Hemoglobin is a very important part of our blood cells. It is an iron bearing protein molecule containing within red blood cells. The main function of hemoglobin is to combine and transport oxygen from the lungs following inhalation, and then deliver it to all body tissues, where it is required to provide energy for the chemical reactions of all living cells. Carbon dioxide (produced as the waste product of these reactions) is transported to the lungs in the blood and is then released when we exhale.
Normal Hemoglobin Range in woman :
1) Normal Range of Hemoglobin in Adult males : 14 to 18 gm/dl (per deciliter)
2) Normal Range of Hemoglobin in Adult females : 12 to 15 gm/dl (per deciliter)
3) Normal Range of Hemoglobin in Middle-aged men : 12.5 to 15 gm/dl (per deciliter)
4) Normal Range of Hemoglobin in Middle-aged women : 11.5 to 14 gm/dl (per deciliter)
5) Normal Range of Hemoglobin in Pregnant women : 11 to 12 gm/dl (per deciliter)
6) Normal Range of Hemoglobin in Children : 11 to 16 gm/dl (per deciliter)
6) Normal Range of Hemoglobin in One-month-old baby : 11 to 15 gm/dl (per deciliter)
Problems due to low Hemoglobin :
When hemoglobin is low, it means that your body doesn't have the ability to carry oxygen as efficiently as it should. There are many symptoms that can alert you to low hemoglobin. For example now a day a common factor affecting today's girls is the problem of dark circles below the eyes, the patchy type of skin, one of the main
reason behind this is the low hemoglobin level.
1) General Symptoms : Feeling of tiredness, Headache, Dizziness, Fatigue, Lack of concentration, Rapid/irregular heartbeat, Pale nail beds, skin, and gums etc.
2) Rare symptoms : Swelling in arms and legs, Persistent heartburn, Excessive perspiration, Vomiting, Bloody stool etc.
3) Symptoms in Children : Poor neurological development, Disturbed behavior, Low levels of concentration, Paleness, Rapid heartbeat etc.
Low hemoglobin is the main cause of anemia. Lower than normal number of red blood cells is referred to as anemia and hemoglobin level reflects this number. When the hemoglobin level is slightly below normal, it is possible that the symptoms remain unnoticed. Low hemoglobin indicates low levels of oxygen in blood, which often causes shortness of breath. In order to compensate for the deficiency of oxygen in the blood, the body tries to enhance the output of the heart. This gives rise to symptoms like palpitations and chest pain. Low hemoglobin levels may also aggravate extant heart problems.
Causes of low Hemoglobin :
A low hemoglobin count can be associated with many diseases and conditions that cause your body to have too few red blood cells. This can occur if your body produces fewer red blood cells than usual. Here are few causes of low Hemoglobin :
1) Iron deficiency is the main cause of this condition. Reason being, iron is responsible for the production of hemoglobin.
2) A lack of iron-rich food in the diet can lead to low hemoglobin levels.
3) When the body is incapable of absorbing certain vitamins, production of hemoglobin also gets affected.
4) In some instances, specific types of genetic disorders such as thalassemia and sickle-cell disease are responsible for this condition.
5) It is also found in people who have a medical history of alcoholism.
6) Diseases and conditions that cause your body to produce fewer red blood cells than normal include : Aplastic anemia, Cancer, loss of blood (traumatic injury, surgery, bleeding, colon cancer or stomach ulcer), nutritional deficiency (iron, vitamin B12, folate), bone marrow problems (replacement of bone marrow by cancer), suppression by chemotherapy drugs, kidney failure, and abnormal hemoglobin structure (sickle cell anemia or thalassemia).
How to Increase Hemoglobin Levels :
There are several ways to increase your hemoglobin, including natural remedies such as vegetables, certain vitamins and herbs. Here is a list of the things that are excellent remedies for increasing hemoglobin counts as well as the things you should avoid.
1) Fruits and vegetables : Foods like whole eggs, green leafy vegetables, liver, beans, lentils, oysters and clams are rich in iron. You can also get fortified breakfast of cereals. These cereals are rich in artificially enhanced iron. Non vegetarian sources of iron are usually considered better than vegetarian sources, because the bioavailability of iron is more in the Non Vegetarian. Look for fruits of all kinds and vegetables that are bursting with leafy green color. Cabbage, peas, beans, lettuce, broccoli and tomatoes are good places to start. You can opt for all kinds of fruits, such as grapefruit, oranges, bananas, raspberries, kiwi and mango.
2) Vitamins : Vitamins helps your body absorb iron, which is essential to hemoglobin production. Vitamins B6, B9, B12 and C will help in improvement of hemoglobin levels. They help in the optimal absorption of iron in the body, Beet Root Juice to Increase hemoglobin which is a major component of the hemoglobin protein. Green leafy vegetables, eggs and citrus fruits are high in vitamins and minerals.
3) Other foods : The staples of a healthy diet can keep your hemoglobin high. Nuts of all kinds, fish and lean meats, poultry, eggs, organ meats, and even fortified cereals can help.
4) Herbs : Certain herbs can increase your hemoglobin content by helping your body in absorbing iron better. Withania, for instance, is an Ayurvedic herb, Using the dried powder of this herb can significantly increase hemoglobin content in the body. There are many herbs that up your hemoglobin counts, including fenugreek seeds, rosemary, basil, thyme, sage, nettle leaf and yellow dock root, among others.
6) Folic Acid-rich Foods : Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that are essential in producing red blood cells. Folic acid is found in sprouts, seeds, peanuts, broccoli, wheat germ, and other nuts. Be sure to add more folic acid to your diet if you are taking a lot of Vitamin C since Vitamin C causes your body to excrete folic acid.
7) Whole Grains : Many whole grains in the form of breads, cereals and pastas are enriched with iron. These iron-enriched foods can provide a good source of iron to increase your hemoglobin. Be sure to read the label to know how much iron is in your food.
Avoid certain foods :
Adding of some foods into your diet will increase your hemoglobin content, at the same time you will have to eliminate certain foods from diet. High caffeine contenting food can be detrimental to your body and restrain from iron absorption. Foods containing high gluten content may also cause low absorption of iron, so consuming refined flours and products made from of it be avoided. Reduce or Moderate consumption of Alcohol, as that can have a detrimental effect on the blood hemoglobin levels. If your level of hemoglobin is Low, then you also have to decrease intek of dairy products till your hemoglobin levels become normal.
Iron blockers : Anything that blocks iron absorption is bad. Avoid things like coffee, foods with high levels of calcium, very high levels of fiber, tea, and some antacids and medications.
Foods with oxalic acid : This can prevent absorption, and should be avoided. Spinach is the biggest culprit among foods with oxalic acid.
Foods with gluten : Wheat products, such as breads or pasta, can cause trouble for those who have gluten allergies. But they can also lead to problems with iron, and that can lead to low hemoglobin. Reduce your intake of foods that contain gluten.
Only your doctor can determine if you have low hemoglobin counts. If you are showing signs of low hemoglobin, such as feeling very tired, a faster than usual heartbeat during activity, lack of energy or pale skin and gums, it's time to see a doctor.
Disclaimer*: This article is only for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.