Readers ask: What Does It Mean When Your Red Blood Cell Count Is High?

Should I worry if my red blood cell count is high?

A high red blood cell count is generally considered to be anything above 6.1 million red blood cells for men, 5.4 million for women, and 5.5 for children. Additional tests will help your doctor determine the cause of your high red blood cell count and next steps in your care.

What does high red cell count mean?

By Mayo Clinic Staff. A high red blood cell count is an increase in oxygen-carrying cells in your bloodstream. Red blood cells transport oxygen from your lungs to tissues throughout your body.

How can you lower your red blood count?

If you have a high RBC count:

  1. Exercise to improve heart and lung function.
  2. Eat less red meat and iron-rich foods.
  3. Avoid iron supplements.
  4. Keep yourself well hydrated.
  5. Avoid diuretics, including coffee and caffeinated drinks.
  6. Stop smoking, especially if you have COPD or pulmonary fibrosis.

What causes elevated red blood cells and hemoglobin?

Medical conditions that can cause high hemoglobin levels include: Polycythemia vera (the bone marrow produces too many red blood cells ) Lung diseases such as COPD, emphysema or pulmonary fibrosis (lung tissue becomes scarred) Heart disease, especially congenital heart disease (the baby is born with it)

What increases red blood cells?

5 nutrients that increase red blood cell counts

  • red meat, such as beef.
  • organ meat, such as kidney and liver.
  • dark, leafy, green vegetables, such as spinach and kale.
  • dried fruits, such as prunes and raisins.
  • beans.
  • legumes.
  • egg yolks.

Is high red blood count bad?

Because it usually means that there is a shortage of oxygen in the system and the body is creating more red blood cells to carry more oxygen to make up for the shortage. An elevated hematocrit is a risk marker for some very serious illnesses: heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.

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Can high red blood cell count cause high blood pressure?

The overproduction of red blood cells and high hematocrit levels associated with polycythemia vera can contribute to systemic hypertension; high hematocrit levels have been found to interfere with the vasodilatory effects of nitric oxide.

What is a normal RBC count?

A normal RBC count would be: men – 4.7 to 6.1 million cells per microlitre (cells/mcL) women – 4.2 to 5.4 million cells/mcL.

Can diabetes cause high red blood cell count?

People with diabetes are more likely to have inflamed blood vessels. This can keep bone marrow from getting the signal they need to make more red blood cells. And some medications used to treat diabetes can drop your levels of the protein hemoglobin, which you need to carry oxygen through your blood.

Can dehydration cause high red blood count?

Dehydration (If the liquid component of the blood (plasma) is decreased, as in dehydration, the red blood cell count increases. This is due to the red blood cells becoming more concentrated.

Does aspirin reduce red blood cells?

RESULTS: Acute or chronic doses of aspirin reduced the RBC count, hemoglobin and other red cell indices as compared to controls. The WBC counts were higher in the treated animals as compared to the untreated animals.

Why are my red blood cells small?

If the red blood cells are smaller than normal, this is called microcytic anemia. The major causes of this type are iron deficiency (low level iron) anemia and thalassemia (inherited disorders of hemoglobin ).

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Can thyroid problems cause high red blood cell count?

Thyroid disorders are frequently accompanied by red blood cell abnormalities. Thyroid hormones often have important effect on erythropoiesis.

Why would my hemoglobin be high?

A high hemoglobin count occurs most commonly when your body requires an increased oxygen-carrying capacity, usually because: You smoke. You live at a high altitude and your red blood cell production naturally increases to compensate for the lower oxygen supply there.

What are the side effects of high hemoglobin?

Common symptoms of high Hgb levels include:

  • itchiness.
  • headache.
  • dizziness.
  • getting easily bruised or bleeding.
  • sweating more than usual.
  • painful joint swelling.
  • abnormal weight loss.
  • a yellow tint to the eyes and skin ( jaundice )

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