Megaloblastic anemia is a rare condition in which the patient's bone marrow produces abnormally large and structurally immature red blood cells. It can occur in either sex and affect patients of any racial or ethnic group. Megaloblastic anemia belongs to a class of disorders called the macrocytic anemias. While there are several different causes of megaloblastic anemia, the most common are nutritional deficiencies of either folate or vitamin B12. These vitamins help the body synthesize both DNA and some of the cells that eventually become blood cells. Megaloblastic anemia's symptoms can resemble those of many other disorders. The doctor will likely start by taking a medical history and performing a physical to rule out some other possible causes. Next comes a complete blood count if any kind of anemia is suspected.
Get to know some of the symptoms of megaloblastic anemia to watch for now.
Megaloblastic anemia typically develops slowly, and the patient may not display any symptoms immediately, or even for a few years in some cases. A swollen tongue is one symptom of megaloblastic anemia. Typically, a swollen tongue occurs in megaloblastic anemia when the cause is one of the previously mentioned vitamin deficiencies. When vitamin B12 deficiency, the most common, is behind it, the tongue also typically appears quite fiery red and is sore. It is possible for lesions to occur as well. Glossitis may also develop, which means the patient's swollen tongue is likely smooth and shiny.
Get to know more warning signs of megaloblastic anemia now.