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Seeing low hemoglobin (Hb or Hgb) levels during blood tests is common but not knowing the natural ways to improve hemoglobin is not common. A low Hb count isn't good for health as it is the protein in red blood cells that is responsible to carry oxygen all through the body. In such a wake, one should know how to increase the hemoglobin count to stay fit and healthy.
What Are Low Hemoglobin Levels?
Generally, a man is considered to have a low hemoglobin count if Hgb is lesser than 13.5 grams per deciliter (135 grams per liter) of blood and a woman is considered to have a low hemoglobin level if Hb is lesser than 12 grams per deciliter (120 grams per liter) of blood.
The definition in children differs from sex and age. The threshold slightly differs in each medical practice.
In the majority of the instances, a less hemoglobin count that is only marginally less than normal does not affect how one feels. Despite this, a small hemoglobin level that is harsher and leads to symptoms could indicate one has anemia.
Causes Of Low Hemoglobin
The lesser the RBC count is the lesser the hemoglobin count is. As such, both are interlinked. At times low hemoglobin can be the outcome of some conditions and diseases wherein the body makes less red blood cells than normal or it destroys red blood cells quickly than it can produce.
In some cases, blood loss can also lead to this condition.
Conditions and diseases that make the body produce lesser red blood cells than usual consist;
- Aplastic anemia
- Certain medicines like antiretroviral medications for HIV infection and chemotherapy medicines for cancer
- Chronic kidney disease
- Hodgkin's lymphoma (Hodgkin's disease)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Lead poisoning
- Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid)
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple myeloma
- Myelodysplastic syndromes
- Vitamin deficiency anemia
Conditions and diseases that make the body to destroy RBC quickly than it can make consist;
- Enlarged spleen (splenomegaly)
- Sickle cell anemia
- Blood loss which can lead to less hemoglobin can happen due to:
- Bleeding in the digestive tract due to cancers, ulcers, or hemorrhoids
- Recurrent blood donation
- Menorrhagia (heavy menstrual bleeding)
- Normal menstrual bleeding can also slightly cause less hemoglobin count
Symptoms Of Low Hemoglobin
Characteristic symptoms of low hemoglobin consist of;
- Breathing shortness
- Irregular, fast heartbeat
- Beating sensation in the ears
- Cold feet and hands
- Yellow or pale skin
- Chest ache
Natural Ways To Improve Hemoglobin
Although there are many medicines and tablets to increase hemoglobin it is always better to depend on natural ways to improve hemoglobin by trying ways such as;
- Taking iron-rich foods such as green leafy vegetables, dry fruits, nuts, meat, and fish
- Increase taking folate high foods like spinach, beef, kidney beans, and avocados.
- Maximize iron intake besides consuming vitamin C rich foods for the body to make it easier to absorb the goodness of the above-mentioned foods.
The above foods are the best if you are searching for how to increase hemoglobin with food as these foods have been backed by nutritionists.
Besides following the above food principles also ensure you make small lifestyle changes such as;
- Stopping smoking and moderate alcohol consumption
- Avoiding iron blockers such as coffee and tea
- Drinking water in copper vessels
- If you have hypothyroidism and diabetes ensure you keep them in normal ranges
- Taking iron supplements is also one best way
If you are in a hurry and want to know how to increase hemoglobin in a week follow the above food habits and lifestyle without fail for a week and you can easily see your hemoglobin levels increased. Despite following these if you notice that your levels aren't increasing the cause may be others such as birth with low hemoglobin and in such cases, medical support may be needed without fail.
When To See A Doctor?
A few instances of low hemoglobin cannot be resolved through lifestyle changes and diet alone and in such cases visiting a doctor may be essential.
Contact a GP if you notice the below symptoms;
- Pale gums and skin
- Muscle weakness and fatigue
- An irregular and fast heartbeat
- Recurrent headaches
- Unexplained and frequent bruising
To summarise a low hemoglobin level isn't a hazardous situation if one can manage it properly by knowing the natural ways to improve hemoglobin and relying on medical aid as and when needed.