritional deficiencies such as iron, folate, or vitamin B12 deficiency, as well as chronic illnesses like diabetes, HIV, or Crohn's disease.

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RDW and inflammation

RDW, or red blood cell distribution width, is a test that measures the variation in red blood cell size or volume. It is often used to confirm an anaemia diagnosis and determine its cause. A high RDW may indicate an underlying condition, such as anaemia, autoimmune conditions, and liver or kidney disease.

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RDW has also been linked to inflammation. A 2015 study found a positive correlation between RDW and inflammatory markers in a healthy population. This indicates that RDW can be used as an inflammatory marker.

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RDW has been found to be elevated in various autoimmune diseases and is associated with disease activity or complications. For example, patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have increased RDW compared to osteoarthritis patients. RDW has also been found to be increased in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

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In addition, RDW has been associated with adverse outcomes and organ failure in both community-based cohorts and critically ill adults. Elevated RDW values have been linked to worsened pulmonary function in adults and respiratory failure in critically ill children.

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Overall, RDW is a useful marker for assessing inflammation and disease activity in various conditions.

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RDW and blood transfusions

Blood transfusions can cause a temporary increase in RDW levels. This is due to the differences in blood cells between the donor and the recipient.

RDW, or red blood cell distribution width, is a measure of how equal your red blood cells are in size. It is usually carried out as part of a complete blood count (CBC) and can help diagnose various blood-related disorders and diseases. A high RDW may indicate an underlying condition, such as anaemia, autoimmune conditions, liver or kidney disease, or thalassemia.

The typical range for RDW is 12 to 15%, although some medical professionals consider an RDW above 14.5% to be high. A high RDW means that there is variation in the size of your red blood cells beyond what is considered normal. A low RDW is not usually a cause for concern and is not associated with any particular types of anaemia.

Doctors can use the RDW test to help determine the type of anaemia a patient has. For example, a high RDW and typical MCV suggest an iron, vitamin B12, or folate deficiency, or possibly chronic liver disease. A high RDW and low MCV suggest iron deficiency or microcytic anaemia, while a high RDW and high MCV indicate a lack of vitamin B12 or folate, macrocytic anaemia, or chronic liver disease.

In addition to blood transfusions, several factors can affect the result of an RDW test, including nutrient deficiencies, liver disease, cancer, sleep disturbances, and hereditary red blood cell disorders.

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RDW and kidney disease

Red blood cell distribution width (RDW) is a test that measures the variation in red blood cell size or volume. It is often used to help determine the cause of anaemia, as it can be used to distinguish between different types, such as iron-deficiency anaemia, thalassemia, and megaloblastic anaemia. RDW is also used to determine the outcome and mortality in patients with heart failure.

RDW is one of the most basic tests in primary care and can help detect a large number of organic irregularities or pathologies, even before symptoms develop in the patient. It is also used to assess red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.

RDW is a useful tool for detecting anaemia, and doctors will often request the test if a patient has symptoms such as dizziness, tiredness, or pale skin. It is also used when a patient has a family history of blood disorders, has experienced bleeding during surgery or after a blow, or has or has had a disease that can cause alterations in the blood cells.

RDW results are expressed as percentages, with the standard value ranging from 11% to 14%. Values below or above this range indicate that something is not working properly. A high RDW result, known as a high RDW count, can suggest an underlying health condition.

A high RDW can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Iron-deficiency anaemia
  • Macrocytic anaemia
  • Microcytic anaemia
  • Hemolytic anaemias
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Cancer

High RDW counts have been linked to less favourable health outcomes, particularly in those with more serious illnesses. However, in many cases, it indicates reversible and treatable conditions, such as an iron, folate, or vitamin B12 deficiency.

To lower a high RDW, it is recommended to:

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Get regular physical exercise
  • Sleep between 7 and 9 hours a day
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol consumption
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Frequently asked questions

A red cell distribution width (RDW) test is a type of blood test that indicates variations in the size of a person’s red blood cells. It can confirm an anemia diagnosis and help determine its cause.

A high RDW may indicate an underlying condition, such as anemia, autoimmune conditions, and liver or kidney disease. The typical range for RDW is 12 to 15%, although some medical professionals consider an RDW of above 14.5% to be high.

Laxatives are often misused by people with eating disorders to purge calories and can wreak havoc on the body. Laxative abuse can lead to electrolyte disturbances, dehydration, mineral deficiencies, and long-term damage to the digestive system, including chronic constipation and nerve and muscle damage in the colon.

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