My brother in law had his j pouch surgery about 6 years ago now. Prior to the surgery he was always low on hemoglobin. But now his doctor is concerned about his hemoglobin always being too HIGH. My brother in law brushes this off as being 'must be something to do with the j-pouch'. Is that true?

Original Post
Of course, it all depends on how far out of range it is, but yes, it can be a cause for concern. For example, it is normal to have higher levels of hemoglobin and/or red blood cells is you live at high altitude. This is to compensate for the lower oxygen levels in the air.

But, if that is not the case, then there could be heart or lung disease that prevents normal blood oxygenation. It could even be a bone marrow disease. So, it bears watching. I seriously doubt it has anything to do with his j-pouch. But, if it is his hematocrit, not the hemoglobin, it could be from the j-pouch. A high hematocrit can be a sign of dehydration.

Jan Smiler
Thanks for responding. He said EPO/hemoglobin, if that clarifies things... And if we lived any farther below sea level we'd need gills, so definitely not high altitude.
I did ask him about dehydration because I saw something about abnormal scores from that. He said maybe that was it.
I'll prod him to take it seriously.
If this was due to dehydration BOTH the hematocrit and the hemoglobin would be high (basically, a lower blood volume from severe dehydration concentrates the blood cells). But, if the hematocrit is normal but the hemoglobin is high, then it is NOT dehydration, and he needs to look at something else, respiratory, cardiovascular, etc.

You cannot assume that everything is j-pouch related just because of the surgery. Sometimes it is, but having a j-pouch does not make you immune to other diseases.

Good luck prodding him into paying attention. Most people do not realize how much lung function or cardiac function can be lost before you have outward symptoms.

Jan Smiler

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