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Date of last update: 10/12/2017.

Forum Name: Hematology Topics

Question: High RBC count

 JH - Sat Sep 04, 2004 5:08 pm

I passed a routine blood and urine test and the doctor said that I have a high red blood count. A normal RBC for a man is about (135-175) and I had 186g/l. I live in Quebec, so maybe they use different units of measure. Do you find this way too high?

I eat meat every day, and red meat every 2 days. If I cut on meat, would the RBC count diminish. I don't smoke. I consider myself healthy.

Could there be a problem if I keep on having high amounts of Red blood cells? I'm 44 years old 5'8 and 140 lbs. white

I had these results on my blood test.

Leuco. I had 4.4 and the normal range is (4.5---11.0)
Hb I had 186 and the normal range is ( 135---175)
VGM I had 96 and normal is (78---102)
CGMH I had 352 and normal is (325---370)
Plaq. I had 145 and normal is (140---400)

So my only problem was the Hemoglobin in bold.
 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Sep 05, 2004 4:22 am

User avatar Hello JH,
High hemoglobin values can be caused by a lack of oxygen (which can occur from living at high altitude), smoking, exposure to carbon monoxide, long-term lung disease, certain forms of heart disease, kidney disease, or polycythemia vera, a rare disorder of the bone marrow.
A high hemoglobin value can also be caused by too little water in the body (dehydration), a result of drinking too little; other causes include frequent diarrhea or vomiting, excessive sweating, severe burns, and the use of diuretics.

If you don't think any of the above causes are related to your condition then I would suggest follow up of your condition after a month provided you are not complaining of anything.

Best regards,
 JH - Sun Sep 05, 2004 9:41 am

Thanks Doctor,

May I add a few more results from my blood tests. Maybe you can eliminate possible reasons for my high red blood count.

Eryth I had 5.5 and normal is (4.5---5.9)
Ht I had .530 and normal is ( .410---.530)
TGMH I had 34 and normal is (27---33)
IDVE I had 12.2 and normal is (11.5--- 14.5)
VPM I had 10.1 and normal is (7.0---10.4)

Glucose I had 5.1 and normal is (4.1---6.0)
Creatinine I had 74 and normal is (80---115)
AST I had 24 and normal is (17---59)
ALT I had 31 and normal is (21---72)
Phosphate alcaline I had 88 and normal is ( 38---126)
GGT I had 21 and normal is (15---73)

Cholesterol 4.98 mmol/L
Triglycerides 1.19 mmol/L
C-HDL 1.27 mmol/L
C-LDL 3.17 mmol/L
CT/C-HDL 3.9 mmol/L

TSH I had 0.33 and normal is (0.4---4.7)
T4 libre I had 13.4 and normal is (10--24)
T3 libre I had 5.2 and normal is (2.2---5.4)

 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Sun Sep 05, 2004 5:24 pm

User avatar JH,
Thanks for the update. Your MCHC is a little high this means the amount of Hb per cell is above normal. Your hematocrit is on the higher end which means the percentage of your blood which is composed of red cells is a little high.

What were the comments in that blood report. There was no spherocytosis or abnormality in shape or form of the blood cells?

I think you should do another count within the coming month and compare to see if indeed something is developing in its early stages or if it was just a transient increase. If on the rise that would mean we may need more investigations to search for a cause.

If any new symptoms should arise then you should bring them to medical attention at once.
 JH - Mon Oct 18, 2004 2:08 pm

I passed another blood and urine test this month. The doctor wanted to see my iron levels in the blood

Here are the results and what the doctor said.

Ferritin I had 551 and normal is (30--284)
Fer(Iron) I had 29 and normal is (11--27)
Cap. fix. iron (TIBC) I had 71 and normal is (45--81)
Saturation iron I had 0.41 and normal is (0.23--0.43)

Leuco I had 5.8 and normal is (4.5--11)
Hb I had 187 and normal is (135--175)
Ht I had .556 and normal is (.410--.530)
Plaq I had 164 and normal is (140--400)
VGM I had 98 and normal is (78--102)
CGMH I had 336 g/L and normal is (325--370)
Eryth I had 5.7 and normal is (4.5--5.9)
TGMH I had 33 and normal is (27--33)
IDVE I had 11.8 and normal is (11.5--14.5)
VPM I had 9.4 and normal is (7--10.4)

Glucose I had 4.7 and normal is (4.1--6.0)

Cholesterol 4.51 mmol/L
Triglycérides 0.94 mmol/L
C-HDL 1.51 mmol/L
C-LDL 2.57 mmol/L
CT/C-HDL 3.0

TSH I had 0.32 and normal is (0.5---6.0) mU/L
T4 libre I had 15.8 and normal is (10--24) pmol/L
T3 libre I had 5.0 and normal is (2.6--5.0)

Vitamin B12 I had 274 and normal is (138--690)

I eat meat almost every meal, and beef almost every day. Maybe this could explain the high levels of ferritin.

So I still have a high level of red blood cells and the doctor says it's because the ferritine is way too high. I'll go see a specialist for the blood.

Probably I'll have to give blood on a regular basis.

Is it rare to see ferritine levels so high?
Do you think that giving blood will solve the problem?

 Dr. Tamer Fouad - Fri Oct 22, 2004 11:07 am

User avatar Serum ferritin is a storage protein for iron. It is also a good measure of the total iron stores. One of the causes of elevated ferritin is iron overload as in hemochromatosis.

When there is marked iron overload, as in advanced hemochromatosis, the serum ferritin concentration commonly exceeds 500 mug/L and may be >5000 mug/L. At that point iron starts to deposit in the various tissues leading to organ damage. Please check our hemochromatosis page for more details.

However, since serum ferritin is an acute-phase reactant, elevated values may result from chronic disease, such as inflammation (as in rheumatoid arthritis), or from malignancies. Liver injury from hepatitis or alcohol abuse also elevates both the serum iron and the serum ferritin concentrations. High values of serum ferritin may be observed in Gaucher's disease and in a rare familial disorder associated with congenital cataracts (the hyperferritinemia-cataract syndrome), without concomitant excess iron accumulation in the liver or other organs. Therefore, elevated values of serum ferritin concentration must be interpreted in the context of the presence or absence of these other conditions.

I am also concerned about your low TSH levels. An endocrinologist should have a look to exclude early hyperthyroidism. Especially that hyperthyroidism is one of the causes of elevated ferritin.

Best regards,

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