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arxakoulini
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Hello people! I was vegetarian+fish for 1 year and a vegan afterwards for 4 months and going. Before vegetarian I was eating lots of meat plus other crappy stuff a lot (20 years).

Now, I did blood and biochemical tests, and everything was ok. But my Hematocrit (HCT) level (50.5 %) is on the limits of considered high. Are these HCT levels cause of all that meat I was eating all these years? I mean, how does Iron food sources affect your blood? The results of Iron intake appear right away, or it takes years for Iron to be stored in the blood (in order to be shown on the tests)?

If Iron takes affect right away, then, is it possible to have dangerous high levels of HTC, considering you are consuming only non-heme Iron? I thought that if you consume more Iron than you need, and its non-heme, then your body can discard the extra amounts.

Thanks a lot in advance! Have a happy vegan day! :D
 

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A very slightly high hematocrit probably just means you were slightly dehydrated at the time of the blood collection, but if you have concerns about this I would definitely talk to your doctor. Here is some info about these lab tests:
https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/hematocrit/tab/glance/
https://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/iron/tab/glance/

Iron is stored long term. Ferritin is usually the lab test used to estimate your stores of iron. Serum iron itself can vary more and doesn't represent whether you are getting adequate iron in your diet.

As far as vegan diets and iron, vegan diets are actually usually slightly lower in iron, although vegans don't really have increased rates of iron deficiency from what I have read. Here are a couple of articles to help you:
http://veganhealth.org/articles/iron
http://www.theveganrd.com/vegan-nutrition-primers/iron-a-vegan-nutrition-primer
 

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That's certainly the high of the normal range for men. Have you ever donated blood? You should
More importantly what does your doctor say? This is mostly an inherited trait, not from diet, and needs to be dealt with. First step would be regular blood donations.
Talk to your doctor
 

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How often have you had iron levels tested before, and results?
 

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I'm all for blood donation for those who are healthy and eligible, but I wouldn't recommend it to "treat" a slightly high hemoglobin in the absence of medical advice from a local healthcare professional you trust. There is no reason to think a very slightly high hemoglobin is dangerous or indicates anything bad. Cigarette smoking and other smoke exposure can also cause a high hemoglobin, but often the level would be higher.

Those normal ranges or reference intervals usually only represent approximately 95% or so of the normal population, so some totally normal people may be slightly below the low end or slightly above the high end of the interval.

Again, definitely talk to your doctor before getting too worried about this.
 

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I made a point to discuss with doctor, but that is the recommendation for high levels. Many have kept there levels in check not aware of the condition until something caused them to stop. It is in fact a 'treatment', just before chealation
And 50 is the top end of normal for men- which is a wide range
 

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99% Vegan
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Silva is right! My doctor discussed this with my sister and I and mentioned that I could donate blood if I wanted to, because my iron levels are in the normal range but that my sister could not donate iron because her iron levels tend to be too low. He offered, (because he knows I love this knowledge) that those whose iron levels tend toward the high side, can simply donate blood to see if that helps them lower than iron counts as that is the best way to handle it. I have read articles where they recommend those who donate blood often to get their iron levels checked to be sure that it is not too low. Also, too much iron, copper, zinc, sugar or process foods have all been linked to causing grey matter to form on the brain, which in turn causes Alzheimers and Dementia. Its worth doing what it takes to get the iron levels to normal.
 

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The American Red Cross always checks the iron levels before anyone can donate. I just went with a friend who was concerned she may be low mostly to have it checked. A level too low to donate is still in the normal range.
 
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