A protein molecule called hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues and organs. Haemoglobin is an essential part of red blood cells, and its deficiency can lead to anemia. Numerous conditions, such as chronic illnesses, nutritional deficiencies, or blood loss, can result in anemia. A human being cannot survive without hemoglobin and the body cannot effectively transfer oxygen from the lungs to tissues and cells if hemoglobin levels are insufficient.
Hemoglobin levels in human blood can vary slightly depending on age, gender, and other factors. The normal range for haemoglobin levels in adults is 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter (g/dL) of blood for men and 12.0 to 15.5 g/dL of blood for women. The normal range in children varies depending on age.
Dehydration, smoking, living at high altitudes, or having a medical condition that affects the production of red blood cells are all potential causes of high haemoglobin levels, also known as polycythemia. Fatigue, headaches, dizziness, and shortness of breath are some of the possible symptoms associated with having high haemoglobin levels.
A slightly low hemoglobin level isn’t necessarily a concern — some people have naturally low hemoglobin counts without any underlying cause. However, significantly low hemoglobin levels can lead to serious health issues, including heart problems and death.
Some of the common symptoms of low hemoglobin levels include:
Fatigue and weakness
Shortness of breath
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Cold hands and feet
If your hemoglobin level is below the normal range, you are said to have a low hemoglobin level. A hemoglobin level that is only marginally below normal is probably nothing to worry about. An extremely low hemoglobin count, which almost always results in a condition known as anemia, can, on the other hand, have a negative impact on a person’s overall health. There could be a number of factors contributing to your low hemoglobin levels. The following are some of the more prevalent causes of low hemoglobin:
Poor diet – Your diet does not provide you with sufficient amounts of necessary nutrients like iron, folate, and a number of different B vitamins. Iron deficiency anemia can develop if your diet does not contain sufficient amounts of iron.
Blood loss – Low hemoglobin can result from significant blood loss from trauma or illness. Women who experience heavy menstrual bleeding may also have low hemoglobin levels.
Major physiological changes – Your body has recently gone through significant changes, such as pregnancy or a growth spurt, which is common in children and teenagers.
Intestinal bleeding – Your GI tract may bleed if you use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) excessively, such as ibuprofen.
Abnormal hemoglobin structure – People who have hemoglobin disorders such as sickle cell disease or thalassemia have abnormally shaped red blood cells and a lower red blood cell count than healthy people. This leads to low levels of hemoglobin, which is caused by the destruction of a large number of defective red blood cells that are not adequately replaced.
Iron Deficiency – This might be brought on by a diet lacking in iron or a problem with iron absorption.
Chronic Illness – The risk of having low hemoglobin levels increases with the presence of certain chronic illnesses, such as cancer or kidney disease.
Medications – Certain medications, such as anticoagulants or certain chemotherapy drugs, have the potential to reduce the amount of hemoglobin in the blood.
Any of the above symptoms of low hemoglobin should prompt a trip to the doctor. It is important to get a professional diagnosis of anemia because it may be a symptom of something more serious.A blood test to determine your hemoglobin levels is probably going to be ordered by your physician. In the event that your hemoglobin levels are low, they may order additional tests to determine the root of the problem. Your physician will develop a treatment strategy for your anemia once the underlying cause has been identified.
The good news is that there are efficient treatments for low hemoglobin levels. What’s triggering the low levels will determine the most effective treatment. By identifying and treating the causes, a doctor can bring hemoglobin levels back to normal. Depending on the cause, there are a variety of ways to increase hemoglobin levels, including changing one’s diet, undergoing surgery, or receiving a blood transfusion. Consult with a doctor before taking any action based on the information shared above.