How to increase hematocrit? If you currently have a blood test result indicating that the hematocrit is low, then you should know what it means. Furthermore, the identification of the causes for obtaining appropriate treatment is a must.
What is a hematocrit and what is its normal value?
Hematocrit is the percentage of red blood cells in a person’s blood. We must know that in addition to red blood cells (erythrocytes) in the blood there are white blood cells, platelets, and serum or fluid in which there is food juice. Well, the percentage of erythrocytes to the overall volume of blood is called hematocrit (Ht).
Various components of this blood circulate throughout the body. Especially for red blood cells, has the function of carrying oxygen to all body cells in order to perform its functions properly. When low hematocrit alias below its normal value, then, of course, cause various health problems due to lack of oxygen.
The normal hematocrit range is 40 to 52% for men, 37 to 47% for women, and 30 to 43% for children. These values may vary between laboratories, so be sure to check the reference values listed on your checks.
What are the symptoms of low hematocrit?
What low hematocrit means? This is the first question we have to answer. Based on the brief explanation above, the low hematocrit has the meaning that the body has only a few red blood cells. In medical terms, it is called anemia.
The low hematocrit is generally followed by low hemoglobin (Hb). Hemoglobin is a protein molecule that gives red in erythrocytes. This molecule is in charge of binding oxygen so that it can be carried by red blood cells throughout the body.
Common signs and symptoms of low hematocrit levels include fatigue, weakness, pallor, shortness of breath, dizziness, headache, and even fainting. Depending on the cause, signs and symptoms may include an enlarged spleen, bleeding, and extreme dehydration – if there is a lack of sweating, lack of urination, and dry mouth.
This is the main cause of low hematocrit:
- Bleeding Can occur due to peptic ulcer, trauma or injury, colon cancer, internal bleeding.
- Damage to red blood cells. For example in sickle cell anemia, thalassemia, enlarged spleen, etc.
- Reduced production of red blood cells. Milana on bone marrow suppression, cancer, chronic illness, drug use, etc.
- Nutrition problem. Deficiency of iron, vitamin B12, folic acid, and malnutrition.
- Overhydration. For example, on polydipsia or drinking too much and intravenous overhydration through an IV.
People at risk for low hematocrit are children without adequate iron intake, children who experience rapid growth stage and their iron requirement is not sufficient, women in childbirth who need more iron due to blood loss, and pregnant women.
The body of a pregnant mother needs more iron to give her additional fetal needs. The lack of sufficient iron requirement is what makes anemia cases marked by low hematrokit in pregnant women is still high in the World.
Low hematocrit levels are also often found in patients with chronic kidney disease or kidney failure and bone marrow problems and when there is an emphasis by drugs and chemotherapy in cases of cancer.
How to Treat Low Hematocrit?
Treatment for low hematocrit levels is based on varying causes. For example in most cases due to lack of nutrients, then dietary changes are considered the best treatment to normalize hematocrit.
The best way to improve it is to eat more foods rich in iron and vitamins. Foods that should be included in food are as follows:
- Meat such as beef, poultry, shellfish, fish, and oysters are excellent sources of iron.
- Other iron-rich foods are dairy products, eggs, and vegetables such as peas, beans, spinach, cabbage, kale and other leafy vegetables.
- Dried fruits, seeds, and nuts are also an excellent source of iron.
- For higher intake of vitamins eat more berries, potatoes, broccoli, tomatoes, sprouts, pepper and citrus fruits.
- Rice, cereals, beans, corn food, and grain products have revitalizing folic acid.
- Foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus, cauliflower, and broccoli increase the absorption of iron from the gastrointestinal tract.
- Vitamin B12 supplements will also help overcome low hematocrit; Foods that include vitamin B12 are meat, poultry, cheese, milk, yogurt, red meat, and tuna.
- Foods that contain folate also increase Ht; Such foods include asparagus, spinach, okra, beans, grains, and black-eyed peas.
Exercising well along with increased diet with all the necessary nutrients will be very beneficial in treating low hematocrit. Exercise will help increase oxygen supply into the blood to be optimally channeled.
If caused by a serious illness such as cancer or kidney failure, then consult with your doctor what kind of mild exercise can help improve blood circulation and increase red blood cell production.
If anemia occurs due to certain diseases such as ulcers (ulcers), then the most important thing is to treat the problem first. Similarly, cases of other diseases.