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Hello! My grandfather has been diagnosed a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. He used to be a heavy smoker and his doctor told us this was the main reason for his disease. He used to cough often but he didn’t want to see his doctor. When he started to feel shortness of breathe we managed to take him to do some tests. Now, he is using some medicines and sprays and he doesn’t smoke. His doctor says he should monitor his hemoglobin levels. What does high hemoglobin in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patient presents?

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Hello! Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is often a result of cigarette smoking and it is very good your grandfather quit smoking. Narrowed airways cause problems in breathing of oxygen and destroyed lung tissue reduce the area for gas exchange. The lungs are not able to provide enough oxygen. Hemoglobin, which carries oxygen, may increase in order to compensate for chronically low supply of oxygen. This can make the blood thick and impair its ability to flow easily which can cause stroke or problems in intellectual functioning. Your grandfather’s doctor will monitor his hemoglobin in order to prevent these problems. If the levels become dangerously elevated the blood removal is sometimes arranged (as in blood donation).
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As the previous poster said, long-term smokers often develop COPD, which is a very common cause of high/elevated hemoglobin. Smoking itself can also lead to high hemoglobin levels. There isn't, unfortunately, a pill or other simple treatment you can take for high hemoglobin levels, because they are a symptom rather than a disease. This is why it is important that your granddad's doctor keeps an eye on his general health, and to offer him the best treatments for COPD possible. If he is fit enough, your granddad would do well to increase his physical fitness. Other than that, there are medications to help manage COPD.

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