Blood Donation Panel
This blood donation panel includes these tests: Hematocrit, iron & total iron binding capacity (TIBC), and ferritin.This panel is designed to determine if: 1- Your blood donation or therapeutic phlebotomy was effective in lowering your high hematocrit without negatively affecting ferritin or iron. 2- It is safe to do another blood donation or therapeutic phlebotomy depending on ferritin or iron levels.
This blood donation panel includes these tests: Hematocrit, iron & total iron binding capacity (TIBC), and ferritin.
This panel is designed to determine if:
1- Your blood donation or therapeutic phlebotomy was effective in lowering your high hematocrit without negatively affecting ferritin or iron.
2- It is safe to do another blood donation or therapeutic phlebotomy depending on ferritin or iron levels.
Table of Contents
What is Hematocrit?
Hematocrit is the portion of blood made up of red blood cells.
High hematocrit occurs when there is an excessive production of red blood cells. High hematocrit can cause the blood to become very viscous or "sticky," making it harder for the heart to pump. High blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks can occur.
Testosterone Therapy and High Hematocrit
The association between testosterone replacement therapy and high hematocrit has been reported for the past few years as this therapy has become more mainstream. In addition to increasing muscle and sex drive, testosterone can increase the body's production of red blood cells. This hematopoietic (blood-building) effect could be a good thing for those with mild anemia.
Although all testosterone replacement products can increase the number of red blood cells, the study showed a higher incidence of higher hematocrit in those using intramuscular testosterone than topical administration (testosterone patch was the main option used -- no gels). Smoking and sleep apnea have also been associated with polycythemia and may contribute to the effects of other risk factors like TRT.
It's important to check patients' hemoglobin and hematocrit blood levels while on testosterone replacement therapy. As we all know, hemoglobin is the substance that makes blood red and helps transport oxygen in the blood. Hematocrit reflects the proportion of red cells to total blood volume. A hematocrit of over 52 percent should be evaluated. Decreasing testosterone dose or stopping it are options that may not be the best for assuring patients' best quality of life, however. Switching from injectable to transdermal testosterone may decrease hematocrit, but in many cases not to the degree needed.
Different medical guideline groups that recommend monitoring for testosterone replacement therapy agree about measuring hematocrit at month 3, and then annually, with some also recommending measurements at month 6 after starting testosterone.
How to Lower Hematocrit with Blood Donations- Warning
Many patients on testosterone replacement who experience polycythemia do not want to stop the therapy due to fears of re-experiencing the depression, fatigue and low sex-drive they had before starting treatment. For those patients, blood donation or therapeutic phlebotomy may be the answer. Therapeutic phlebotomy is very similar to what happens when donating blood, but this procedure is prescribed by physicians as a way to bring down blood hematocrit and viscosity when blood centers refuse to accept a blood donor because of his high hematocrit.
When donating blood, usually a unit of blood is extracted from the body. For every unit of blood donated or extracted through therapeutic phlebotomy, there is a 2-3 point decrease in hematocrit. If your hematocrit is 56 and you want to bring him under 50, you would have to give 2 to 3 units of blood. However, taking this much blood out in one single blood donation/phlebotomy session may deplete ferritin and iron levels which can cause extreme fatigue. So, be conservative and only give 1 unit max even if you have to go more frequently. But be aware that the Red Cross has stated that blood donations done more frequently than every 2.5 months run the risk of lowering your ferritin and iron too much (which can cause fatigue), so make sure that you get a ferritin test to determine if you should take an iron supplement after donating or to make sure that ferritin is not low before the next blood donation. It is estimated that one unit of blood extracted can lower ferritin by 30 points. Ferritin levels under 45 have been linked to fatigue and other symptoms.
HOW DOES DISCOUNTEDLABS.COM WORK?
Go to the "Find a Location" page to find the closest lab location. No need to make an appointment since walk-ins are welcomed. Once you have identified your closest location, go to step 2.
Go to "Choose a Test" and add your selection (s) in the shopping cart. If you prefer to save money on bundled tests, we have created "Lab Test Panels" that can help you decide what to order.
If you have a discount coupon code, add it to your cart.
A $8 lab processing fee will be added to your total.
Pay using a credit card.
You will receive an order confirmation and instructions email on how to download your lab request.
Print lab request form that you downloaded.
Take that form to the closest location. Get your blood drawn.
You will receive an email when the results are ready for you to download.Note: You cannot place an order under someone else's profile. The profile person's name will appear on the lab order form.
If you have further questions, please email [email protected].
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