T Nation

High Hemoglobin

Just gave blood. The guy pricked my finger and told me my hemoglobin was 18.1.

I looked it up and read it was a bit high.

Anything to worry about?

These finger prick tests tend to overestimate, I’ve confirmed it myself and had blood work days apart when going to donate blood. I have never seen my hemoglobin on all blood testing done every 6 months score the same as these prick tests.

I did read hemoglobin can be high for people who use anabolic steroids, so I’m guessing I fall into that category w trt.

At what point should I worry? Doesn’t giving blood lower it (I thought)? Or was that hemocrit?

If the finger stick reads 19 they will usually turn you away. High HCT is a big issue for guys on TRT. Everytime I do the 6 months blood check mine is 51-52 and I am always told to go donate.

So how do you donate then?!

So by donating today, my number will likely be less?

Go to your local blood bank and say you want to donate blood. Males can donate roughly every 2.5 months this will lower your numbers pretty good but it might take you doing it another 3 - 4 times or constantly to ensure u keep your levels low

When my blood test comes back and the HCT reading is 52 the finger stick test is usually about 18.1 for me. So they accept me. I only give 1 pint of whole blood I have crashed my ferittin by donating too often and that takes 6-8 month to recover from using C and Iron supplements. No donating and reduced weekly T amount. It really sucks when you crash your ferritin.

So what should I do in my case? Just make sure to donate when I can?

Yes they will check your levels there so you aren’t too low to donate and keep up on blood work

Only give blood when your HCT is >52 unless your TRT doc says you have to donate at a lower number. With enough blood tests under your belt using different protocols over the years you will get a feel for when to donate. I can usually tell when my BP goes up about 10 points for no reason that is my first sign my heart is having issues pushing that thick blood around. If you do end up having to donate more than twice a year you should add ferritin to your 6 month TRT blood work.

I have been donating about once every 2 months with Red Cross

Another school of thought:

This school of thought only works if your TRT doctor agrees with it.
Most don’t and you have to donate when your HCT hits 51 or greater.
If one donates too often you will crash your ferritin then the doc will pull your T script because you can no longer donate and your HCT is >51 and the only way to reduce your HCT is get you off your TRT protocol.
One really need to be proactive with this to protect ones script for T.

Oh, I get it. I have spoken to a few doctors and about half that insist on phlebotomy do not do so because they are worried about blood clots. They do it because if you do happen to get a blood clot, you’ll blame the TRT and they do not want to be sued. Pure defensive medicine. Some rely more on platelets for recommending phlebotomy, they like to see them below 250.

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