Red blood cells store heamoglobin and maintain its count. Haemoglobin is a very important element of the human body. It also has various functions.
Haemoglobin has an important function, that is, it carries oxygen. Oxygen is carried from the lungs to the tissues and in the same way carbon dioxide is carried back from the tissues to the lungs.
Haemoglobin is a very important element in the process of respiration. We can break the name of haemoglobin into two- heme(iron) and globin.
Due to some medical conditions, a person’s hemoglobin levels might be lower than normal. Low hemoglobin levels have a lot of risks and can lead to a lot of medical problems.
1. What are Haemoglobin Levels?
Since haemoglobin helps in the transport of oxygen as well as carbon dioxide, it is important to maintain adequate levels of oxygen in the human body.
1.1. Normal Haemoglobin Levels: –
The normal hemoglobin levels differ in each gender. The normal hemoglobin levels for men are 14 to 18 g/dl and that of a female is 12 to 16 g/dl.
The hemoglobin levels in a human body can both be less than normal and more than normal.
When there is a deficiency of haemoglobin then it is a case of anaemia and when the haemoglobin levels are more than the normal level then it is known as erythrocytosis (a condition of more than normal red blood cells).
Since hemoglobin is found in red blood cells, it is also important to know what they are.
1.2. What are Red Blood Cells: –
Red blood cells are an important unit of the blood. The bone marrow is the production house of the red blood cells. They are round-shaped and somewhat flattened.
Haemoglobin which manages the transport of oxygen and carbon dioxide is stored in the protein of the red blood cells. So in simple terms, Blood cells that help in the transportation of oxygen are called the red blood cells.
Red blood cell production is an important function of bone marrow. When there is less haemoglobin in the red blood cells then it is called iron deficiency anaemia.
There are various reasons for normal hemoglobin levels to go down or go up.
It is also important to know the reasons for low or high levels so that you can take action or consult a doctor accordingly.
1.3. What are the reasons for Low Hemoglobin Levels?
Low hemoglobin levels might be the result of various reasons. If you have only a slightly lower hemoglobin level, then it is fine and there is no need to worry.
Only eating a lot of healthy fruits like pomegranates and apples would be helpful.
However, there are also cases when the level of haemoglobin is very low and it causes a lot of medical problems for a person.
This can happen with a person who has less number of red blood cells in his or her body. If a person is suffering from any chronic diseases then he or she might have lower haemoglobin levels.
Some reasons for having low hemoglobin levels are mentioned below: –
- Someone might have less haemoglobin because of a condition known as aplastic anaemia. In this condition, the human body produces fewer red blood cells and that is why there is lesser haemoglobin in the blood.
- If anyone has a chronic kidney disease then they will have lower levels of hemoglobin in their blood.
- Another reason for low hemoglobin is Leukemia. Leukaemia is a type of blood cancer in which there is an abnormal growth of blood cells. Its cause is not known.
- Inflammatory bowel syndrome might also be the reason for low hemoglobin levels in the blood.
- Some other diseases or disorders that cause lower levels of hemoglobin are vitamin deficiency anaemia, rheumatoid arthritis, lead poisoning or drug toxicity and many other reasons.
- Apart from these, there is also a condition when the body produces fewer new red blood cells than it destroys. This also results in lower levels of hemoglobin.
- An enlarged spleen is also one of the causes of having lower levels of haemoglobin. Many types of conditions can cause an enlarged spleen like cancer or even various infections.
- Sometimes people have lower levels of hemoglobin because they might have a disorder called sickle cell anaemia.
- This disorder causes an alteration in the shapes of the red blood cells. This is because they can not perform their functions properly.
- Red blood cells are round shaped and hence they flow easily through the arteries but after sickle cell disease, their shape is altered which makes their movement difficult and hence somewhat slows down the blood flow.
- According to popular opinion, this disorder is not curable but medicines can help with reducing the pain.
- Porphyria is also a cause of lower levels of hemoglobin.
1.4. How To Know What are Haemoglobin Levels?
If you feel that there is a need to know your haemoglobin levels then you need to get your blood tested.
You will have to submit your blood samples to a clinic.
The doctor or any other member of the health care team will take out some of your blood with only a prick. They might use a needle to take out some blood. This process is very easy and painless.
These laboratory tests are also not very expensive as well. Usually, a hemoglobin test would be advised by any doctor but you can also get it tested without the prescription of any doctor as well.
This hemoglobin test measures the amount of hemoglobin in the human blood. The normal level fo haemoglobin depends on the person’s age and gender. The test is conducted as a part of a complete blood count as well.
If you have low hemoglobin levels, then it might be due to iron deficiency or due to a lack of vitamin B-12. Any kidney disease or any problem in liver might also be the reason for this.
That is why, apart from knowing what are haemoglobin levels it is also important to know what might be the possible reasons for its lower or higher levels.
If you have high hemoglobin, then it might be due to lung disease, dehydration or excessive smoking.
Some of the symptoms are:- fatigue, weakness, pale-looking skin, shortness of breath, body pain and dizziness. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then you must visit a doctor and get your complete blood count done if you are advised to do so.
You need to know how to deal with abnormal hemoglobin levels and how to maintain healthy red blood cells.
1.6. Ways to Maintain Healthy Amount of Haemoglobin Levels?
There are various ways to maintain the normal ranges of haemoglobin. You can increase haemoglobin levels with the help of food and medicines as well as using other ways.
Firstly, if you want to increase the number of haemoglobin levels then you have to eat a lot of iron-rich food. Some of the best iron-rich foods are:- meat, fish, eggs, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, soy products and seeds.
Some fruits are also a very good source of iron. Some iron-rich foods are strawberries, watermelons, prunes, dates, apricots and figs. Sometimes heamoglobin levels go down due to blood loss or some other medical conditions.
However, if you eat the right fruits and other food items then you can maintain enough red blood cells in your body.
You can easily increase your hemoglobin levels using alternatives. For instance, you can also take some supplements or medicines.
It is good to seek the advice of a good doctor before starting the consumption of any iron supplements.
To have a healthy body and mind, it is very important to pay attention to the needs and requirements of your body.
For having healthy blood pressure, well-functioning lungs, and good heart functioning it is very important to know what are haemoglobin levels in your body.
And if you feel that there is any risk involved then visit a doctor as soon as possible. According to the situation, the doctor will prescribe you certain diagnostic procedures.
In the end, there is no need to worry about it because in most cases it is possible to cure it completely.