What is Hemoglobin?
Hemoglobin abbreviated Hb or Hgb. It plays a vital role. About 70 percent of your body’s iron is found in the red blood cells of your blood called hemoglobin and in muscle cells called myoglobin. It is an iron-rich protein in red blood cells. It is the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs. In a nutshell Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. It gives blood its red color, and its job is to carry oxygen throughout your body. Iron plays an important role in hemoglobin production. A protein called transferrin binds to iron and transports it throughout the body. This helps your body make red blood cells, which contain hemoglobin. The first step toward raising your hemoglobin level on your own is to start eating more iron.
Main Symptoms of low Hemoglobin are:
- fast, irregular heartbeat
- shortness of breath
- pounding in the ears
- cold hands and feet
- pale or yellow skin
- chest pain
How do you measure Hemoglobin levels?
It is routinely measured as part of a routine blood test termed blood count (CBC). A complete blood count is one of the most common tests doctors order for a patient. It is done on automated machines that use a blood sample that is chemically treated to release hemoglobin from red blood cells.
What are normal Hemoglobin values for males and females?
The hemoglobin level is expressed as the amount of hemoglobin in grams (gm) per deciliter (dL) of whole blood, a deciliter being 100 milliliters.
The normal ranges for hemoglobin depend on the age and, beginning in adolescence, the gender of the person. The normal ranges are:
- Newborns: 17 to 22 gm/dL
- Children: 11 to 13 gm/dL
- Adult males: 14 to 18 gm/dL
- Adult women: 12 to 16 gm/dL
- Men after middle age: 12.4 to 14.9 gm/dL
- Women after middle age: 11.7 to 13.8 gm/dL
Pregnant females are advised to avoid both high and low hemoglobin levels to avoid increased risks of stillbirths (high hemoglobin – above the normal range) and premature birth or low-birth-weight baby (low hemoglobin – below the normal range).
What are the main signs and symptoms of low Hemoglobin?
As your hemoglobin level gets lower you may have one or more of these symptoms:
- Chest pain.
- Fast heartbeat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Trouble breathing when doing things like walking, climbing stairs, and talking.
- Tiredness (fatigue)
- Swelling in the hands and feet.
- Pale skin, nail beds, mouth, and gums.
What are the symptoms of high Hemoglobin?
High Hgb is known as polycythemia. This means you have too many red blood cells. Common symptoms of high Hgb levels include:
- painful joint swelling
- getting easily bruised or bleeding
- abnormal weight loss
- feeling exhausted
- a yellow tint to the eyes and skin (jaundice)
- a purple or reddish tint to the skin
How to increase Hemoglobin?
A person can raise their hemoglobin levels at home by:
1. Increasing iron intake naturally
Hemoglobin is an important component of red blood cells.
A person with reduced levels of hemoglobin may benefit from eating more iron-rich foods. Ironworks to boost the production of hemoglobin, which also helps to form more red blood cells.
Iron-rich foods include:
- meat and fish
- dried fruits, such as dates and figs
- soy products, including tofu and edamame
- green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach
- green beans
- nuts and seeds
- peanut butter
2. Increasing folate intake
Eating a variety of healthy foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds, as well as fortified foods, is an easy way to increase your folate intake. These foods are not only rich in folate but also high in other key nutrients that can improve other aspects of your health.
Good sources of folate include:
- kidney beans
- black-eyed peas
You can purchase online Folate supplements.
3. Maximizing iron absorption
Consuming iron in foods or supplements is important, but a person should also help their body to absorb that iron.
Foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, and leafy green vegetables, can boost the amount of iron absorbed. Taking a vitamin C supplement may also help.
Foods rich in vitamin A include:
- kale and collards
- sweet potatoes
Foods high in beta-carotene include yellow, red, and orange fruits and vegetables, such as:
- sweet potatoes
While vitamin A supplements can help the body to process iron. But Too much vitamin C or zinc could cause nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. Too much selenium could lead to hair loss, gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, and mild nerve damage.
4. Taking iron supplements
A doctor may advise a person with extremely low levels of hemoglobin to take iron supplements. The dosage will depend on a person’s levels
In most cases, the best time to take iron supplements is about one hour before or two hours after meals. Iron supplements are best taken with water on an empty stomach. There is a long list of foods, such as coffee, tea or milk, which interfere with the absorption of ferrous iron.
What are the side effects of iron supplements?
- dark stools
- stomach pain
- nausea, and.
It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks of taking regular iron supplements before your symptoms start to improve. You may need to keep taking iron for several months to build up your iron reserves and keep your anemia from returning. Take your pills for as long as your doctor recommends, even if your symptoms have improved.