How to Raise Hematocrit: Natural techniques & Measurements

how to raise hematocrit

In this post, you’ll learn how to raise hematocrit.

Have you had a blood test and your hematocrit level is too low?

Don’t know what it means or how to fix it?

While this may be a symptom of a benign condition, the fact is that you need to visit your doctor to make sure everything is okay and to find the specific cause of the low red blood cell count.

What is hematocrit?

Hematocrit refers to the proportion of red blood cells in the blood.

If it is too high or too low, it may indicate a health problem.

But hematocrit is also used to identify athletes who may have used doping to raise their red blood cell count.

Blood is composed of plasma (water and mineral salts) in which circulate white blood cells, an essential component of the immune system, red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body, and platelets, which are responsible for blood coagulation.

The higher the number of blood cells per liter, the higher the hematocrit.

Hematocrit normal ranges

Hematocrit is measured in a simple and accessible way in the blood count (CBC), through a blood test.

The normal hematocrit range is between 40 and 55% in men.

In women, it varies between 35 and 50%.

How to raise hematocrit?

Increase hematocrit naturally

If your hematocrit number is too low, the most essential thing to do is to work with your doctor to figure out what’s causing it and cure any underlying issues.

Other measures you may wish to consider with your doctor include the extra lifestyle adjustments outlined below.

None of them should be used instead of what your doctor suggests or prescribes!

You may increase your hematocrit by eating iron-rich foods or taking iron supplements.

You can, for example, improve your hematocrit by eating or drinking:

  • Almonds
  • Fruit dried
  • Foods fermented
  • Shellfish and fish
  • Oil from flaxseed
  • Vegetables with green, leafy leaves
  • Foods containing iron
  • Lentils
  • Molasses

Because vitamin C aids in iron absorption, you can boost your hematocrit by eating vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables like:

  • Cabbage
  • Cantaloupe
  • Kiwi
  • Peppers
  • Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

You can also boost your hematocrit level by eating copper-rich foods such as:

  • Sunflower seedlings
  • Cashews
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • Mushrooms

To increase the hematocrit level, it is also very useful to consume parsley as it is a natural remedy to increase hemoglobin.

This herb can stimulate the production of red blood cells and increase the level of iron in the blood.

Therefore, in addition to using it as an aromatic herb in your dishes, we recommend that you prepare juices made with parsley.

You can also add other vegetables rich in vitamins, mentioned above, such as carrots.

Increase hematocrit with drugs

Medically, hematocrit can be raised with:

  • Norepinephrine
  • Testosterone treatment
  • Transfusion of blood
  • Treatment with erythropoietin

These therapies are frequently used for objectives other than boosting hematocrit levels and must always be carried out under your doctor supervision.

Some medicines may raise your hematocrit value if you are currently taking them for another medical issue, but you should never start taking them or increase your dose for this purpose.

Follow your doctor’s treatment regimen at all times.

Drugs used to treat hypogonadism (low testosterone), organ transplant patients, anemia, surgical blood loss (lowering blood loss), uterine fibroids, Crohn’s disease, and arthritis can all raise hematocrit.

How to raise hematocrit levels for plasma donation?

If you want to raise hematocrit levels for a plasma donation, you can try several techniques mentionned above like eating iron-rich food or supplements.

Also, if you’re supervised by a doctor, see with him how you can medically increase your hematocrit levels with drugs.

What does it mean if your hematocrit is low?

In most cases, a low hematocrit indicates anemia (a decrease in red blood cells or hemoglobin).

It can have different causes: iron deficiency, inflammation, intestinal malabsorption (Biermer anemia), excessive blood loss.

Anemia can be microcytic, meaning that the red blood cells are small, which reduces their volume and therefore the hematocrit.

Anemia is characterized by paleness, fatigue, increased heart rate, headaches and/or breathing difficulties.

If the patient has microcytosis, in vitro hemolysis, or autoagglutinins, a misleading low hematocrit may be reported. Hematocrit is regarded severely low if it goes below 21%.

How to measure hematocrit?

The macrohematocrit (Wintrobe hematocrit tube) method is the original method for measuring hematocrit.

It makes use of a small glass tube and a centrifuge machine.

The centrifuge separates the blood into three major layers: red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets, in that sequence from bottom to top.

There is a thin layer of blood plasma at the very top.

The macrohematocrit technique has the possibility of erroneously elevating the hematocrit percentage by assessing trapped plasma as part of the red blood cell layer. 

The microhematocrit method is a modern approach that employs a capillary tube instead of a tiny glass tube and takes less blood and less time.

Because the diameter of the capillary tube is smaller than that of the Wintrobe hematocrit tube, the microhematocrit technique captures less plasma.

As a result, the microhematocrit approach yields more precise hematocrit percentages than the macrohematocrit method.

The technician must manually measure the length of the layers in both methods.

The technician determines hematocrit by dividing the length of the packed red blood cell layer by the total length of cells and plasma.

This ratio is then multiplied by 100 to yield a percentage.

These two procedures have been mainly replaced by an automated hematology analyzer, which obtains the hematocrit test as part of a complete blood count laboratory test.

The average volume and quantity of red blood cells are used to compute the hematocrit.

The automatic analyzer is the most time-efficient approach.

However, automated analyzers may not be available in places with limited resources.

A technician simply requires a little quantity of blood from a finger prick to perform the microhematocrit procedure.

The technician collects blood from the inside of your arm or the back of your hand in the other ways.

The technician cleans the area from which your blood will be extracted before drawing it for the measurement.

The technician will next draw your blood using a needle.

Following that, the technician applies gauze and a bandage to the affected area.

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