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High Hematocrit with non-heme Iron?

2493 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  silva
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:

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:
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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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