Red blood cells

How to Lower Your Hematocrit Levels

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
How to Lower Your Hematocrit Levels

Hematocrit is the percentage of blood volume that is composed of red blood cells. This level differs in men and women: it should be at around 45% of blood for men and 40% women. Increased blood hematocrit levels involve the risk of thrombosis due to the accumulation of red blood cells, so you run the risk of suffering a heart attack or a stroke. The ideal is to have a normal hematocrit level, so if your levels are high, you should take action now. On OneHowTo, we'll explain how to lower your hematocrit levels with a few simple steps.

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Steps to follow:


If you are a smoker, the first step to lower your hematocrit levels is to stop smoking. Tobacco alters the oxygen carrying red blood cells, so the flow is then altered in a negative sense. A smoker, having low oxygen levels, will force the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells, thereby increasing the blood hematocrit.


Do physical activity on a moderate and gradual basis. Whenever you're doing any sports activity do not reach a state of exhaustion. This is when the body uses more oxygen from our blood. If you feel dizzy, stop exercising immediately.


Donating blood is one of the measures to lower the hematocrit levels. By donating your blood, you are cleaning and renewing i, while you remove excess iron in your body. This is highly recommended if you also want to decrease your hematocrit levels.


Maintain adequate hydration. Dehydration causes increased hematocrit levels along with a larger volume of blood and plasma because there is less body fluid to dilute the blood. So, it is very important that you are well hydrated for your hematocrit levels not to skyrocket upwards. Increase your fluid intake in your daily diet to prevent this from happening. It is recommended that you drink a minimum of eight glasses of water on a daily basis.

You must avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine as they are diuretic and they stimulate urine, thus causing dehydration. To lower the hematocrit it is best to drink water or unsweetened juice.

How to Lower Your Hematocrit Levels - Step 4

Take an aspirin a couple of times a month. Aspirin helps dilute the blood and it prevents clot formation. When you have a high hematocrit level, the blood becomes thicker, so aspirin helps prevent this from happening. Nevertheless, you should not abuse the consumption of aspirin, two per month will be more than enough. Overdosing on aspirin is not beneficial because the blood becomes far too thin to and small cuts could bleed too much.


Change your regular diet and adapt it to make it easier to lower your hematocrit levels. You can do this by taking following these tips:

  • Increase your consumption of antioxidant foods because they facilitate the transport of oxygen in your body. Antioxidants help in supplying oxygen to the blood to flow normally. Excellent antioxidant foods include prunes, beans and berries.
  • Avoid foods that are high in iron since this mineral provides your body with haemoglobin. Avoid eating foods that are high in iron like spinach, broccoli, fish, beef, turkey, chicken, clams and mussels.
  • Consume grapefruit daily because according to recent studies, eating half a grapefruit per day lowers hematocrit levels because naringin, a flavonoid that facilitates the process of natural elimination of red blood cells.
How to Lower Your Hematocrit Levels - Step 6

It is considered that living above 2,000 metres from sea level increases the level of hematocrit in the blood, given that the bone marrow produces more red globes to compensate the low oxygen levels in these zones. For this reason, avoid altitudes and move to lower areas.

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to How to Lower Your Hematocrit Levels, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.

Write a comment
What did you think of this article?
Hi I have recently been diagnosed with slightly high hematocrit levels. However I was reading your article & it suggested daily grapefruit, which I had already been doing for several months before the high hematocrit levels, so maybe they would have been higher? My question is, I have always been told I cannot donate blood due to having Rhuematic fever as a child. Can I donate blood now? Also, Is it bad for the people I donate to, or to me?
By the way, this was a great article!
Ssgt P
Tkx for the Illumination
Jan Landolt

Would grapefruit essential oil help
Great article! Simple and to the point. As they say, *Let food be your medicine*
OneHowTo Editor
Thank you! We're so glad you found it useful.
Stanley swan
How do I lower my hematocrit
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Stanley
You can lower your hematocrit levels by:
1. Not smoking
2. Daily exercise
3. Donating blood
4. Keeping hydrated
5. Avoiding alcohol
6. Increasing antioxidant food intake
Larry Ronald Hamilton
whenever i donate plasma my hematocrit level is 55 which is 1 point to high to donate. How can i keep this down?
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Larry,

We have provided information in the article about how to keep hematocrit levels low. Is there something more specific we can help you with.
Barbara Duke
My Hematocrit Level is 730, which is high, i need to know what foods i need to eat, to bring this down, i
am very concerned, any help would be appreciated.. Thanks
OneHowTo Editor
Hi Barbara,

Antioxidant foods should help somewhat, so here are some suggestions which may or may not work for you:

Hope they help!
Sandra Causey
I would like to receive articles on COPD , and high hemoglobin and hematocrit levels
Monica Morris
How can I lower my HCT it's 48.2 should be (36.0-47.0
OneHowTo Editor
We advise you to follow the steps mentioned in this article to lower your hematocrit levels.
Hope this helps
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How to Lower Your Hematocrit Levels