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Dr. Saha
Dr. Saha, Doctor (MD)
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Experience:  30 years of experience
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How much variation can dehydration or over-hydration cause

Resolved Question:

How much variation can dehydration or over-hydration cause in the values of hematocrit and hemoglobin? How many units of variation?

I recently had a hemoglobin of 12.6 down from 14.7 months ago. And hematocrit and RBC were also slightly below normal range. I also had low blood sodium which seems to have been caused by excessive sweating from a heat wave. I did have symptoms of heat exhaustion that day and for several days after.

Can heat exhaustion or sodium/electrolyte depletion, cause the lowered hemoglobin, hematocrit, and RBC count?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 1 year ago.
Hello,

Welcome to Just Answer.

Did you take too much fluid?

Thank you.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I don't know if I had drank too much fluid. I had been sweating heavily from exercise the day before and I regularly lose large amounts of sodium in my sweat.


 


If I had been drinking too much fluid could that have caused such a big difference in hemoglobin 12.6, hematocrit 39, and RBC count 4?


 


 

Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the information.

Dehydration can increase the level of hemoglobin, hematocrit.

Red cell count can also increase in dehydration.

The opposite effects can occur with overhydration.

When you were losing fluid in sweat, you are likely to be dehydrated.

So it should have different effect.

However, it is difficult to calculate the degree of hydration precisely from those blood levels.

I would suggest to take a repeat test after a few weeks.

You can also check for iron, B 12 levels.

Those would help to detect any deficiency of those factors.

I hope this information helps.

I will be happy to assist, if you need any clarification.

Please press the EXCELLENT/ GOOD FEEDBACK and feel free for any follow up query.

Regards.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

It is very possible I was over-hydrated at the time of the test because I felt so awful and felt better from drinking more water.


 


In May my hemoglobin was 14.7, RBC 5.37, hematocrit 45. This last test hemoglobin was 12.6, RBC 4, hematocrit 39.


 


Could over-hydration or other effects of possible heat exhaustion cause these values to lower this much?

Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 1 year ago.

I you were over hydrated at the time of test, that can lower the results. However, it would not be possible to determine to what degree. In case of 5-10% increase in plasma volume, the levels would fall accordingly. But the results would come back to normal in subsequent tests when the hydration is normal. So follow up tests need to be taken.

Dr. Saha, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 15410
Experience: 30 years of experience
Dr. Saha and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am recovering from life threatening Anemia 8 months ago and I want to better understand by how much these fluctuations in hydration can potentially affect my blood counts so I can better interpret whether they actually worsen or improve. Or if certain changes could be attributed to hydration.


 


I need to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated because I lose so much from sweat during exercise. My weight regularly fluctuates by as much as 4 pounds in a day from water weight.


 


By how much can overhydration or dehydration affect hematocrit, hemoglobin, and RBC? I am asking for ranges. Would the recent variation be within these ranges or could they indicate that my total blood count has dropped since May?


 


 

Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 1 year ago.
How is your body weight?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I am about 20 pounds overweight with a very muscular build.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

About 240 pounds, male, with very muscular build. About 20 pounds overweight.

Expert:  Dr. Saha replied 1 year ago.
If you notice an increase of 4 lbs in your weight from water retention or overhydration, this should be calculated with your normal weight.

Some of it would be collected in the extracellular space & some in the blood.

If we take your normal weight as 240 lbs, then an increase of 4 lbs, would be distributed accordingly.

So you can expect a similar decrease of hemoglobin & hematocrit by the range of not more than 5-10%.
Dr. Saha, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 15410
Experience: 30 years of experience
Dr. Saha and 5 other Health Specialists are ready to help you

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