T Nation

High Hemoglobin

I went to donate blood yesterday and was denied double red cell donation because my hemoglobin level was 18.7 and the cutoff level was 18.

I was allowed to make a whole blood donation.

I’m 38, 5 10, 195 and only ran two cycles in my life. I work out 6-7 times a week.
I just started a cycle of 600 test e/600 eq a week last week.

Should I be worried about my hemoglobin level and how do I lower it?I’m

With a Hb at 18.7 I would say yes, you should worry. What was your hematocrit? From your Hb, I would guess around 56-60% which is approaching dangerous levels. The only way to lower Hb (and Hct) fast is to donate blood. If you donated blood yesterday, you have probably lowered your Hb (and Hct) around 8 - 10%, which would put your Hb at around 17-17.5 now. This would be considered borderline high. But if you are on test and EQ right now, your Hb would probably soon elevate to dangerosly high levels again. The only way to know for sure is to get tested again soon.

If your levels go above 17-17.5, I would try to donate blood again as soon as possible or go off the cycle if you cannot do so. Otherwise you run the risk off serious complications like a stroke or a heart attack. Also note that Hb (and Hct) is influenced by dehydration. E.g. if you take the test in the morning or after training when you are dehydrated, the test results can be as much as 10 % higher than your actual levels.

Thanks for the reply. Now I’m worried. My sister had a stroke 2 years ago at age 33. My BP was 117/80 within the normal range when I had my hemoglobin checked. I know the donation centers will only allow me to donate every 8 weeks. What would happen to me if I was to donate at a different center next week? When I get tested again and the results come back over 18 again, would dropping the eq and lowering the test dose down to 126mg/week lower the numbers at all?

Unfortunatelly, no one can answer what would happen if you lower the dosages as it is highly variable between different individuals. As a rule, higher dosage = faster climbing Hb but there is no way to know how you respond without testing. Some guys Hb climbs fast even at low dosages while some can take pretty high dosages before anything happens.

Dropping the steroids after your levels have climbed will not restore them to normal levels right away. On average, RBC’s live for about 120 days so in theory, it will take about 4 months before you fully return to base levels. The only way you can lower your levels fast is to get rid of blood.

Also, you write that you just started the cycle last week. If you have only been on for a week, it is highly unlikely that the steroids are the main reason behind your elevated Hb. It is not normal to have Hb at 18.7 naturally (although it certainly is not impossible). Were you dehydrated when the blood was drawn (first thing in the morning or after training)? Have you recently ended a cycle (in the last 4 months)? Do you live at a high altitude? Or do you have any other health issue that you are aware of, like sleep apnea or a lung condition that could explain your elevated levels? If there is no apparent reason, you should see a doctor to find out the cause behind your elevated Hb and rule out disease, especially before you start a steroid cycle. After you rule out any serious issues, if you decide to cycle, you should monitor your Hb closely during the cycle and try to get rid of blood if your Hb levels climb.

My last cycle 8 week cycle was 2 months ago. I ran a long 1st cycle before that.

My test wasn’t first thing in the morning and not after a workout. I may have been only slightly dehydrated.

I do believe that I do have sleep apnea but haven’t been diagnosed. Going to go to my primary Dr and let them know my hb was high, have them test it again, and do a full blood count.

Your previous cycle could very well explain your high Hb. Of course, it is always good to rule out other causes, especially before going on a new cycle.

Since you donated blood a few days ago, your current level will be about 7-9 % lower if it was a standard donation, i.e. in the 17-17.5 range (given that your body is similarly hydrated when taking the test) which is considered high normal. Therefore, chances are, your Dr will suggest “wait and watch”, i.e. that you return in another month or so for a new test to see if your levels changes. If so, you will have to postpone your current cycle for quite some time.

If and when you decide to do a cycle, I suggest you keep a close eye on your RBC count and donate blood whenever necessary. Ideally, you wouldn’t want your Hb go higher than 17 – 17.5.

Good luck.

Just walked out of the Dr’s office after taking blood tests. My hemoglobin is at 16 right now. Thank you for your advice and time bro. I’m going to continue my cycle and keep and eye on levels and also donate another pint in 7 weeks.
I added in 50mg dbol/day a week ago and will run that for 4 more weeks. Never used it before and am pumped to see some gains coming soon.

Nice. 16 is a very good level. I guess you may have been a bit dehydrated during the first test since a reduction of 2.7 g/dl is more than what I would expect from a single donation of about 450ml.

Good luck with your cycle and keep an eye on your Hb!