Can excessive carbonated drink consumption lead to elevated red blood cell levels?

Can excessive carbonated drink consumption lead to elevated red blood cell levels?

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I've recently had a blood test and the results displayed elevated levels of erythrocytes as well as hemoglobin. (As a result my hematocrit levels were also above average)

At my workplace there is a water cooler which also has an option to dispense carbonated water (this is just regular ol' carbonated tap water) and usually over the course of the day I tend to drink quite a lot of the stuff.

Since erythrocytes/hemoglobin deals with O2 and CO2 transport, I was wondering if my daily consumption of carbonated water is a plausible cause for the additional erythrocytes that are being pumped out?

The main regulatory input into erythrocyte production is hypoxia. The response to elevated CO2 levels in the blood (hypercapnia) is mainly to increase ventilation (i.e. more and/or deeper breaths) so that the excess can be "blown off".

I think that some carbon dioxide could pass into the bloodstream from the stomach since gases tend to be quite good at diffusing across membranes, but this would be easily dealt with by the physiological mechanism described above.

Answer: No. How should the CO2 from you stomach get into your blood? And: Most of the CO2 is removed (by burping) from the solution in your stomach anyway due to the conditions there.

Anemia and Alcohol: Can Alcohol Cause Anemia?

Drinking alcohol is commonplace in American culture. Because of this fact, drinking too much alcohol is often overlooked, or not considered an issue if the drinking is not chronic. Regardless, it is widely known that numerous health problems have been associated with drinking, including those that stem from an allergy or alcohol intolerance. But, can alcohol cause anemia? You may be asking, what’s anemia?

Anemia is a condition where the body does not make enough red blood cells, or properly functioning red blood cells, which are needed to carry and deliver oxygen throughout the body. Red blood cells are constantly turned over by the body, so too much red blood cell destruction can also lead to anemia.

While alcohol and anemia are generally not thought to be related, drinking too much alcohol can lead to anemia.

Article at a Glance:

The overuse of alcohol can produce many detrimental health issues, including alcohol-induced anemia. Some important points to remember with regard to anemia and alcohol:

  • Drinking too much alcohol, no matter how often, can lead to anemia
  • Anemia is a reduction in the function of or the number of red blood cells
  • Alcohol-induced anemia can be reversed by abstaining from alcohol consumption

What are the causes of high sodium levels?

Hypernatremia occurs when sodium levels in the blood are too high. Sodium plays an essential role in various bodily functions, such as fluid balance, muscle contraction, and nerve impulse generation. Most of the sodium in the body is in the blood and lymph fluid.

An excess of sodium in the blood can sometimes become a problem if it goes untreated. Although hypernatremia is often mild and does not usually require treatment, moderate-to-severe cases may require attention.

Keep reading for more information on the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hypernatremia.

Share on Pinterest A person with hypernatremia may experience excessive thirst.

Hypernatremia occurs when the serum sodium concentration is higher than 145 milliequivalents per liter (mEq/l) . It means that the level of sodium in a person’s blood is too high.

Two common causes of hypernatremia are insufficient fluid intake and too much water loss. In rare cases, consuming too much sodium can cause hypernatremia to occur.

The opposite of hypernatremia is hyponatremia. This condition occurs when a person’s serum sodium level is less than 135 mEq/l. In other words, hyponatremia develops when too little sodium is in the blood.

Sodium is an electrolyte that plays an essential role in regulating the levels of water and other substances in the body. The kidneys and adrenal glands are responsible for regulating sodium levels.

The adrenal gland produces a hormone called aldosterone. This hormone and the kidneys work together to maintain the balance of sodium in the blood.

Changes in water loss or water intake also change the concentration of sodium in the blood. Receptors in the brain recognize the need for level corrections. The body will respond by either increasing thirst (to boost water intake) or passing a greater amount of sodium in the urine (to excrete more sodium).

Hypernatremia may not cause any symptoms, meaning that a person may not be aware that they have it.

The main symptom of hypernatremia is excessive thirst. Other symptoms include fatigue and confusion.

In advanced cases, a person may experience muscle twitching or spasms, as sodium is important for the function of muscles and nerves. With severe elevations of sodium, seizures and coma may occur.

The primary causes of hypernatremia are too much sodium or insufficient liquid in the blood.

Several conditions can cause hypernatremia or increase its likelihood. These include:

Certain people are more likely than others to develop hypernatremia. At-risk populations include:

  • people receiving intravenous (IV) treatments or undergoing nasogastric feeding
  • people with an altered mental state
  • infants
  • older adults

In most cases, an underlying health condition, such as kidney disease or diabetes, will cause a person’s hypernatremia.

A doctor can often make a diagnosis by asking about the person’s medical history and carrying out a physical examination.

If the doctor suspects hypernatremia, they may run blood or urine tests. Both tests can show an increased presence of sodium in the blood, which can indicate hypernatremia.

All treatment for hypernatremia involves correcting the fluid and sodium balance in the body. Doing this usually means treating the underlying condition that is causing the increased blood sodium levels.

The type of treatment will vary depending on the underlying cause. For example, if a person is finding it difficult to manage their diabetes, their doctor will likely recommend steps to get the condition under control.

Other treatment options for hypernatremia may include simply increasing fluid intake.

In mild cases, increasing water consumption can help restore the proper balance of sodium in the blood.

In more severe cases, a person may need IV fluids to help restore proper sodium levels. They may also require a doctor to monitor whether their sodium levels are improving and adjust the fluid concentration accordingly.

Without treatment, hypernatremia can lead to serious complications.

One of the most dangerous complications is a brain hemorrhage, which can occur due to veins rupturing in the brain. Untreated hypernatremia has a mortality rate of 15–20% .

If a person has unexplained fatigue, irritability, or other mood changes, they should talk to their doctor, as these may be symptoms of hypernatremia.

Often, a person will not realize that they have the condition until their doctor examines them or runs a blood or urine test.

When a doctor diagnoses and treats hypernatremia early, the outlook for people with this condition is generally good.

People usually recover with minimal intervention. Often, a person can self-treat their condition at home by increasing their fluid intake. In other cases, they may need treatment in a hospital setting.

The success of treatment often relies on controlling the underlying condition. Treating the underlying condition should usually resolve hypernatremia.

Hypernatremia is when a person’s blood sodium levels are too high.

It typically occurs because a person has a decreased liquid intake or excessive fluid loss.

Certain people are more at risk than others of developing hypernatremia, including people in long-term care facilities and older people.

Treatment usually consists of increasing fluid intake and managing the underlying condition responsible for hypernatremia.

7 Side Effects of Drinking Diet Soda

Pop quiz! What&rsquos the single biggest source of calories for Americans? White bread? Big Macs? Actually, try soda. The average American drinks about two cans of the stuff every day. &ldquoBut I drink diet soda,&rdquo you say. &ldquoWith no calories or sugar, it&rsquos the perfect alternative for weight watchers. right?&rdquo

Not so fast. Before you pop the top off the caramel-colored bubbly, know this: guzzling diet soda comes with its own set of side effects that may harm your health&mdashfrom kickstarting kidney problems to adding inches to your waistline. (Get your sugar cravings under control and lose weight while still enjoying the sweets you love with Sugar Smart Express.)

Unfortunately, diet soda is more in vogue than ever. Kids consume the stuff at more than double the rate of last decade, according to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Among adults, consumption has grown almost 25%.

But knowing these 7 side effects of drinking diet soda may help you kick the can for good.

More from Prevention: 11 Health Food Impostors

Here&rsquos something you didn&rsquot know about your diet soda: It might be bad for your kidneys. In an 11-year-long Harvard Medical School study of more than 3,000 women, researchers found that diet cola is associated with a two-fold increased risk for kidney decline. Kidney function started declining when women drank more than two sodas a day. Even more interesting: Since kidney decline was not associated with sugar-sweetened sodas, researchers suspect that the diet sweeteners are responsible.

According to a 2008 University of Minnesota study of almost 10,000 adults, even just one diet soda a day is linked to a 34% higher risk of metabolic syndrome, the group of symptoms including belly fat and high cholesterol that puts you at risk for heart disease. Whether that link is attributed to an ingredient in diet soda or the drinkers&rsquo eating habits is unclear. But is that one can really worth it?

You read that right: Diet soda doesn&rsquot help you lose weight after all. A University of Texas Health Science Center study found that the more diet sodas a person drank, the greater their risk of becoming overweight. Downing just two or more cans a day increased waistlines by 500%. Why? Artificial sweeteners can disrupt the body&rsquos natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on the sweetness of foods, suggested an animal study from Purdue University. That means people who consume diet foods might be more likely to overeat, because your body is being tricked into thinking it&rsquos eating sugar, and you crave more.

Your first bad decision was ordering that Vodka Diet&mdashand you may make the next one sooner than you thought. Cocktails made with diet soda get you drunker, faster, according to a study out of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia. That&rsquos because sugar-free mixers allow liquor to enter your bloodstream much quicker than those with sugar, leaving you with a bigger buzz.

Diet sodas contain something many regular sodas don&rsquot: mold inhibitors. They go by the names sodium benzoate or potassium benzoate, and they&rsquore in nearly all diet sodas. But many regular sodas, such as Coke and Pepsi, don&rsquot contain this preservative.

That&rsquos bad news for diet drinkers. "These chemicals have the ability to cause severe damage to DNA in the mitochondria to the point that they totally inactivate it - they knock it out altogether,&rdquo Peter Piper, a professor of molecular biology and biotechnology at the University of Sheffield in the U.K., told a British newspaper in 1999. The preservative has also been linked to hives, asthma, and other allergic conditions, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Since then, some companies have phased out sodium benzoate. Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi have replaced it with another preservative, potassium benzoate. Both sodium and potassium benzoate were classified by the Food Commission in the UK as mild irritants to the skin, eyes, and mucous membranes.

Hydration for Exercise

The proper hydration for physical activity begins and ends with water. Staying hydrated throughout the day is key to feeling your best during exercise. To do this, you need to drink the right amount of fluids before, during and after physical activity. While there is no definitive answer on the exact amount of fluids you need to drink in a day, there are some general guidelines you can follow.

For example, monitor the color of your urine. If it is lemonade color, this is a sign of appropriate hydration. But, if it looks more like apple juice, this may be an indicator that you are dehydrated. Make sure to check your urine several times a day, especially when exercising in hot climates.

Other than dark-colored urine, the signs of dehydration to look out for include, extreme thirst, fatigue, faster breathing, dizziness, feeling weak, flushed skin, confusion, being able to do less and labored breathing, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If you are feeling any of these signs, stop what you're doing and hydrate. And remember, if your activity lasts longer than one hour and it is performed at a moderate to high intensity, you may need to replace lost fluids with a drink containing electrolytes and carbohydrates.

Elevated liver enzymes: Everything you need to know

Elevated liver enzymes may be a sign that a person’s liver is not working properly. Damaged or inflamed liver cells release enzymes into the bloodstream, which a blood test will detect.

Doctors test people for elevated liver enzymes if they have symptoms of conditions that typically cause liver damage.

In this article, learn about the causes of elevated liver enzymes, as well as the symptoms and treatment of each of these conditions.

Share on Pinterest If a person has elevated liver enzymes, a doctor may investigate possible underlying causes.

If a person’s blood test results show elevated liver enzymes, a doctor will investigate possible underlying causes. They may do further tests in addition to asking about a person’s lifestyle and dietary habits.

The most common cause of elevated liver enzymes is fatty liver disease. Research suggests that 25–51% of people with elevated liver enzymes have this condition.

Other health conditions that typically cause elevated liver enzymes include:

Other conditions that less commonly cause elevated liver enzymes include:

  • autoimmune hepatitis
  • infection with the Epstein-Barr virus, a type of herpes , when the body absorbs too much iron
  • mononucleosis , or blood poisoning
  • Wilson’s disease
  • polymyositis, which involves inflammation of the muscles

Certain medications, including some pain relievers and statins, can also cause elevated liver enzymes.

Elevated liver enzymes are themselves asymptomatic, but the underlying conditions responsible for them may cause symptoms.

Below are the common causes of elevated liver enzymes, as well as their symptoms:

Fatty liver disease

Fatty liver disease occurs when fats build up in the liver. If this buildup is due to alcohol consumption, it is called alcoholic fatty liver disease.

When alcohol is not a causative factor, the buildup of fat in the liver is called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). People with metabolic syndrome are at a higher risk of NAFLD.

Fatty liver disease may sometimes cause tiredness and pain on the right side of the abdomen, but it often causes no symptoms.

A doctor may test someone with alcohol use disorder or metabolic syndrome for elevated liver enzymes to check for fatty liver disease.

Metabolic syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a group of symptoms that increase the risk of heart disease. These symptoms include:

The doctor may test people with one or more of these symptoms for elevated liver enzymes.


Share on Pinterest A person with hepatitis may experience fatigue, joint pain, and nausea.

Hepatitis is a virus that leads to liver inflammation. There are several different strains of hepatitis, which are called A, B, C, D, and E. The symptoms of all of the strains are similar.

Common hepatitis symptoms include:

  • fatigue
  • muscle soreness
  • joint pain
  • nausea
  • loss of appetite
  • stomach pain
  • dark urine
  • skin itching
  • yellowing of the eyes and skin (jaundice)

The doctor may test a person with symptoms of hepatitis for elevated liver enzymes.

Alcohol or drug use disorder

Drinking too much alcohol or using illicit drugs may lead to liver inflammation or damage.

Liver inflammation due to alcohol consumption is called alcoholic hepatitis. When drugs are the underlying cause, doctors call it toxic hepatitis.

The symptoms of alcoholic and toxic hepatitis are similar to those of other strains of hepatitis.

If a person is experiencing symptoms of alcohol or drug use disorder, the doctor may check their liver enzyme levels and offer various forms of treatment and support.


Cirrhosis is a type of liver damage. A person with cirrhosis has permanent scarring of the liver, which can prevent it from working properly. Cirrhosis may eventually lead to liver failure.

Cirrhosis symptoms include fatigue and skin itching. People are at risk of cirrhosis if they do not receive treatment for hepatitis or fatty liver disease.

If a person has cirrhosis symptoms, the doctor may check their liver enzyme levels.

A blood test can show elevated liver enzymes. The blood test checks for raised levels of AST and ALT, which are enzymes that the liver releases when it becomes inflamed or damaged.

If a doctor finds that a person has raised AST or ALT levels, they are likely to carry out further tests to determine the underlying cause.

Different ratios of AST to ALT may indicate various underlying causes.

The treatment for elevated liver enzymes will focus on managing the underlying condition causing the increased levels.

The treatments for some common causes of raised AST or ALT levels include:

Fatty liver disease

People can work with their doctor to treat NAFLD with weight loss. The doctor may advise a person to make lifestyle changes to lose weight, such as:

  • exercising more
  • eating a healthful, balanced diet
  • trying to burn more calories than they consume

Speaking with a nutritionist or even a personal trainer can help someone stay on track with their weight loss plan.

If a person has fatty liver disease due to alcohol consumption, the doctor will support them in reducing their alcohol intake.

Metabolic syndrome

Treatments for metabolic syndrome include:

  • losing weight
  • exercising more
  • eating a healthful, balanced diet
  • managing blood sugar levels
  • reducing stress levels

Lifestyle changes that may help a person manage stress include:

  • exercise
  • meditation
  • mindfulness
  • journaling
  • reducing commitments


Treatments for hepatitis depend on whether it is acute or long term. A doctor may recommend the following treatments for acute hepatitis:

Treatment for long term hepatitis usually includes antiviral medication.

Alcohol or drug misuse disorder

Treatments for alcohol or drug use disorder include:

Anyone who feels as though their alcohol or drug use is causing health problems or interfering with their everyday life should speak to their doctor.


Cirrhosis is permanent liver damage, so it is not always treatable. However, the underlying cause of liver damage is usually responsive to treatment. The conditions that we discussed above may all lead to cirrhosis.

Treatments such as a modified diet, weight loss, and reduced alcohol consumption can all reduce the risk of further liver damage. The prompt diagnosis and treatment of conditions that affect the liver can help prevent cirrhosis.

Amount of Alcohol

Taking one or two drinks a night is not likely to harm your immune system. Three or more drinks a night is a significantly different story. If an individual drinks enough alcohol to get impaired or drunk, it is also enough to cause weaknesses in the immune system. When you drink enough to get drunk, you are also producing an nutrition deficiency. This will weaken your immune system. Additionally, the consumption of alcohol impairs the function of B-lymphocytes, which produce antibodies in the blood. These antibodies ward off viruses and other diseases that may attack the body.

B12-Rich Foods

A 1996 study by South Korean endocrinology researchers underlined the importance of vitamin B12 to the maintenance of healthy ALP levels and activity. Their study, published in the December 1996 issue of Metabolism, concluded that optimal dietary intake of B12 increased ALP production and activity in human bone marrow stromal osteoprogenitor cells and osteoblastic cells.

The Linus Pauling Institute says that foods rich in B12 include clams, mussels, crab, salmon, rockfish, beef, chicken, turkey, eggs, skim milk and brie cheese.

Causes of Elevated B-12 Levels

High vitamin B12 levels are associated with many blood diseases, including various types of leukemia and related blood disorders. According to a September 2012 study in "PLoS One," people with high vitamin B12 had a 4- to 18-times higher risk of having a blood disease. Chronic myeloid leukemia is one such disease, in which the elevated vitamin B12 levels are thought to be due to release of excess B12 carrier proteins from the cancerous white blood cells. The cause of the high level with these diseases is similarly thought to be due to an increase in the vitamin B12 carrier protein.

  • High vitamin B12 levels are associated with many blood diseases, including various types of leukemia and related blood disorders.
  • Chronic myeloid leukemia is one such disease, in which the elevated vitamin B12 levels are thought to be due to release of excess B12 carrier proteins from the cancerous white blood cells.

Alcohol of any type, including beer, enhances iron absorption. While not all heavy drinkers develop iron overload, between 20 and 30 percent absorb twice as much iron as normal, the Iron Disorders Institute explains. A University of Washington Medical Center study published in the May 2004 issue of "Gastroenterology" found that iron overload increased significantly in people who drank more than two alcoholic drinks per day compared to nondrinkers. Drinking fewer than two drinks per day decreased the risk of iron-deficiency anemia by 40 percent. Alcoholics often develop zinc deficiency zinc helps regulate the amount of iron your body absorbs.

Both iron overload and heavy drinking can lead to liver damage. Your body stores excess iron in tissues such as the liver, heart and pancreas. Over time, damage to the liver cells leads to scarring in the liver, called cirrhosis. You may develop liver failure if a large portion of the liver becomes cirrhotic and can no longer function properly. Scarred liver cells do not regenerate the only treatment for a cirrhotic liver is liver transplant.