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Polycythemia Vera? Elevated Hemoglobin and RBC
Hi there ~

I have had some weird lab occurrences of late and have no idea why. I don't smoke, live in a high altitude, have COPD or asthma or heart disease (that I know of - oh my gosh.....I pray not!!!)

I had labs drawn on 11/8/12 that came back with elevated RBC at 5.36 (3.93-5.22) and Hemoglobin 46.2 (34.1-44.9)
and IG Absolute 0.05 (0-0.03) - It also showed a low Mag of 1.7 (1.8-2.4) and low Ca 8.4(8.5-10.1) and low Glucose of 67, Low AST...Everything else was normal and my CBC has always been normal before

So my MD repeated my labs on 11/16/12 and my labs came back with continued elevated HGB and RBC as below:
RBC 4.98 (3.57-4.97)
HGB 15.1 (11.0-14.9)
Ca 8.4 (8.5-10.1)
Glucose was normal this time at 80 but Chloride came back high at 109 (98-107) again, everything was normal.

I am worried as I read the possible causes of Elevated HGB and RBC and none of them are good or reassuring with the exception of possible dehydration, except the time lapse between labs tests when seem to rule this out.

I am worried about blood clots and blood viscosity issues now and my MD is out of town for vacation for a week and all I can think of is "Should I be taking aspirin" as I cannot see him for a follow up to discuss these labs (nurse gave them over the phone). I am also a bit anxiety ridden about the possibility of the elevation being heart related but I had the annual stress test, echo and EKG done in September and everything looked good, so....?

Plus I had surgery (appendectomy) on October 10th and I do not believe these elevations were see then, so could this be a post op complication? Would could cause an elevation so soon from 10/10 - 11/10 and could it be Polycythemia Vera?

Thank you for your time!

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1 Answers
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351246 tn?1379685732
Hi!
As you already know, high RBC and hemoglobin are usually due to dehydration or low oxygen as in high altitudes and in lung disorders such as asthma. Congenital heart disease, some kidney problems and polycythemia vera are the other causes of increased RBC. So, you need to get an ECHO (heart) and kidney function tests too.
Yes, polycythemia vera is also a possibility but for that you will need to undergo further testing which will also include a bone marrow biopsy.
I can understand your apprehensions since your doctor is away. Maybe you could talk to his office or nurse and relay your worries. Please do not start any medications without consulting your doctor first. Take care!
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