Sudden drop in HGB/HCT
60 years old, excellent health, regular blood donor, tolerate ALYX donations well. Only serious issue is severe insomnia. I have the ability to catch quick naps at work when necessary, which helps. A few days after an ALYX donation, I had blood work and the doc reported my HGB was shockingly low. I don't have the exact number, but at the time of the donation, it was 13.6. I assumed the low reading was because of the donation. Four months later, I went to donate again, and was turned away with a reading of 11.1. Two months later, I barely passed muster - this time with an HCT test and a reading of 39. I assumed this was because my lifestyle had gotten too sedentary. My job consists of spending almost every waking hour in front of a computer, and I was starting to feel the effects of not enough activity.
One thing that's unusual in my case - as I became more sedentary, I ate less, so there was never a problem with weight gain. In fact, I lost weight. I think this resulted in me getting even less exercise. At least an overweight person gets some exercise hauling their own weight around. I'm still within the normal range, but I don't want this downward trend to continue.
The most practical solution for me has been walking. I now average about five miles a day, at a brisk pace, up and down a lot of hills, which tires out healthy people half my age. Even on days when I'm dead tired and feel totally drained, I feel like my legs have an independent power source that keeps them going at an almost running pace. I think I'm feeling healthier (hard to be sure with something that subjective) and my appetite is improving. I've walked as much as eight miles in a single outing in very hot sunlight and felt like I could do another eight miles afterward. Yet, if I've been sitting for a while and stand up abruptly, I feel dizzy. I don't recall this happening before.
When the weather gets a little bit cooler, I want to do more running. I've tried bicycling, but I feel like that's only building up a few select muscles, and the transitions between uphill and downhill (very few flat surfaces in my neighborhood) make it hard to maintain a steady pace.
Anyone have any thoughts on what's going on here?