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What is HCT (Hematocrit), Low, High and Treatment

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What is HCT (Hematocrit), Low, High and Treatment

Red blood cells in the body are produced by the bone marrow. Red blood cells are also known as erythrocytes. The task of erythrocytes is to distribute oxygen throughout the body. Various tests can be performed to evaluate the oxygen capacity in the body. Hematocrit is one of these tests. What is hematocrit? What should be its normal value? How to treat low or high hematocrit? You can read the rest of the article to learn more comprehensive answers to questions such as.

What is HCT (Hematocrit)?

Hematocrit is a term that expresses the ratio of the volume of red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the blood to the total blood volume. The hematocrit level is usually expressed as a percentage and varies by gender. The hematocrit level provides information about a person’s oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood and can be measured through blood tests. Additionally, the hematocrit level can vary depending on the number, size and shape of red blood cells in the blood. It is important for body health that the HCT level is within the normal range.

What Should the HCT Value Be?

Hematocrit value may vary depending on the gender and age of the person. Normally, the hematocrit level in men is between 40-50%, while in women it is between 35-45%. However, these values ​​may differ in elderly individuals and children.

A hematocrit value within the normal range indicates that the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood is healthy. When this level falls below normal, conditions such as anemia or blood loss may occur. When the hematocrit level rises above normal, it may indicate health problems such as dehydration, heart or lung diseases. It is important for body health that the hematocrit level is within a certain range. Therefore, measurement of this level should be done regularly through blood tests and the results should be evaluated by the doctor.

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What is HCT Low?

A low hematocrit means the proportion of red blood cells in the blood is less than normal. In this case, the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood decreases and a problem of oxygen deficiency may occur in the body. There may be more than one symptom of low hematocrit. Doctors perform blood tests to determine the causes of low hematocrit level and an appropriate treatment plan is prepared depending on the underlying causes.

What are the symptoms of low HCT?

A low hematocrit level can be dangerous to human health. This condition has multiple symptoms. Symptoms of a low hematocrit level may include:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • pale skin
  • dizziness
  • Shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • cold hands and feet

If an individual has any of these symptoms, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional.

What are the Causes of Low HCT?

It is important for human health that the hematocrit level is at normal values. However, for some reasons this value may decrease. The reasons for low hematocrit level can be listed as follows:

  • Iron deficiency: Iron is an important structure found in the structure of red blood cells. Iron deficiency can prevent the body from producing enough red blood cells.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency: Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin for red blood cells. Vitamin B12 deficiency can result in inadequate red blood cell production.
  • Blood loss: Blood loss can reduce the number of red blood cells in the body, resulting in low hematocrit levels. Blood loss can occur for many reasons, such as an injury or internal bleeding.
  • Bone marrow problems: Bone marrow problems can also be the cause of low hematocrit levels. Bone marrow is where blood cells are produced. Bone marrow problems can cause red blood cells to not be produced in sufficient numbers or to not function normally. This condition can be caused by many different factors, including certain medications, such as chemotherapy drugs, used during cancer treatment.
  • Chronic diseases: Some chronic diseases, especially kidney or liver diseases or inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, can affect the production of red blood cells.
  • Genetic factors: In rare cases, genetic disorders such as thalassemia or sickle cell anemia, an inherited condition, can cause a low hematocrit level.
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A low hematocrit level can lead to more serious health problems if left untreated. Therefore, it is important to determine the cause of the low hematocrit level and receive appropriate treatment.

How to Treat Low HCT?

Treatment for low hematocrit level may vary depending on the underlying causes and begins with the treatment of the underlying causes. Treatment methods may include:

  • Iron supplements: Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of low hematocrit level.
  • Vitamin supplements: Vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency can cause a low hematocrit level.
  • Consuming foods rich in iron, folic acid and vitamin B12: Especially red meat, kidney, liver, egg yolk, dried fruits, hazelnuts, milk and dairy products can be given as examples of these foods.

In order for the treatment to be successful, it is important to follow the treatment recommendations and have regular medical check-ups. A healthy diet and lifestyle can also help prevent low hematocrit levels.

What is HCT Height?

As a result of increased blood density, the hematocrit level may rise above normal values. Although an increase in hematocrit may occur due to an increase in the number of red blood cells or a decrease in blood volume, this condition may have various causes. To treat high hematocrit level, doctors investigate the underlying causes and prepare a treatment plan accordingly.

What are the symptoms of HCT elevation?

Symptoms of increased hematocrit are related to the reduced capacity to carry oxygen to tissues and organs in the body due to increased blood density. People with hematocrit levels above normal may experience the following symptoms:

  • Headache
  • skin flushing
  • Shortness of breath
  • spleen enlargement
  • dizziness
  • Defect of vision
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What Causes High HCT?

There may be more than one reason for a high hematocrit level. This situation may negatively affect human health and reduce the quality of life. The reasons for high hematocrit level can be listed as follows:

  • Chronic lung diseases: Lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or chronic bronchitis can affect oxygen exchange, causing the body to produce more red blood cells.
  • Heart diseases: Heart diseases, such as heart failure or pulmonary hypertension, can cause an increase in red blood cells in the body.
  • Living at high altitudes: Living at high altitudes means the body receives less oxygen. In this case, the body produces more red blood cells.
  • Kidney diseases: Some kidney diseases, such as kidney failure or polycystic kidney disease, can prevent the proper secretion of the erythropoietin (EPO) hormone. The EPO hormone is required by the bone marrow to produce red blood cells.

A high hematocrit level is a sign that the body is producing more red blood cells. As the hematocrit level increases, blood may become thicker and less fluid. This may increase the risk of blood clots forming. If the hematocrit level is high, a doctor should be consulted.

How is HCT Height Treated?

Treatment for high hematocrit may vary depending on the underlying causes. If elevated hematocrit occurs as a symptom of an underlying disease, the hematocrit level may return to normal levels when the underlying disease is treated. For example, if the condition causing high hematocrit is related to the bone marrow, a treatment should be applied accordingly. These people can also help treatment by making lifestyle changes. Therefore, people experiencing high hematocrit should consult their doctor and choose the appropriate treatment option.

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