T Nation

High Red Blood Cell Count & High Hemoglobin & Lowish T Numbers


I have consistently had high red blood cell count and hemoglobin. What makes it worse, is my total testosterone is only in the 400 range. How do I fix this issue? It’s very concerning and I’m tired of having my test levels low.I have recently had deviated septum surgery and am still recovering. The last time I had a blood test was a month or so before septum surgery, but my breathing issues wasn’t as bad when I had the original blood test. I do have mild sleep apnea and sleep with a mouth appliance and for awhile, I was getting very restful sleep before I started having breathing issues(a side fro mthe mild apnea) I am wondering, if my breathing issue have increased my red blood cell count. My red blood cell count is 6.30(4.50-5.90 M/cu mm) and Hemoglobin is 16.6(13.9-16.3 g/dl) and my Mean Corpuscular Volume was flagged low 78.7(80.0-100.0 fL). I also take a proton pump inhibitor for GERD. I don’t know if that would affect anything.


Were the blood cell numbers on a trend into high or has it always been like this for a while?

Your RBC numbers are on borderline high-normal in my opinion. You can go to a lab in another region in the states and you may fall in into or very close to their “normal range”. Reference ranges are statistical ranges that are developed from a group of people who appear “healthy”. 95% of “healthy” individuals will fall into this range, and the other 5% who are also healthy(disease free) will fall into the higher or lower sides of the range (i.e. outside the range). In other words, RBC ranges as well as other tests are not constant and changes somewhat between populations. For example, some labs go to the 6.1 range (close to your 6.3), while in our laboratory the high normal is 5.85.

In fact, our Hemoglobin range is (11.8-17.5 g/dl), meaning that you (16.6) fall in the normal range based on our population.

That being said, low MCV can be an indicator of iron deficiency or other types anemia, did they note anything on RBC morphology on your labwork? I think it will be a good idea to get your Iron levels checked, namely (Ferritin, serum iron, TIBC).

How are your other laboratory values that show related to RBCs such as Hematocrit, MCH, MCHC. What are the numbers for your other blood cells (WBCs)?

Assuming the above markers mentioned above are ok, keep in mind that a chronic low oxygen environment may induce the increase of RBCs, such as high altitudes or mild SLEEP APNEA as in your case (http://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/high-red-blood-cell-count/basics/causes/sym-20050858). This compounded with your recent surgery I think would have an effect on your RBC numbers.

Overall I wouldn’t be too worried about this unless something else comes up on your blood work.



I remember my iron from before was 72(65-170 range). The previous labs were taken in May. I really do think that taking protonix and GERD meds for 4 years is affecting my metabolism. Also, my GERD is getting worse. I am going to look for a doctor that’ll tighten my esophagus. I hope I can find one. So many doctors just want to push pills. I have had trouble loosing weight and gaining muscle for the amount of time I have been taking meds for GERD.


Sorry to hear about your experience with GERD. It seems that part of the reason you don’t feel well is due to the reduced stomach acid from your meds which causes malabsorption of nutrients including Iron. There are other successfull treatments with MDs (or NDs) who treat GERD based on evidence that it is caused by low (not high) stomach acid and concurrent Hpylori infections.

If you have been battling this for a while now my advice is to seek a Functional Medicine based doctor for an alternative opinion; perhaps before you go on the procedure route. See below article for an example by Dr. Amy Myers (MD).




Thanks bud, but I actually have tried all of the alternative routes. I even bought some DGL licorice to “heal the esophagus” and all it does is make my GERD act up. When I try adding more acidic food, it makes it worse. In terms of diet, heavy meat irritates me more than anything, except spices. The hell with giving up meat though and I still have random flare ups anyway.


no problem, I hope you get to the bottom of this in the very near future.


PPI for GERD may be creating possible mineral deficiencies and low B12.

Are you dehydrated for your CBC lab work?

You have too many topics in this forum for me to be willing to discuss low T and TRT; assuming that this has been discussed before. There is a cost to creating multiple threads.

Low blood O2 can thicken your blood.
Really needed hematocrit posted here.



IN any case, I have seeing a gastro next month and hoping to have my GERD surgically fixed.