March 3, 2010

Treatment For High Hemoglobin

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Most of the time high hemoglobin count is discovered by accident, and it is a rare occurrence. Mostly, it is noticed if your doctor has sent you to undergo other tests to help diagnose some other underlying condition. There is no need to be worried if you notice high hemoglobin in your test results, but ask your doctor what the result indicates. High hemoglobin usually indicates some other underlying illness or disease.

Normal Hemoglobin Values: Usually the hemoglobin levels are decided based upon age and the sex of the person. Hemoglobin is measured in grams per deciliter of blood. High hemoglobin in children varies depending on age and sex of the child. Listed below are the normal ranges of hemoglobin in a person though there may be slight variations from lab to lab.

Normal Ranges:

  • 17-22 gm/dl, in new born babies
  • 15-20 gm/dl, in a week-old baby
  • 11-15 gm/dl, in a month-old baby
  • 11-13 gm/dl, in children
  • 14-18 gm/dl, in men (adult)
  • 12-16 gm/dl, in women (adult)
  • 12.4-14.9 gm/dl, in men (senior)
  • 11.7-13.8 gm/dl, in women (senior)

When there is a high hemoglobin count present in your body, it is an indication of an above-average level of proteins that carry oxygen in your blood. Hemoglobin is the main constituent of red blood cells.

Causes: When there are elevated levels of hemoglobin present in the blood it leads to a condition known as erythrocytosis. This in turn could lead to complications that could either disrupt circulation or lead to abnormal clotting. When the blood is compensating for low levels of oxygen, it increases the amount of red blood cells that it produces so that the demand is met. Another reason could be due to contracted plasma volume that makes it seem like there are more red blood cells present. There are certain diseases that could also lead to high hemoglobin count including polycthemia vera, heart failure, kinds of heart and lung diseases, emphysema, performance enhancing drugs, kidney cancer, liver cancer, COPD, pulmonary fibrosis, cor pulmonale, and congenital heart disease.

Other causes of high hemoglobin levels in your system could be due to living at a higher altitude, dehydration, smoking, and anabolic steroid use. Among these, the uncommon causes of high hemoglobin are as follows.

  • Emphysema, which is an advanced lung disease.
  • Certain kinds of tumors
  • Misuse of the drug erythropoietin by sports persons.
  • Polycythemia rubra vera, which is a bone marrow disorder.

Symptoms and Complications: The two most common symptoms of high hemoglobin are impaired mental function and peripheral cyanosis that arises from the fact that circulation in the cerebral area is compromised. The odds of thrombo-embolism rises significantly due to the blood flow that is poor. Blood viscosity is another problem that could arise due to high levels of hemoglobin.

Treatment: As high hemoglobin is a very rare occurrence, it is not considered as a special disorder, but is usually treated as a symptom for some underlying disease. The solution for this is to consult your doctor, so that he/she can diagnose your illness, and then give you the recommended treatment plan that will help lower hemoglobin levels back to normal.

Diet: Glycolated haemoglobin or hemoglobin A1c is present in the red blood cells that carry oxygen to cells through your blood. When blood glucose levels are high in diabetics, the glucose tends to combine with the hemoglobin making it glycated. Doctors will test how high your haemoglobin A1c levels to determine if the blood glucose is high in your system. There are some diets that can help regulate blood glucose levels thereby lowering haemoglobin A1c levels.

Carbohydrate- Counting Diet: Your dietician will recommend this for you to control levels of blood glucose in your system. Carbohydrates always convert into glucose once they are in the bloodstream. Your doctor may ask you to measure your carb portions and to keep a diet chart to keep an eye on the amount of carbohydrates that you are eating.

Carbohydrate Exchange Diet: In this particular diet, your dietician will initially separate foods into different categories like carbohydrates, fats, meats, etc. One food serving is known as an exchange, and each exchange will have a certain amount of carbohydrates, calories, fat and proteins, and when exchanged with a food type that is in the same group, it will not have an impact on your blood glucose. This enables you to trade a platter of fruits for a bowl of pasta if you feel like it.

Glycemic Index Diet: Glycemic index lets you know how everything you eat will maintain or increase blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels. Low glycemic foods are good for you as they regulate your blood glucose while lowering your A1c hemoglobin levels. A set back of this diet is that low-index foods generally are not a very healthy option.