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What Makes a Healthy Diver?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Deeper Blue Hypoxyphiliac
Oct 24, 2002
G'Day all - this afternoon I had the "pleasure" of renewing my flight medical. I asked the doc a few questions about some of the results, and it got me thinking... medically, what makes a good diver?

My FRC in terms of lung volume was measured as 6.4L (which I understand correlates to around 8L lung volume?) and my Hb was at 169 g/L (which was higher than a mates who is an endurance runner). These numbers were rated as 'good' by the doctor, but do they bear any significance to practical diving?

One other thing that was noted was that my blood pressure was pretty high - is this good or bad? On one hand, a low blood pressure would seem to not pump so much blood around, increasing breathhold, but a high blood pressure would stop you from BO?

I appreciate any input at all - many thanks in advance :)
"the "pleasure" of renewing my flight medical."

Ah, one of the things I forgot about. One flight medical per year for the first five, then every six months for the next fifty checks and three medicals in each of the last fifteen years.

I tried some e-mails to you but they bounced. Wal assurred me that it happens often.

Back to diving. There are so many variations in the top divers that it is hard to know what will work best. I'll trade a few points on blood pressure for the eight liter air capacity. The percentage of fast twitch muscle is probably far more important than either.
I had another thought on this today, and I'm not sure if my thinking is correct.

The way I understand it, at a simple level, blood is made up of plasma and blood cells. If you want to build up more plasma, you drink a lot of water. If you want to build up more blood cells, you take more iron.

Based on this logic, could a high haemoglobin level be attributed to dehydration? That is, if there isn't much plasma in the blood because you haven't been drinking, would that increase your haemoglobin percentage? And conversely (and more importantly) if you did drink a lot of water, would that increase your plasma levels, initially decreasing your Hb percentage, but allowing you to build that back up with iron supplements? Or would your body automatically build up your Hb levels to the same percentage after an increase in plasma?
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