High Red Blood Cells: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Blood is made up of various cells and substances that continually move through our body, from tissues to the most important organs. An important type of these cells found in the bloodstream are red blood cells or Hematies.

These cells have the task of carrying the oxygen stored in our lungs to the rest of the body’s organs, allowing it to be exchanged for carbon dioxide and then to be totally eliminated.

What does it mean to have tall red blood cells? What are its causes, symptoms and treatment for low red blood cell levels? We answer you below.

Tall red blood cells

After performing a blood test, if the results show that the levels are above 5.9 million in the case of men, or 5.5 million in women, it warns us of the presence of polycythemia or erythrocytosis. This condition is the excessive increase in red blood cells in our body.

In addition to the high red blood cell values, we can show an elevated hematocrit and hemoglobin count, corroborating polycythemia.

What causes the level of red blood cells to rise?

The causes for red blood cells to be above their normal values ​​are varied. There are patients who suffer from this condition due to a specific pathology while others suffer from some momentary physiological process. These are some of the most common causes in patients with high red blood cells:

  • Lung diseases
  • Excess dehydration
  • Heart diseases
  • Pulmonary fibrosis
  • Hypoxemia
  • Runaway production in the bone marrow
  • Smoking
  • Kidney disease
  • Consumption of drugs that stimulate its production in the bone marrow as a side effect

To correctly determine the origin of the problem, an anamnesis and a second opinion regarding the blood analysis must be carried out, because if it is due to a pathology then the measures to be taken are much more specific and the patient will depend on treatment and control for life .


Some of the symptoms of increased red blood cells in the body they are:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Daze
  • Dizziness
  • Sudden bleeding from the ears

However, they are not symptoms that allow us to easily decipher that it is a case of high red blood cells. That is why it is always advisable to go to the doctor first and wait for their diagnosis to be able to identify the disease.

How can we lower red blood cell levels?

In a natural treatment for this condition, these are the recommendations:

  • Have a cup of tea after every meal.
  • Ingest raw garlic cloves, as garlic has anticoagulant properties that help fight general polycythemia.
  • Eat cayenne pepper, as it stimulates blood circulation.

In any case, it is possible to keep the levels of these cells stable with the help of:

Vitamin B9

Also known as folic acid, it is a type of vitamin that we find in foods such as cereals, beans and nuts, certain breads and in vegetables.

B12 vitamin

This vitamin is found in almost all the foods of our day to day. It is present in red meat, milk and its derivatives, fish, traditional yeast breads and eggs.


There are foods rich in iron such as liver, lentils and egg yolks. Now, in cases of presenting a polycythemia vera or primary, considered as a chronic pathology of the red blood cells that has no cure, the treatment varies. Generally, aspirin is prescribed to reduce blood clots, drugs to decrease red blood cell production, or partial blood collection, called a phlebotomy.

Here you can also see what it means to have low red blood cells.

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