Hemoglobin levels: Levels, imbalances, symptoms, and risk factors

Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein in red lineage cells. oxygen entering the lungs attaches to the hemoglobin in the rake, which carries it to the tissues in the body. When person has insufficient bolshevik blood cells or the ones they have do not work properly, the body is left short-circuit of the oxygen it needs to officiate. This condition is called anemia. here, we will look at the function of hemoglobin, and how levels of it in the blood are tested. We besides examine the chief kinds of anemia in more detail and explore ways to prevent the condition.

What is hemoglobin?

blood cells share on PinterestHemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body. Each hemoglobin protein can carry four molecules of oxygen, which are delivered throughout the body by red rake cells. Every one of the body ’ second billions of cells needs oxygen to repair and maintain itself. Hemoglobin besides plays a character in helping red lineage cells obtain their disc-like form, which helps them move easily through rake vessels. How are hemoglobin levels tested? Hemoglobin levels are measured by a rake test. Hemoglobin, or Hb, is normally expressed in grams per deciliter ( g/dL ) of blood. A low degree of hemoglobin in the blood relates directly to a gloomy level of oxygen. In the United States, anemia is diagnosed if a blood screen finds less than 13.5 g/dL in a man or less than 12 g/dL in a womanhood. In children, convention levels vary according to age .

High hemoglobin levels

high hemoglobin levels could be indicative of the rare blood disease, polycythemia. It causes the body to make excessively many red blood cells, causing the blood to be thicker than common. This can lead to clots, heart attacks, and strokes. It is a serious lifelong condition that can be fateful if it is not treated. high hemoglobin can besides be caused by dehydration, smoke, or living at high altitudes, or it can be linked to other conditions, such as lung or heart disease.

Low hemoglobin levels

Low hemoglobin levels normally indicate that a person has anemia. There are respective kinds of anemia :

  • Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common type. This form of anemia occurs when a person does not have enough iron in their body, and it cannot make the hemoglobin it needs. Anemia is usually caused by blood loss, but can also be due to poor absorption of iron. This can happen, for example, when someone has had gastric bypass surgery.
  • Pregnancy-related anemia is a kind of iron-deficiency anemia, which occurs because pregnancy and childbirth require a significant amount of iron.
  • Vitamin-deficiency anemia happens when there are low levels of nutrients, such as vitamin B12 or folic acid (also called folate), in the diet. These anemias change the shape of the red blood cells, which makes them less effective.
  • Aplastic anemia is a disorder where blood-forming stem cells in the bone marrow are attacked by the immune system, resulting in fewer red blood cells.
  • Hemolytic anemia can be the result of another condition, or it can be inherited. It occurs when the red blood cells are broken up in the bloodstream or the spleen.
  • Sickle cell anemia is an inherited condition where the hemoglobin protein is abnormal. It means the red blood cells are sickle-shaped and rigid which stops them flowing through small blood vessels.

anemia can besides be caused by early conditions, such as kidney disease and chemotherapy for cancer, which can besides affect the body ’ s ability to make loss blood cells. Newborns have a impermanent anemia when they are 6-8 weeks old. This occurs when they run out of the crimson lineage cells they are born with but their bodies have not made new red blood cells. This condition will not affect the baby adversely unless they are nauseated for some other reason. Babies can besides have anemia from breaking down cells excessively cursorily, which results in yellowing bark, a discipline known as jaundice. This frequently occurs if the mother and baby have incompatible blood types .


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A shortness of breath, irregular heartbeat, and chest pain may be symptoms of low hemoglobin. distinctive symptoms of low hemoglobin include :

  • weakness
  • shortness of breath
  • dizziness
  • fast, irregular heartbeat
  • pounding in the ears
  • headache
  • cold hands and feet
  • pale or yellow skin
  • chest pain

Risk factors

Older people or people who lack iron in their diets can be at risk of developing anemia. People who do vigorous use are besides at greater gamble, as effort can lead to a breakdown of crimson blood cells in the bloodstream. Women who are menstruating or fraught may besides be at increase risk of developing anemia. People who have chronic health conditions, including autoimmune conditions, liver disease, thyroid disease and inflammatory intestine disease, may have lower hemoglobin levels, which increases the chances of developing anemia. Hemoglobin levels increase in situations where a person needs more oxygen in their body. consequently, person who has lung or kidney disease, who smokes, or is dehydrated, may be at risk of increased hemoglobin levels.


share on PinterestEating iron-rich foods may help to prevent anemia. While many types of anemia can not be prevented, eating iron-rich foods, such as beef, black k leafy vegetables, dried fruits, and nuts can prevent anemias caused by iron or vitamin deficiencies. kernel and dairy are good sources of vitamin B12, and folic acerb is found in citrus juices, legumes, and fortified cereals. The american Society of Hematology recommend taking a daily multivitamin to help prevent nutritional anemias. Older adults, however, should not take iron supplements for iron-deficiency anemia unless instructed to do so by their sophisticate. Smoking cessation and drink enough of water can help avoid high hemoglobin levels.


Anemia treatment varies, depending on the campaign of the condition. Changes in diet or dietary supplements can help people who have iron or vitamin lack anemias. If the anemia is caused by another circumstance, treating the implicit in disease will often alleviate the problem. Medications and blood transfusions are among the treatment options for aplastic anemia, and antibiotics may be used in the case of hemolytic anemia. Polycythemia is a lifelong condition that has no cure but can be managed with medicine.

Sickle cell disease is a life-limiting condition. The merely cure available is a hematopoietic root cell transfer. Treatments are available, however, that reduce symptoms and enhance a person ’ s quality of life. Read the article in spanish .

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