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How to Increase your Red Blood Cell count

If your red blood cell count is low, there are steps you may do to raise it, such as improving your nutrition, taking supplements, and seeking medical attention for underlying health issues.

How to Increase your Red Blood Cell count

If you have a low red blood cell count, your doctor may likely propose lifestyle adjustments as well as medication therapies. Increasing your red blood cell count helps alleviate symptoms of low red blood cells, such as weariness. This article will discuss why your red blood cell count may be low and how to raise red blood cells.

Symptoms of low red blood cell count

Anaemia refers to a low red blood cell count. It might also suggest that your red blood cells are the wrong size (too tiny or too large), or that they aren't healthy or functioning properly.

The signs and symptoms of a low red blood cell count range from moderate to severe. They may appear rapidly or gradually over time, depending on how low your numbers are and your general health.

Common signs of decreased red blood cell count include:

  • Lack of energy
  • Sleepiness
  • Pale skin
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Irritation
  • Difficulty focusing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Hypotension (Low Blood Pressure)

Severe anaemia can lead to fainting, shortness of breath, heart failure, and organ damage. If it persists without treatment (for example, because they have an undetected ailment that affects red blood cells) or if a person loses a large amount of blood quickly (for example, because they were severely injured in an accident), a lack of red blood cells can lead to organ failure and even death.

Causes of low red blood cell count

There are several reasons of decreased red blood cell count. In most circumstances, the disease occurs when your body does not produce enough red blood cells or when your red blood cells are depleted or damaged. Common reasons of low red blood cell count are:

  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Iron deficiency
  • Chronic bleeding (e.g., stomach or intestinal haemorrhage)
  • Gastrointestinal issues that impair nutrition absorption
  • Chemotherapy (a medication used to eliminate cancer cells)
  • Bone marrow problems (e.g., aplastic anaemia, a condition in which the body fails to produce enough red blood cells)
  • Cancer (including bone marrow cancer)
  • Kidney Disease
  • Severe malnutrition
  • Hemolysis (the disintegration of red blood cells) in circumstances like malaria (a parasite blood infection)
  • Acute bleeding (for example, from an accident or trauma)
  • Blood loss after surgery

A blood test can determine whether you have a low red blood cell count. Your physician can do a complete blood count (CBC) to check for:

  • Red blood cell count (the quantity of red blood cells)
  • Haemoglobin (a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen)
  • Hematocrit (the proportion of blood that consists of red blood cells)
  • Red blood cell characteristics (MCHC, MCV, MCH, and RDW)

Increasing red blood cells with nutrition

One of the most prevalent causes of low red blood cell count is a lack of enough nourishment. You might be able to restore your red blood cells to normal by consuming enough of the nutrients you're deficient in or taking a supplement.

  • Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)
    Folic acid aids the body's production of red blood cells.
    Dietary sources of folic acid include leafy green vegetables (like kale and spinach), beans, peanuts, liver, and shellfish.
  • Iron
    Iron is a major component of haemoglobin.
    Iron-rich foods include red meat, shellfish, leafy green vegetables, and beans.
  • Vitamin B12
    Vitamin B12 helps the body produce red blood cells.
    Beef, poultry, fish, dairy, and eggs are some of the foods that contain vitamin B12.
    Vegetarians and vegans may need to take vitamin B12 supplements.
  • Copper
    Copper contributes to the production of haemoglobin in the body.
    Copper-rich foods include leafy green vegetables, almonds, mushrooms, organ meats (such as liver), and oysters.
  • Vitamin A
    Vitamin A helps the body produce red blood cells.
    Vitamin A-rich foods include carrots, potatoes, salmon, liver, and leafy green vegetables.
  • Vitamin C
    Vitamin C promotes iron metabolism, which is required for haemoglobin production.
    Vitamin C-rich foods include tomatoes, citrus fruits (such as oranges), strawberries, broccoli, and leafy green vegetables.
  • Vitamin E
    Vitamin E protects the red blood cells.
    Vitamin E-rich foods include almonds, pine nuts, avocado, and bell pepper.

What happens when I eat extra nutrients?

Consuming more than the necessary quantities of important nutrients will not result in an increase in red blood cell count above optimum levels. Your body will normally eliminate surplus nutrients that it does not require or cannot absorb.

However, there is a risk of consuming too many of specific nutrients, whether through food or supplementation. In rare situations, your body is unable to eliminate excess quantities, causing a nutrient to accumulate to harmful levels. For example, if you're attempting to boost your iron consumption to avoid anaemia, you should be aware that too much iron might be harmful.

You should consult your provider about how much of each vitamin you should consume each day and the best manner to obtain them for you.

Lifestyle changes to increase your red blood cell count

Once you've changed your diet and are getting enough nourishment, you may utilise some extra lifestyle practices to boost your red blood cell count and maintain it healthy.

However, these tactics will only be helpful if you are consuming the nutrition your body need to produce enough healthy red blood cells. That is why, first and foremost, you must address your nutrition.

  • Exercise
    Exercise causes the body to produce more red blood cells (erythropoiesis).
    Your body generally breaks down red blood cells every three to four months, but it is also continually producing new ones to replace those lost.
    Exercising may cause older red blood cells to degrade and be recycled faster.
    However, the young red blood cells will be more capable of carrying oxygen than the older ones, therefore the natural process promotes your general health.
  • Reduce Alcohol
    Drinking alcohol causes reduced red blood cells in several ways:
    1. Alcohol impairs your body's food absorption and can also reduce red blood cell synthesis.
    2. Long-term alcohol consumption can harm the liver and kidneys, both of which are necessary for your body to produce enough red blood cells.

Supplements and medications that increase your red blood cell count

Some nutrients and drugs can help increase red blood cell numbers.

People who are deficient in iron, vitamin B12, or another essential nutrient, for example, may require supplements, especially if the nutritional shortfall is caused by an absorption problem or they are unable to obtain these elements from the foods they consume.

If you have an underlying health condition that causes your red blood cells to be low, you must get it treated.

For example, if you have a disease that causes bleeding (such as an ulcer), making sure it heals so the bleeding stops might help protect your red blood cells from dropping too low.

If you have kidney illness, you may be administered erythropoietin, a natural hormone produced by the kidneys that promotes red blood cell synthesis.

In more critical situations, a blood transfusion is required to return the red blood cells back to levels high enough that a person can survive.

When to see a doctor

If you experience any of the signs of low red blood cells, you should consult your doctor. It may take some time for your physician to determine the cause of your low red blood cell count.

Anaemia can also be caused by medical conditions that, if left untreated, might worsen and become less curable (such as renal illness or cancer).

You can receive medication to boost low red blood cells, as well as effective treatment for the underlying disease.


If you see any of the symptoms of decreased red blood cells, contact your doctor. It may take some time for your doctor to diagnose the source of your low red blood cell count.

Anaemia can also be caused by medical diseases that, if not addressed, might deteriorate, and become less treatable (for example, renal disease or cancer).

You can get medicine to enhance your red blood cell count, as well as effective therapy for the underlying condition.

A low red blood cell count might indicate an underlying health condition. There are several reasons and remedies. If you have a medical condition that causes you to have a low quantity of red blood cells, you will require therapy.

To avoid a recurrence of anaemia, it is also critical that you implement lifestyle practices that will help you maintain a healthy number of red blood cells and stick to these routines over time.

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