Saturday, September 30, 2023

How To Lower Red Blood Cell Count

A Note About Sex And Gender

What is the Treatment for a Low Red Blood Cell Count

Sex and gender exist on spectrums. This article will use the terms, male, female, or both to refer to sex assigned at birth. .

RBCs are the most common component of human blood. The cells contain hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen around the body. Hemoglobin is also responsible for bloods red color.

Having a low RBC count can cause symptoms that may include:

  • young children
  • people taking blood thinners

Heavy periods can cause iron deficiency anemia due to increased blood loss, but iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy is usually the result of a deficiency of iron in the diet.

Anemia is also common in young children. This is also often due to a lack of iron in their diet. The World Health Organization estimates that globally, 42% of children under the age of 5 years old are anemic. Older adults may also be more likely to have a low RBC count due to malnutrition.

People following restrictive diets as a means for weight loss are also at risk of having a low RBC count. This is common in young females.

Eating disorders can severely affect the quality of life of people living with these conditions and those close to them. Early intervention and treatment greatly improve the likelihood of recovery.

Anyone who suspects that they or a loved one has an eating disorder can contact the National Eating Disorder Association for advice and support via:

  • phone or text at 800-931-2237
  • online chat, by going to this link

Many other resources are available, including:

How Is Hepatocellular Carcinoma Treated

There are several ways to treat hepatocellular carcinoma. Your healthcare providers will develop a treatment plan that takes into account your overall health, whether your liver is working well and your tumors size.

Beyond that, theyll talk to you about treatment goals, options and potential side effects. They want you to have a complete picture of your situation so you can feel confident about your decisions. Once theyve shared information, theyll ask about your personal preferences. Your final treatment plan will reflect your providers recommendations and your preferences.

Reliability Of Electronic Counters

Electronic counts are precise, but care needs to be taken so that they are also accurate. The recorded count on the same sample may vary from instrument to instrument and even between different models of instrument from the same manufacturer. Inaccuracy may be introduced by coincidence by recirculation of cells that have already been counted by red cell agglutination and by the counting of bubbles, lipid droplets, microorganisms or extraneous particles as cells. Faulty maintenance may lead to variation in the volume aspirated or the flow rate. Single-channel instruments may have their thresholds set incorrectly and multichannel instruments may be incorrectly calibrated.

Inaccurate counts consequent on red cell agglutination are usually the result of cold agglutinins. They are recognised as erroneous because of an associated marked factitious elevation of the MCV. A correct count can be achieved by prewarming the blood sample and, if necessary, also prewarming the diluent.

Setting discrimination thresholds

Jeffrey J. Fletcher, Barnett R. Nathan, in, 2007

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How To Increase Or Decrease Red Blood Cells

Puya Yazdi, MDBiljana Novkovic, PhDEvguenia Alechine, PhD Puya Yazdi, MD

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In this post, you will learn about the ways to increase or decrease red blood cell count.

Indicators Of An Abnormal Rbc Count

Understanding the Red Blood Cell (RBC) Count

Image: Shutterstock

Since blood is made up of four main components which are plasma, red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, an imbalance in the number of red blood cells can cause problems for your overall health. If there are a very low amount of red blood cells in your body, you could experience fatigue, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, headaches, and dizziness or lightheadedness when you change positions quickly like getting up to stand after you have been sitting or sleeping. If you have too many red blood cells you can also experience fatigue and shortness of breath along with joint pain, itchy skin, and sleep disturbances.

Tip:If you are experiencing such symptoms, a red blood cell count test should be conducted.

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Why Is A Hemoglobin Test Done

Your provider may perform a hemoglobin test as part of a routine physical exam. Hemoglobin tests are part of a complete blood count test, which identifies the number of red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets in a blood sample. This information allows your provider to assess your health and screen for certain conditions.

Your provider may also perform a hemoglobin test if you have symptoms that suggest conditions related to low hemoglobin levels or high hemoglobin levels.

Low hemoglobin

Having low hemoglobin or too few red blood cells can deprive your tissues and organs of the oxygen they need to make energy and keep you healthy.

Finally, your provider may check your hemoglobin to see how you respond to treatments meant to lower or boost your red blood cell count.

When Is It Ordered

An RBC count is ordered as a part of the complete blood count , often as part of a routine physical or as part of a pre-surgical workup. A CBC may be ordered when you have signs and symptoms suggesting a disease that might affect red blood cell production. Some common signs and symptoms associated with anemia that generally lead to a healthcare practitioner ordering a CBC are:

  • Weakness or fatigue
    • Genetic causes
    • Polycythemia veraa rare disease

    from Henry’s Clinical Diagnosis and Management by Laboratory Methods. 22nd ed.McPherson R, Pincus M, eds. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders 2011.Note: Conventional Units are typically used for reporting results in U.S. labs SI Units are used to report lab results outside of the U.S.

    Some causes of a low RBC count include:

    Some causes of a high RBC count include:

    • Dehydrationas the volume of fluid in the blood drops, the count of RBCs per volume of fluid artificially rises.
    • Lung diseaseif someone is unable to breathe in and absorb sufficient oxygen, the body tries to compensate by producing more red blood cells.
    • Congenital heart diseasewith this condition, the heart is not able to pump blood efficiently, resulting in a decreased amount of oxygen getting to tissues. The body tries to compensate by producing more red blood cells.
    • Kidney tumor that produces excess erythropoietin
    • Genetic causes
    • Polycythemia veraa rare disease in which the body produces too many RBCs

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    High Hematocrit Caused By Trt: How To Decrease It

    Since abnormally high hematocrit values can pose serious health problems, this article will analyze the correlation between testosterone therapy and high hematocrit. TRT, sleep apnea and smoking are contributing factors can cause high hematocrit which can increase cardiovascular risks if not properly managed. This article explains the basics of how to manage high hematocrit while using testosterone.

    What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Anemia

    How to Manage Increased Red Blood Cells and Hematocrit Due to TRT

    Many people with anemia feel fatigue or muscle weakness. These symptoms can make it harder to cope with other physical and emotional effects of cancer treatment.

    Symptoms of anemia may also include:

    • Rapid or irregular heart beat

    • Occasional chest pain

    • Trouble staying warm

    • Bleeding problems

    Talk with your health care team about any symptoms you experience. This includes any new symptoms or a change in symptoms. Managing anemia and other cancer side effects is an important part of your medical care and treatment. This type of care is called palliative care or supportive care.

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    How Do Healthcare Providers Obtain Blood For Hematocrit Levels

    Blood tests to check hematocrit levels are simple, safe procedures with very few complications. Sometimes, providers obtain blood from a vein, using a needle to fill one or more sample tubes. Other times, providers use a needle prick to obtain a drop of blood. Here are blood test details:

    • Your provider looks for a vein from which to draw blood. They typically pick a vein on the inside surface of your elbow.
    • They place a tourniquet on your upper arm. Pressure from the tourniquet helps fill veins below the tourniquet, making it easier for your provider to see or feel your veins.
    • Your provider cleans the area around the vein selected for the blood draw.
    • Next, they insert a needle into your vein. This may sting at first.
    • Your blood moves through the needle and into a collecting tube or syringe.
    • When your provider has collected enough blood to be tested, theyll release the tourniquet and remove the needle.
    • Your provider will put gentle pressure on the site where they placed the needle. They do that to prevent bleeding.
    • Theyll place a small bandage on the spot where they placed the needle.

    Do I need to prepare for this blood test?

    No, this test doesnt require special preparation such as fasting.

    Are there any side effects or complications?

    Most people feel fine after their blood test. Some people may feel faint. If that happens, tell your healthcare provider. Theyll take steps to help you to feel better.

    Diagnose High Red Blood Cell Count

    Your medical history, a physical examination and a series of tests are used to decide if and why a patient has an erythrocytosis, such as:

    • Blood test for an increase in red cell numbers.
    • Physical examination is performed to look for signs of possible underlying disorders.
    • Red cell mass study that is often carried out in a hospital’s nuclear medicine department.
    • Vitamin measurement such as iron, folic acid and vitamin B12, which are all important in red cell production.
    • Oxygen levels to measure oxygen levels in the blood, usually with a probe clipped onto your finger.
    • Lung function test for COPD.
    • Oxygen dissociation to measure how tightly hemoglobin holds on to oxygen.
    • Urine test for the presence of blood, sugar or other abnormality.
    • Chest X-ray to check that the lungs and heart appear normal.
    • Ultrasound of the abdomen to check the kidneys, liver and for any increase in the size of the spleen or fibroids in the womb.
    • Kidney and liver function tests for normal functionality.
    • Bone marrow sample that is performed under local anesthetic.
    • Echocardiogram to examine the structure of the heart.
    • Genetic testing for mutations common in polycythaemia vera, and the erythropoietin receptor.
    • Sleep study if a condition called sleep apnea is suspected.

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    What Is A Normal Rbc Range

    Your red blood cells transport oxygen to cells of the body. An RBC count is the number of red blood cells per a particular volume of blood. It may be reported in millions of cells per microliter of blood or in trillions of cells per liter of blood.

    The “normal” or “reference” range can sometimes vary depending on whose blood is being tested. If you live in a high-altitude city like Denver, your blood count will be far higher than people who live in low-altitude areas like the Gulf Coast.

    This is because when you are at a higher altitude, your body creates more red blood cells so that more oxygen can be carried to your tissues. For this reason, the ranges cannot be considered hard-and-fast values but just a reference point.

    The RBC count reference range varies by sex and age:

    • Women: 4.2 to 5.4 million/mcL
    • Men: 4.7 to 6.1 million/mcL
    • Children: 4.1 to 5.5 million/mcL

    Anything above these RBC levels may be concerning.

    Ways To Increase Red Blood Cell Levels

    low red blood cell count causes

    If your RBC count is low, the most important thing is to work with your doctor to find out whats causing your low RBC count and to treat any underlying conditions. While in some cases anemia can be treated with dietary changes and supplements, other cases may require blood transfusion, drugs that stimulate RBC production, or changing your medication.

    The additional lifestyle changes listed below are other things you may want to discuss with your doctor. None of these strategies should ever be done in place of what your doctor recommends or prescribes!

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    Expert Review And References

    • Understanding chemotherapy: a guide for patients and families. American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society 2013.
    • Anemia. American Society of Clinical Oncology . Cancer.Net. Alexandria, VA.: American Society of Clinical Oncology 2009.
    • Camp-Sorrell, D. Chemotherapy toxicities and management. Yarbro, CH, Wujcki D, & Holmes Gobel B. . Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett 2011: 17: pp. 458-503.
    • Haas ML. Radiation therapy: toxicities and management. Yarbro, CH, Wujcki D, & Holmes Gobel B. . Cancer Nursing: Principles and Practice. 7th ed. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett 2011: 14: 312-351.
    • Hockenberry MJ, Kline NE. Nursing support of the child with cancer. Pizzo, P. A. & Poplack, D. G. . Principles and Practice of Pediatric Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins 2011: 43:1288-1304.
    • Hospital for Sick Children. AboutKidsHealth: Side Effects of Chemotherapy. Toronto, ON: Hospital for Sick Children 2009.
    • Panzarella C, Rasco-Baggott C, Comeau, M., et al. Management of disease and treatment-related complications. Baggott, C. R., Kelly, K. P., Fochtman, D. et al. Nursing Care of Children and Adolescents with Cancer. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA: W. B. Saunders Company 2002: 11:279-319.

    What Is Hepatocellular Carcinoma

    Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of liver cancer. It is a serious illness that can be life-threatening. If it diagnosed early, hepatocellular carcinoma can be treated with surgery to remove the cancerous tumor or with a liver transplant. Other treatments can shrink the tumor or slow its growth and relieve your symptoms. Hepatocellular carcinoma is linked to cirrhosis of the liver and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease . People who have cirrhosis or NAFLD should be regularly checked for signs of hepatocellular carcinoma.

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    A Methodical Approach To Interpreting The Red Blood Cell Parameters Of The Complete Blood Count

    This article requires a subscription to view the full text. If you have a subscription you may use the login form below to view the article. Access to this article can also be purchased.

  • Kathy Doig, PhD, MLSCM SHCM
  • Professor Emeritus, Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics Program, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI
  • Bei Zhang, MD, PhD, MLSCM
  • Teaching Specialist, Biomedical Laboratory Diagnostics Program, Michigan State University, E. Lansing, MI
  • Address for Correspondence: Kathy Doig, PhD, MLSCM SHCM, 354 Farm Lane, Rm. N322, E. Lansing, MI 48824, 517-353-1985,
  • List the red blood cell parameters of the complete blood count .

  • Describe the principle of analysis for each of the red blood parameters of the CBC.

  • Explain the disadvantages of relative reticulocyte counts.

  • Given relative reticulocyte counts and red blood cell counts, calculate absolute reticulocyte counts.

  • Given a relative reticulocyte count and patient hematocrit and morphology, calculate the corrected reticulocyte count and reticulocyte production index, when needed.

  • Given the red blood cell parameters of a CBC, compare each to the reference interval and apply proper terminology to the interpretation of results outside the reference interval.

  • Given red blood cell parameters of a CBC, apply a methodical approach to assess the validity and reportability of results.

  • Apply a methodical approach to red blood cell parameters of the CBC to assess diagnostic and clinical significance.

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome Red Blood Cells And High Hematocrit Values

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

    OSAS is a sleep disorder that is characterized by a collapse of the upper airway while sleeping. This leads to a low quality sleep, choking sensations, and even hypoxia . A comprehensive study performed between January 2011 and June 2014 shows that high RDW might be a reliable marker when it comes to the severity of OSAS.

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    Can Hepatocellular Carcinoma Be Cured

    Researchers continue to search for ways to cure hepatocellular carcinoma. If your condition was diagnosed early on, you might be treated with surgery to remove the tumor. You might have a liver transplant. People whose condition was diagnosed later can still have treatment and support that helps them to live longer and to have a good quality of life.

    Can I Have An Infection That Increases My Risk And Not Realize It

    Having hepatitis C is a risk factor for hepatocellular carcinoma. You could have hepatitis C without having symptoms or knowing youve been infected. Some activities and medical conditions increase your risk of hepatitis C infection. Talk to your healthcare provider if:

    • Youve had unprotected sex within the past six months, shared needles for drug use within the past six months or youve ever injected drugs.
    • You have HIV.
    • You were or are on long-term hemodialysis.
    • You were born from 1945 through 1965. Most people in the United State who have hepatitis C were born in these years.
    • You had a blood clotting problem before 1987 that was treated with medication.
    • You received a blood transfusion or organ transplant before July 1992. This is when healthcare providers started screening blood and organ donations for hepatitis C.

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