What Are The Effects Of High Hemoglobin Levels?

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Cormac Reynolds answered
It is quite common knowledge that low levels of hemoglobin can cause anemia, a debilitating and often serious condition if left untreated, but it appears that less people are aware of the effects of high hemoglobin levels. In fact, it can cause the blood to become too viscous and so inhibits oxygen flow through the body and can result in blood clots that can be incredibly dangerous.

It isn’t difficult to find out what your levels of hemoglobin are, a simple blood test will do it, though sometimes you can receive false results making it appear that your red blood cell count is high, when in fact it isn’t, one reason for this is dehydration. Once you are properly hydrated, your hemoglobin levels will return to normal.
High altitudes can cause the body to produce extra hemoglobin because the level of oxygen has been reduced, so the body tries to compensate. This can cause deep vein thrombosis, and is the reason that airlines recommend that you keep moving your legs to stimulate circulation, and to wear low level pressure stockings when flying.

Smokers have a tendency of higher levels of hemoglobin, possibly because the oxygen that it is transferred from their lungs to their blood supply has been contaminated.

Using anabolic steroids is also a cause of raised levels of hemoglobin because they stimulate bone marrow to increase the production of red blood cells. Injecting EPO (erythropoietin) to increase athletic performance is another culprit; this drug is actually used to treat anemia so it stands to sense that it is going to raise hemoglobin levels.

There are less common reasons why a person may have raised hemoglobin levels, including congenital heart disease, pulmonary fibrosis and other types of heart and lung diseases.

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