Erythrocytes in blood: causes, symptoms, treatment

Each of us at school heard about red blood cells, red blood cells, which play a major role in the human body. They carry oxygen from the lungs to tissues throughout the body. Sometimes they can be too much, which testifies to the existence of certain health problems.

Red blood cells are not only involved in the transport of oxygen. They also exchange lipids with the plasma, tolerated amino acid residues, as well as participate in immune processes in the formation of thromboplastin, in the regulation of acid-base equilibrium and ionic equilibrium plasma water-salt metabolism.


Blood red bodies are nuclear-free cells containing hemoglobin (up to 96%), protein and lipids (4-5%). Every second in our body is formed approximately 2.3 million new cells of red blood cells. Their life span to 4 months.

According to the American society Leukemia Lymphoma Society, men are considered normal maintenance from 4.7 million to 6.1 million red blood cells per microliter of blood (mcL), a woman from 4.2 million to 5.4 million erythrocytes per mcL, and the children from 4.0 million to 5.5 million erythrocytes per mcL. An increased amount of red blood cells may occur due to low oxygen levels, due to kidney disease or due to other health problems.

Red blood cell production (erythropoiesis) occurs in the bone marrow. This process is responsible of the hormone erythropoietin, which is mainly formed in the kidneys (about 10% of this hormone is produced by the liver). Secretion is regulated by erythropoietin in response to low oxygen levels in the blood.

Causes of polycythemia

High level of red blood cells the doctors called polycythemia. In this case, the blood becomes thick and viscous, it hardly penetrates into the capillaries. The human body can increase the production of red blood cells in cases when there is a lack of oxygen. And the lack of oxygen is due to a congenital heart defect, congestive heart failure, hemoglobinopathies (genetic disorder associated with disruption of the structure of the protein hemoglobin), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sleep apnea, and even from Smoking.

The production of red blood cells may stimulate some drugs. These include, for example, anabolic steroids, erythropoietin protein, as well as antibiotics (particularly gentamicin, used to treat bacterial infections of the blood).

Often the number of erythrocytes in the blood increases due to dehydration (for natural reasons or because of high temperature, vomiting or diarrhoea). This is due to the fact that they become more concentrated. But the actual number of red blood cells in this case remains unchanged.

Kidney disease

Sometimes the kidneys may begin to produce too many red blood cells. This occurs when some cancer or after kidney transplantation.

Diseases of the bone marrow

There are times that an increased number of red blood cells is the result of diseases of the bone marrow. Such diseases refers polycythemia Vera (polycythemia Vera), a chronic disease of hematopoietic system, characterized by a persistent increase in the number of erythrocytesand other of myeloproliferative (in the bone marrow produces too many erythrocytes, leukocytes or platelets).

Physiological factors

The increase in red blood cells in human blood sometimes occurs due to physiological factors. These include: strong mental and physical overload, stress, the influence of toxic substances. The high content of red blood cells is often observed in people living in mountainous terrain (there is little oxygen), which is considered the norm for them. Medical intervention in this case is not required. These indicators come back to normal, if a person moved to live, for example, on flat terrain.

The symptoms of high red blood cell count

High red blood cell count reveals only blood. Outwardly this may not to say anything. Although, in some cases, the symptoms are still manifest. That you have too many red cells, may be indicative of fatigue, shortness of breath, pain in the joints, damp palms or soles of feet, itchy skin (especially after a shower or bath), sleep disturbance.

In polycythemia, characterized by a high level of red blood cells, a person experiences blurred vision, headache, chest pain and muscles, dizziness, high blood pressure, ringing in the ears. In mild cases of polycythemia symptoms in General often does not happen.

See also:ERYTHROPOIETIN – INDICATIONS, ASSISTANCE IN interpretation of analysis

What to do if you increase the number of red blood cells?

First of all, the doctor should determine the cause of the increase in blood red blood cells. You can take preventative measures. In order that the body was a healthy level of red blood cells, you need to drink plenty of purified water. The fact that chlorine in tap water rapidly increases the number of these cells.


In addition, doctors recommend to maintain normal red blood cells have fresh vegetables and fruits. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, which help to form red blood cells.

To reduce the red blood cells need to reduce the consumption of foods rich in iron (red meat, liver, beans, lentils, spinach, cabbage, prunes, raisins), dispense drinks containing caffeine, and quit Smoking and not taking aspirin.

Very useful for maintain the normal number of red blood cells to engage in regular physical exercise. Because of this the body will need more oxygen.