T Nation

Hematocrit/Hemoglobin/RBC Issue


Hey guys, posting up in here because I have an issue I'd like some input on. I was a member here years ago but forgot my username. Forgive me for being so long winded but I want to give you guys the whole picture.

I'm a 32 yr old ex competitive bodybuilder. I sit around 220-230 lbs @ 5'10" year round and when I lean down in the warmer months I'm around 205. My typical protocol is HRT with small blast and cruises. I no longer compete. Typical cruise is 250mg Test E per week. A blast may be 500mg Test E and 400mg EQ. By no means mega-competition doses.

In February of last year I had my annual physical and my HCT levels were a touch high. Not too bad. BP was 130/80.

HCT = 52 (1 pt high)
Hemo = 17.2
RBC = 5.75 (almost high)

Fast forward to this year. Right around my annual physical I just noticed I didn't really feel that well. Headaches, kinda tired, somewhat lethargic. Soon as my stress level was elevated at all, my head would pound and it felt like my eyes were going to pop out of my head. Being that this happened right around the time for my physical, I went in and BP was high. 140/100. Not good. He sends me for bloodwork:

HCT = 56.4 (WAY high)
Hemo = 18.5 (Also way high)
RBC = 6.16 (High as well)

Good news is, everything else looked beautiful from lipids, liver, kidneys, etc.
Bad news, those 3 above factors are very not good.

So now I'm assuming my doc will say something (doesn't know I self-HRT). Nope. Guy doesn't even say a word. Says your BP is high. Lets re-check. It was right after the holidays. I cleaned up my diet, shaved off 7-8 lbs, and BP was 135/90. Still not great.

I decided to take matters into my own hands. I went ahead and attempted to donate blood:

First try: Turned away for high hemoglobin. 18.6 with the cutoff being 18.5. BP was a beautiful 130/80. I started taking curcumin @ 1.5g daily to hopefully chelate some of the iron in my blood.

After this i decided to drop my test completely. This was now no longer something to be taken lightly, in my opinion. Been about a week since I injected and I went to try and donate again this afternoon.

Second try (week after first): Turned away for high BP. Got nervous in the pre-eval and BP popped to 160/100. I knew I was stressed because the nurse said my pulse was 102 (compared to 62 the prior week). Good news was hemo dropped a point to 18.5 allowing me to be OK there.

Kinda frustrated guys. Not sure what to do here. I have PCT meds on hand because it's becoming apparent that this isn't going to go away. My doctor is an idiot and see's no problem with the fact I'm probably about a month away from stroking out.

Guess my plan is to do a proper PCT starting next week. Trying to donate again on Friday. My original plan was to do 4 weeks PCT, donate some blood, get my HCT/Hemo/RBC down, and then come back on.

I currently take fish oil, NAC, curcumin, and a probiotic.

  • What are your guys thoughts?
  • Should I just continue with the plan of PCT and keep trying to donate?
  • I'm going to come off for some time to sort this out. If I can't donate blood, how long is this going to take to correct? I'd really not like to be off HRT for the next 5 months
  • Anything else I can do here?

Bottom line is I don't feel well and I think the HCT is my problem. I've even debated home-phlebotomy which has been talked about on here before.

Thanks guys.


When was the last time you blasted? This is a common issue with EQ


Just do it yourself. Or take a lot of asprin before you go.


My blood pressure has been as high as 185/105. I am a male 5,8 170lbs 27 inch waist. So it is not a weight problem. Your blood pressure could be a low magnesium or low potassium level. As far as your iron levels go you could take green tea extract and grape seed extract before meals. The polyphenols in both of these products almost completely inhibit iron absorption


[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:
When was the last time you blasted? This is a common issue with EQ [/quote]

Last time I ran EQ was back in November. I think that just having test in my system never allowed the HCT to normalize even after stopping EQ.

I am considering draining myself with the assistance of a buddy if I can’t donate Friday morning.

Working on cooling my jets and not getting so worked up over these things.


You can get your doc to write you a script for a plebotomy as well