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  1. #1
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    TRT and high hematocrit
    Just wondering if anyone else has as much problem controlling red blood cell count when on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) as I do. After about 1 year I was finding a blood bank to donate every 4 weeks and still was not able to keep it down. My last donation Hemoglobin was over 19.0. Am I just destined to be without testosterone, or is there something different I should look into?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wtgrantham View Post
    Just wondering if anyone else has as much problem controlling red blood cell count when on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) as I do. After about 1 year I was finding a blood bank to donate every 4 weeks and still was not able to keep it down. My last donation Hemoglobin was over 19.0. Am I just destined to be without testosterone, or is there something different I should look into?
    What is your testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) protocol? And what are your complete lab results? Maybe there are some adjustments that you can make that would help.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megatron28 View Post
    What is your testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) protocol? And what are your complete lab results? Maybe there are some adjustments that you can make that would help.
    Started at 100 mg once per week then Doc switched me to 60 mg twice per week SQ
    Got worse after the switch, I know it is more test but doesn't seem like that much more to cause RBC to accelerate like they did.

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    If you're like me, your RBC, Hematocrit, Hemoglobin, and Bilirubin all get too high. Giving blood once every 4 weeks is closer to a maintenance schedule than a lowering schedule. If your levels are above normal, every 4 weeks won't cut it. You need to get your levels well down into the normal range first.

    I started out going 4 times, once every 2 weeks. This brought all my levels back to the normal range, but they were still at the top end of normal. Then 2 months later all my numbers were back up where I started.

    I switched to going once a week for 4 weeks to get my levels down around the middle of the normal ranges. Now I go once a month for maintenance.

    Obviously once a week is too often for blood donation. I got a prescription for a phlebotomy that allows me to go anytime.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleJohnny View Post
    If you're like me, your RBC, Hematocrit, Hemoglobin, and Bilirubin all get too high. Giving blood once every 4 weeks is closer to a maintenance schedule than a lowering schedule. If your levels are above normal, every 4 weeks won't cut it. You need to get your levels well down into the normal range first.

    I started out going 4 times, once every 2 weeks. This brought all my levels back to the normal range, but they were still at the top end of normal. Then 2 months later all my numbers were back up where I started.

    I switched to going once a week for 4 weeks to get my levels down around the middle of the normal ranges. Now I go once a month for maintenance.

    Obviously once a week is too often for blood donation. I got a prescription for a phlebotomy that allows me to go anytime.

    Man I don't like giving blood that often specially if needed for the rest of my life!

  6. #6
    Moderator Megatron28's Avatar
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    So you have a choice. Feel great and donate blood once a month or feel like shit and don't donate blood. Maybe with time your body will get used to the Test and you won't have the hematocrit problems. Good luck!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megatron28 View Post
    So you have a choice. Feel great and donate blood once a month or feel like shit and don't donate blood. Maybe with time your body will get used to the Test and you won't have the hematocrit problems. Good luck!

    Hahahahahahahahaha guess you are right! Wonder if that is a possibility my body getting used to it. Just sucks because one of the places I go to donate blood is an hour drive one way. Could b worse I guess

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    Feel great and donate blood once a month or feel like shit and don't donate blood
    Yep, this is pretty much where I'm at. Not quite as severe as the OP. My Hemoglobin goes from 15.5 to 17.5 in two months. Hematocrit stays towards the higher end as well. You just have to find a balance between your testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) dose and blood donation frequency that works for you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lucius11 View Post
    Yep, this is pretty much where I'm at. Not quite as severe as the OP. My Hemoglobin goes from 15.5 to 17.5 in two months. Hematocrit stays towards the higher end as well. You just have to find a balance between your testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) dose and blood donation frequency that works for you.
    Certainly nice to hear from some guys that have my same problem, I thought I was the only one whose blood thickens incredibly fast

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtgrantham View Post
    Certainly nice to hear from some guys that have my same problem, I thought I was the only one whose blood thickens incredibly fast
    I'm actually signing up for the RBC donations program through the Red Cross. This can be done every seven days, takes an hour (going to do it on Sundays) and you can earn gift cards after like 15 donations. Seems pretty win/win to me on top of regular whole blood donations! Apparently they had been wanting to ask me to donate RBC's for some time now but didn't know how to approach me about it lol.

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    There are a lot of little tips and tricks you can do to avoid RBC. Simplifying hematocrit down to testosterone being the only factor isn't the best way to look at it. Start by lowering your zinc intake, among other things. Or work with your doctor to identify other factors you can look at to lower your hematocrit.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel_IMT_Staff View Post
    There are a lot of little tips and tricks you can do to avoid RBC. Simplifying hematocrit down to testosterone being the only factor isn't the best way to look at it. Start by lowering your zinc intake, among other things. Or work with your doctor to identify other factors you can look at to lower your hematocrit.
    Zinc? Now there is an idea, my Doc has me taking 50 mg per day plus what I consume in food. I will try reducing that to see if it helps. Thanks for the great idea. Do you have any other tips or tricks to try?

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    Do you stay hydrated?

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    Quote Originally Posted by methos View Post
    Do you stay hydrated?
    Yes I think, I drink a lot of water but also I pee constantly

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    Have any of you guys tried drinking grapefruit juice to help control hematocrit? There are plently of clinical studies backing up the fact that naringin (found in grapefruits), can normalize hematocrit.
    "Research studies done with naringin indicated that eating 1/2 to 1 grapefruit per day lowered high hematocrat levels but had no effect on normal hematocrit levels. Amazingly, the grapefruit actually increased low hematocrit levels."

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigben34 View Post
    Have any of you guys tried drinking grapefruit juice to help control hematocrit? There are plently of clinical studies backing up the fact that naringin (found in grapefruits), can normalize hematocrit.
    "Research studies done with naringin indicated that eating 1/2 to 1 grapefruit per day lowered high hematocrat levels but had no effect on normal hematocrit levels. Amazingly, the grapefruit actually increased low hematocrit levels."
    Yep, I tried it, didn't seem to slow down the process at all

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    Quote Originally Posted by wtgrantham View Post
    Zinc? Now there is an idea, my Doc has me taking 50 mg per day plus what I consume in food. I will try reducing that to see if it helps. Thanks for the great idea. Do you have any other tips or tricks to try?
    If you take a multi-vitamin, make sure it doesn't have iron in it. Turns out my old one did, and since I've switched to one without it, mine's gone from 18.3 to 17.6 to 15.3 at my last draw the other day.

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    Wow, mine was extremely high over 55, I'm 26 and after donating blood he put me on asprin regime daily. Do you see that helping any?

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    Quote Originally Posted by hogwild View Post
    Wow, mine was extremely high over 55, I'm 26 and after donating blood he put me on asprin regime daily. Do you see that helping any?
    Won't help lowering your count but aspirin and fish oil can help you from having clots as it makes the cells more "slippery"

  20. #20
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    Zinc is crucial. 30% of everyone on earth have a deficiency. Something is wrong with OP's protocol to require monthly donations. Your doctor needs to help you get this under control. Not sure why he would let this go on this long. I never have issues on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) doses, when I cycle it shoots through the roof and I just drain myself. Aspirin does nothing to hematocrit levels.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Austinite View Post
    Zinc is crucial. 30% of everyone on earth have a deficiency. Something is wrong with OP's protocol to require monthly donations. Your doctor needs to help you get this under control. Not sure why he would let this go on this long. I never have issues on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) doses, when I cycle it shoots through the roof and I just drain myself. Aspirin does nothing to hematocrit levels.
    I've tried several adjustments to protocol including 100mg once per week and twice per week sub Q. I've decided to come off for awhile (have been off for almost 3 months now) to get my RBCs to a nice low "normal" level. Then I intend to start testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) back up and will tweak protocol some more to see if I can control it better. If Testosterone causes blood thickening then what protocol changes do you theorize could help slow down the process?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtgrantham View Post
    I've tried several adjustments to protocol including 100mg once per week and twice per week sub Q. I've decided to come off for awhile (have been off for almost 3 months now) to get my RBCs to a nice low "normal" level. Then I intend to start testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) back up and will tweak protocol some more to see if I can control it better. If Testosterone causes blood thickening then what protocol changes do you theorize could help slow down the process?
    You have to do regular blood donations to stay on top if it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by wtgrantham View Post
    I've tried several adjustments to protocol including 100mg once per week and twice per week sub Q. I've decided to come off for awhile (have been off for almost 3 months now) to get my RBCs to a nice low "normal" level. Then I intend to start testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) back up and will tweak protocol some more to see if I can control it better. If Testosterone causes blood thickening then what protocol changes do you theorize could help slow down the process?
    Well, stopping testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) will not lower your RBC's. It will stop further development, but your RBC's aren't going to disappear. You may need to be a gel user. You're responding very well (too well) to injections. I would tell your doctor that monthly blood donation is unacceptable to you. Might consider lowering your dose.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Austinite View Post
    Well, stopping testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) will not lower your RBC's. It will stop further development, but your RBC's aren't going to disappear. You may need to be a gel user. You're responding very well (too well) to injections. I would tell your doctor that monthly blood donation is unacceptable to you. Might consider lowering your dose.
    I disagree completely with this. If you stop testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) your RBC will definitely come down. RBC's die off and are replaced all the time. If you're not on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) your RBC will be replaced at a lower rate.

    wtgrantham....you need to give blood more often to get back to a lower level. Then switch to a maintenance schedule. This is simple shit that doesn't need to be over analyzed.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleJohnny View Post
    I disagree completely with this. If you stop testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) your RBC will definitely come down. RBC's die off and are replaced all the time. If you're not on testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) your RBC will be replaced at a lower rate.

    wtgrantham....you need to give blood more often to get back to a lower level. Then switch to a maintenance schedule. This is simple shit that doesn't need to be over analyzed.
    You make it sound like RBC's have nothing to do with HCT. Why bother donating if we can come just off and lower everything.....

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