Should I Be Worried About a High Hematocrit

by Dawn

I just received my blood test results and it shows Hematocrit to be high, 50.1%. MCV high, 103.1fl. MCHC low, 29.3 g/dL. RDW high, 15.3%. My doctor never mentioned this. Said everything was normal. So is this significant?

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It's Rare
by: Kerri Knox, RN- The Immune System Queen

Hi Dawn,

Your numbers would be concerning if they were indeed correct, but a high Hematocrit (HCT) is rare in a woman, so it's more likely that you were dehydrated when you took the test. Ask your doctor to repeat them and then come back and respond if they are still, indeed, high.

The hematocrit is the % of red blood cells that you have in your bloodstream. If you are dehyrated, then they can read higher than they actually are because of a low level of plasma to red blood cells.

A high hematocrit in a woman is pretty rare, so I'd just get it redone and see if your numbers really are high before you get worried about anything.

Kerri Knox, RN

Polycythemia Vera
by: Kathie

I would be checked for Polycythemia Vera, a blood disorder where the bone marrow makes too much hematocrit.


Kerri's Note: I agree that's a possibility IF the hematocrit is consistently high, but a retest is the first order of business. There's no reason to look for more rare problems until a retest shows a high hematocrit again. There is also the condition known as hemachromatosis, but again, more rare than simply being dehydrated or a lab error. I'd always have a repeat test before I went and started testing for problems.

Kerri Knox, RN

High Blood levels
by: Shirley B.

I have a high wbc 14.5, rbc 5.64, hgb 17.2, hct 53.0. I have been sent to a hemotologist who blood draws me every 2 weeks now, my levels stay high, today was little higher. Prognosis, polycythemia. Sent me for chest xray was clear, had echo on heart was good. Now they think it could be sleep apnea.

I sleep fine. I do get fatigue, but I live a rather stressful day to day life, I over worry. They are talking about Blood letting if next test comes back high. These levels have been high since 2010, and Dr.s said no big deal till 2 months ago. I take toprimate which I think can effect levels. I was told once that I needed to have my allergies taken care of but hemotolgist is ignoring that as a issue. But heis worried about an oxygen problem but I breathe fine.

Not surprised
by: Kathie

I am totally shocked that it took this long (since 2010) for your polycythemia diagnosis. Be more proactive with your illness, it's apparent your doctor is not. Have phlebotomy when needed and eventually you will need to go on a chemo med. Good luck to you.

...not sure what to think
by: Anonymous

Went to a pain management doctor to talk about chronic back pain and to see if I possibly have fibromyalgia. Bloodwork came back RBC 4.98 Hgb 15.1 HCT 51.1 MCV 102.6 He told me about Polycythemia Vera and said go see Hematologist and talk to my primary doctor.

I am female age 47. I had a DVT with my first pregnancy, let put in a filter and thinned blood in 1999. My newest symptoms are feeling slightly dizzy all the time, feeling tired daily, headaches daily, and anxiety and neck pain and very dull pressure in chest. The blood work results were sent to my primary doctor, she said blook work looks fine.... ?? don't know what to do????

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