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What does HCT mean in a blood test?
Since you found this page you’re probably wondering what is HCT in your blood test.
When you get blood work done many tests will assess your HCT levels (the CBC test being the most common test to do this).
HCT stands for Hematocrit. (Other names for HCT are Packed Cell Volume (PCV) and Erythrocyte Volume Fraction (EVF)).
HCT results show the volume (or percentage %) of red blood cells in your blood.
The normal range for HCT results for these markers are
- 38.5% – 50% for men
- 34.9% – 44.5% for women
These results are integral to understanding certain aspects of your health.
So what do your HCT blood work results mean?
Your individual test results will fall within the ranges of?average, higher or lower than average.
Below are brief descriptions of high and low test results.
Why do I have High HCT Blood Results?
Elevated HCT levels often result from:
- Dehydration (most common)
- Sleep Apnea
- Dengue Fever
- Polycythemia Vera
- Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- Anabolic Androgenic Steroids use (AAS)
- Capillary Leak Syndrome
Dehydration, chronic or acute, is most often the cause of high test results. Drinking more fluids should help bring your levels down.
Why do I have Low HCT Blood Results?
Lowered HCT levels are often the result of:
- Anemia (most common)
- Certain types of cancers
- Blood loss (incl. internal bleeding)
- Vitamin deficiency
- Mineral deficiency
- Cirrhosis of the liver
Looking further at your results.
If your HCT levels are higher than average, the first place to look is hydration.
Are you drinking enough water during the day?
Are you eating a diet that is dehydrating you?
If your HCT levels are lower than average, the first thing to check is if you are anemic.
There are many different types of anemia that a test will analyze for if you want more information about how to test for anemia visit our post on the topic of anemia testing.
If you’re looking to get tested for HCT.
The CBC (Complete Blood Count test) is available to assess HCT as well as anemia.?
You can order the CBC blood test online (no doctor needed) here.