The causes of low or elevated hemoglobin and erythrocytes in the blood, diagnostic methods and therapy

Blood test

Erythrocytes are red blood cells that transport oxides (carbon dioxide and oxygen) through the body. This process is carried out with the help of a special peptide globule - hemoglobin.

Red blood cells

A general clinical blood test is an important part of the clinical examination of patients admitted to a municipal or private medical institution. Virtually all diseases are affected by the composition of the blood. Therefore, this study is very important in diagnosing diseases of various etiologies.


  • Why does hemoglobin and red blood cells increase in terms of blood test?
  • Why is hemoglobin and red blood cells lower in blood?
  • Normal erythrocyte counts in blood tests
  • How to reduce the level of hemoglobin and erythrocytes in the blood?

Why does hemoglobin and red blood cells increase in terms of blood test?

Erythrocytosis is an increased number of circulating red blood cells. The composition of erythrocytes includes hemoglobin. This peptide globule consists of two parts - a prosthetic group and a tetrameric protein compound. The prosthetic group contains heme, which partly consists of iron.

There are three forms of a peptide globule that carries oxides into tissues:

  • Carboxyhemoglobin.
  • Reconstituted hemoglobin.
  • Oxyhemoglobin.

Carboxyhemoglobin is formed as a result of the fusion of the protein globule with carbon dioxide. Most of the compound is localized in the venous blood, so it has a dark blue color.

Reconstituted hemoglobin is called deoxygemoglobin. This peptide globule is a "pure" variant of hemoglobin, which gave oxygen to tissues and is ready to accept a new one. This type of peptide compound circulates through the body in a small amount.

Oxyhemoglobin is a peptide compound to which oxygen is bound. The greatest number of this protein globule is in the arterial blood. Thanks to this substance, the arterial blood acquires a bright red color.

A blood coagulation system (hemostasis) is a biological system that prevents excessive blood loss. With severe bleeding in the vessels formed plaques, which clog the affected area. If erythrocytes and hemoglobin are raised in the blood, it thickens and quickly folds. This condition leads to the formation of plaques in the blood vessels and hampers the normal blood flow in the organs.

There are two types of increasing red blood cells in the bloodstream:

  • Relative.
  • Absolute.

The absolute increase in the number of red blood cells causes different forms of leukemia. The most common is erythremia (or Vakez disease). With this disorder in the blood there is an increased level of hemoglobin and erythrocytes. In Vaquez disease, hemoblastosis occurs, which leads to excessive secretion of platelets, agranulocytes, granulocytes and red blood cells by the bone marrow.

The relative increase in red blood cells occurs when the volume of blood decreases. Common causes of high hemoglobin in the blood:

  • Dehydration. After the restoration of the electrolyte-water balance, the level of hemoglobin is normalized.
  • Taking some medications that cause blood clots.
  • The first and second trimester of pregnancy.
  • Primary or secondary erythrocytosis.
  • Smoking.
  • Accommodation in mountainous areas. Often in such places, the oxygen level is much lower. This leads to increased production of red blood cells by the red bone marrow and an increase in hemoglobin concentration in the blood.
  • Congenital cardiovascular malformations.
  • Pulmonary, cardiac, renal or hepatic insufficiency.
  • Exposure to carbon monoxide.

Why is hemoglobin and red blood cells lower in blood?

Reducing the number of red blood cells leads to a general decrease in hemoglobin. This condition is called anemia. It occurs due to heavy bleeding (hemorrhagic anemia), accelerated decay of red blood cells (hemolytic anemia), a deficiency of B vitamins (vitamin deficiency anemia) or a lack of iron in the human body (iron deficiency anemia). Often, anemia occurs as a complication of the underlying disorder.

Iron-deficiency anemia

Causes of erythropenia:

  • Diseases of the endocrine system.
  • Hemolysis.
  • Dehydration of connective tissue.
  • Hyperhydration (excessive fluid intake).
  • Diseases of the urinary tract.
  • Cirrhosis of the liver.
  • Infectious diseases of various etiologies.
  • Sickle-cell anemia.
  • Thalassemia.
  • Leukemia of various etiologies.
  • Lack of vitamins of group B, folic acid and micro macro elements.

Allocate relative and absolute erythropenia. The reason for the relative decrease in the number of red blood cells is a sharp increase in the total volume of circulating blood. Blood is diluted, and the number of red blood cells remains at the initial level.

Absolute erythropenia occurs when the bone marrow synthesis of red blood cells is insufficient. Often this happens also with the accelerated decay of blood cells. Absolute reduction of the number of red blood cells always indicates the presence of anemia. To make an accurate diagnosis, additional tests will be needed.

Important! Red blood cell counts are lower in the blood of women in the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle. This condition is a variant of the norm and does not require medical or invasive intervention.

Normal erythrocyte counts in blood tests

In normal men, the number of red blood cells does not exceed 175 grams per liter, and for women - 155. Depending on sex and age category, the normal values ​​of red blood cells are different.

Normal values ​​of erythrocyte content in blood tests in children:

  • At newborns - 129-199 g / l.
  • In an infant from 2 weeks to 1 month, 104-170 g / l.
  • At the child from 1 till 12 months - 100-145 g / l.
  • In children from 1 to 6 years - 105-142 g / l.
  • In children from 6 to 15 years - 115-152 g / l.

In adults, sex plays a very important role. Therefore, the figures vary among men and women.

Normal levels of red blood cells in the blood of men:

  • From 15 to 18 years - 114-168 g / l.
  • From 18 to 46 years - 130-170 g / l.
  • From 46 to 70 years - 128-175 g / l.
  • Older men over 70 years old - 120-180 g / l.

In women, the erythrocyte counts in the blood are variable and depend on the menstrual cycle. Normal indicators of red blood cells in women:

  • From 15 to 18 years - 112-152 g / l.
  • From 18 to 46 years - 112-154 g / l.
  • From 46 to 70 years - 112-162 g / l.
  • Older women older than 70 years - 112-163 g / l.

In women, the total content of red blood cells is much less than that of men. This is due to the fact that the female sex during the luteal phase of the menstrual cycle loses a significant amount of blood. In some cases, this leads to hemorrhagic anemia.

Luteal phase of the menstrual cycle in women

In men, an increased number of red cells is a genetic feature. At the beginning of the Cenozoic period, people died from trauma, which led to severe blood loss. In the process of evolution, those individuals were retained, in which the number of erythrocytes and platelets was above the mean. An increased number of platelets and red blood cells leads to faster, more efficient blood clotting. This process helps to stop bleeding in time. In the stone age, this feature allowed to survive, and in our time - leads to atherosclerotization of blood vessels and the development of ischemic disease.

How to reduce the level of hemoglobin and erythrocytes in the blood?

Depending on what caused the increase in the level of red blood cells, prescribe medication. Apply anticoagulants and improve the rheological properties of blood medications. The most common are:

  • Acetylsalicylic acid.
  • Currantil.
  • Aspekard.
  • Phenylin and others.

Do not engage in self-diagnosis and treatment. Before using these drugs, you should consult your doctor. Each drug can have a different effect on the human body and cause side effects of varying degrees. In some cases, the reception of innocuous "folk" means ends with a lethal outcome.

However, there are also safe means that have long been used in traditional medicine in the "fight" with secondary erythrocytosis. In the bark of the willow contains salicin, which liquefies the blood. This substance - the precursor of acetylsalicylic acid, therefore, in many respects similar to the action with it.

If the cause of an elevated level of red blood cells is dehydration, then infusions of mint or sweet clover help. Coffee is a "natural" diuretic, which reduces the volume of circulating blood, from the diet to exclude. It is necessary to take more water and table salt. Sodium chloride "holds" water in the body and helps restore the water-electrolyte balance.

The fastest folk method of reducing hemoglobin and erythrocyte in the blood is medical leeches. They suck blood and release protein compounds that normalize the coagulation properties of the blood. With this procedure, the rheological characteristics of the blood are normalized for several weeks, then a repeated session is required.

Several recommendations for proper nutrition with an increased amount of hemoglobin:

  1. Monitor fluid intake and drink at least 8 glasses every day.
  2. Exclude the intake of iron-containing products, for example: meat, liver and cereals.
  3. Eat more tomatoes, cabbage and cucumbers.
  4. Garlic and some radish species dilute blood and help cope with red blood cells. Therefore, you need to fill these vegetables more often.
  5. Regularly consume seafood: fish, seaweed, shellfish.
  6. Refuse cereals: oatmeal, semolina, pearl barley, oatmeal, legumes, buckwheat and rice.

If you have any doubts about the choice of a diet, consult your dietitian. He will prescribe a diet that will lower the level of hemoglobin and red blood cells. Timely therapy of the initial stages of erythrocytosis increases the chances of a speedy recovery.

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