Home Blood problems High Red Blood Cells: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

High Red Blood Cells: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Erythrocytes, hematocrits, or red blood cells, as they are commonly known, are responsible for transporting oxygen to all body cells, hence their importance in medicine to detect any abnormality in the functioning of the body. A high erythrocyte count in the blood can be a symptom of a disease or disorder, although this does not always indicate a health problem.

Genetic factors, lifestyle, and some diseases, such as certain types of cancer, lung diseases, tumors, heart problems, and the consumption of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes, and even living in elevated areas, can cause levels of these to increase. Cells. In FastlyHeal, we tell you about Erythrocytes high in blood: causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Red blood cells: average values

The erythrocyte or red blood cell count is done through a laboratory test, which is often used to assess a person’s health condition. When the hematocrit count and hemoglobin values ​​fall below the established reference range, the person is said to be anemic. If they rise above the normal range, the person is said to be polycythemic. Too few erythrocytes can affect the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues, while too many can cause decreased blood flow and related problems.

Here we talk about the average values ​​of erythrocytes in blood :

  • In men: 700,000 to 5.2 million red blood cells per microliter of blood.
  • In women: 500,000 to 4.6 million red blood cells per microliter of blood.
  • It will depend a lot on how old you are precisely and on your gender in children.

Erythrocytes high in blood: causes

Suffering from leukemia or cancer can alter the values ​​of red blood cells, either by increasing their levels or by lowering them. But cancer and chemotherapy treatment are not the only causes of high blood cells. Here we talk about the reasons for elevated red blood cells :

  • Heart failure causes low oxygen levels in the blood.
  • Congenital heart disease.
  • Polycythemia vera is a blood disorder in which the bone marrow makes too many red blood cells.
  • Kidney tumors
  • Lung diseases, such as emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis (the lung tissue is scarred).
  • Hypoxia (low oxygen levels in the blood).
  • Dehydration due to diarrhea or vomiting.
  • Exposure to carbon monoxide (usually related to smoking).

The factors of lifestyle that can cause a high red blood cell count include:

  • Smoking
  • Live high up.
  • Take performance-enhancing drugs, such as anabolic steroids (synthetic testosterone) or erythropoietin.

Erythrocytes high in blood: symptoms

Symptoms of polycythemia can be minimal in many people. On the other hand, most of the signs in people with polycythemia are very general and nonspecific. Here we will talk about the main symptoms of high blood erythrocytes :

  • Soft spot.
  • Fatigue.
  • Headache.
  • Itch.
  • Bruises
  • Joint pain
  • Dizziness.
  • Abdominal pain.

In patients with polycythemia vera, the symptoms can also be similar to other conditions [1], but you should still go to the doctor when you detect some of the following symptoms:

  • Ringing in the ears.
  • Vision changes, such as blurred vision or blind spots.
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath when lying down.
  • Itchy skin, especially after a hot bath.
  • Reddish or purplish skin, especially on the palms, earlobes, and face.
  • Gout, which causes painful swelling of the joints.
  • Burning sensation in the feet.
  • Abdominal discomfort or a feeling of fullness if the spleen is enlarged.
  • Blood clots.
  • Bleeding that is heavier than average.

The symptoms of secondary polycythemia can be more closely attributed to the underlying condition, such as chronic lung disease, than to the polycythemia itself. Therefore, shortness of breath, chronic cough, sleep disturbances (sleep apnea), dizziness, lack of exercise tolerance, or fatigue can be expected in patients with polycythemia.

Suppose polycythemia is related to kidney cancer, liver cancer, or other erythropoietin-secreting tumors. In that case, symptoms of these conditions, such as weight loss, abdominal pain or fullness, or jaundice, may be predominant.

Red blood cells high: treatment

Suppose a medical condition is causing your erythrocyte levels to be elevated. In that case, your doctor will prescribe a treatment to lower those levels, basically treating the underlying disease so that the erythrocytes later go down.

The recommended procedure in these erythrocyte cases is called phlebotomy. It consists of inserting a needle into the vein and draining blood through a tube into a bag or container. This procedure may need to be done repeatedly until the red blood cell levels are normal.

If you have the bone marrow disease, polycythemia vera, a doctor may also prescribe a drug called hydroxyurea to decrease the production of red blood cells in the body. It would be best to see your doctor regularly while taking hydroxyurea to make sure your red blood cell level doesn’t drop too low. Before any of the symptoms or discomfort, do not hesitate to consult your doctor.

This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Erythrocytes high in blood: causes, symptoms, and treatment, we recommend that you enter our category of Blood, heart, and circulation.

You may also like

Leave a Comment