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Living with Schizoaffective Disorder

I Flunked a Hematocrit Test

I flunked the Hematocrit Test when I went to give blood a week ago Sunday.

Michael David Crawford, Baritone,

Copyright © 2006 Michael David Crawford.

Tuesday April 25, 2018

Your Hematocrit is the percentage by volume that red blood cells occupy in whole blood. The normal Hematocrit for men is 41% to 50% and 36% to 44% in women.

My first try at the test said my level was only 38%. That at first disqualified me from giving blood but being so close to the cutoff of 39% they permitted me to take the test a second time. I passed but didn't think to ask what my percentage was.

Red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Such a low Hematocrit as I have is doubtlessly the reason I get out of breath just by walking up one flight of stairs.

I never run for the bus or train anymore. I'm in such poor physical shape that I can't run at all.

The way to boost your Hematocrit percentage is to eat lots of the kinds of foods that contain the nutrients our bodies require to make red blood cells. The two most important such nutrients are Iron and Vitamin B12.

Red meat is best source of iron. It happens that I don't eat much meat. I'm not really a vegetarian but for me it's a lot easier to make peanut butter and banana sandwiches than it is to, say, broil a steak.

The following article at the US National Institutes Of Health points out that Vitamin C increases the bioavailability of the kind of iron that plants contain:

Most of the time that I've lived in my apartment I always bought a big bag of oranges whenever I went grocery shopping - and I ate them all up quite quickly.

But for no particular reason I haven't bought any oranges in the last couple months.

This evening I bought lots of foods that are rich in iron - Hebrew National All-Beef Hot Dogs, eggs, V8 vegetable cocktail, flour tortillas, bread, ramen and spinach.

I'm going to go back to the grocery store tomorrow evening after work and buy myself a big bag of oranges.

And then I'm going to eat them all up.

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