Hematocrit levels

Greg Jackson zarabeth at ix.netcom.com
Sat Jun 28 21:16:22 EST 1997


I just attempted to donate blood the other day...what an experience.  I had
given blood 6 weeks ago and it was time again.  I had changed my diet
somewhat since the last time I had given blood. I had cut out red meat.  I
knew that the last time that I gave blood that they checked iron levels
beforehand.  I decided to take a multi-vitamin a couple of hours before. 
It contains 9 mg of iron.  When I get my test (I found out then that it was
a hematocrit level) it turns out that I have 64 % red blood cells.  I was
shocked, I am diabetic and have had many many blood tests (including the
one 6 weeks previous at the blood bank) and my RBCs have never been in
question.  They turned me down and said that I should see a doctor.  I
couldnt believe it.  I decided that I wanted another opinion in case the
spinning of my blood went awry or something like that.  So I went to
another bank the next day.  Turns out that this bank was just a mobile unit
from the main bank that I had went to the previous day.  I tell them I want
another test and that I hadn't taken a multivitamin that day.  The test
comes back and I have a hematocrit level of 49% (a perfectly normal level).
 After a phone call to their supervisor, they again turned me down.  He
said that I may have a blood problem...i believe he might have mentioned
polycythemia.  Does anyone know about this disease and does it cause the
levels of Hct to go up and down like that?  Wouldn't it always be up??  I
don't smoke or drink, I have none of the symptoms that my texts seems to
mention (drowsiness, fatigue, headaches, dehydration, etc..)  What type of
blood test would be confirming in this case???  Do I have a legit concern

Please email me at zarabeth at ix.netcom.com 

Thank you

Greg Jackson

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