Hemoglobin is a protein located in red blood cells that has an essential function in our body. In addition to giving our blood its intense red tone, it is responsible for transporting oxygen from our lungs to the rest of the body, keeping each organ adequately oxygenated. Having an optimal level of this protein is very important to guarantee our health and energy since its low levels lead to anemia and compromise our daily performance.
If you have discovered that it is below the average level at FastlyHealwe, explain the causes, symptoms, and low hemoglobin treatment.
Normal levels of hemoglobin in the blood
The hemoglobin status is detected by a routine blood test, which the doctor can request to evaluate the patient’s general condition or determine the presence of a specific pathology.
The average levels of hemoglobin , which may vary slightly between laboratories, are:
- Men 13.8 to 17.2 g / dL
- Women 12.1 to 15.1 g / dL
- Children 11-13 g / dL
- Newborns 14 to 24 g / dL
- Babies 9.5 to 13 g / dL
Symptoms of low hemoglobin
When the decrease in hemoglobin is slight, no symptoms may be present; at various stages of life, such as pregnancy, a slight reduction in this protein may occur without compromising health or quality of life.
However, sure signs will appear if it falls well below average values. The symptoms of low hemoglobin are usually:
- Fatigue and tiredness with no apparent cause
- Pale skin
- Increased sensitivity to cold
- Difficult to focus
Causes of low hemoglobin
The causes of low hemoglobin are usually grouped into three types: those that occur due to some disease or condition that causes our body to produce fewer red blood cells, diseases that destroy red blood cells and thus affect the hemoglobin count or loss of blood in large amounts due to an accident, injury or surgery.
Diseases that affect the production of red blood cells
Conditions that can cause low hemoglobin in this group include:
- Iron deficiency anemia: occurs when our body does not receive the amount of iron it needs. The problem is easily corrected by improving the diet and adding some nutritional supplements if necessary.
- Low level of vitamin B6, B12, or folic acid: again, this condition is solved by making the nutritional adjustments indicated in each case.
- Use of certain medications: Medications used to treat conditions such as cancer or HIV can affect the red blood cell count and decrease hemoglobin.
- Aplastic anemia occurs when the bone marrow cannot produce red blood cells due to a deficiency or cell failure.
- Leukemia: is a blood cancer that develops due to excessive production of white blood cells by the bone marrow, which prevents the formation of new red blood cells, also decreasing hemoglobin and causing a reduction in platelets and anemia.
- Hepatic cirrhosis.
- Bone marrow disorders: myelomas, myelodysplastic syndromes, lymphomas, among others.
- Chronic diseases: rheumatoid arthritis, kidney disease, or hypothyroidism can also lead to this condition.
Diseases that destroy red blood cells
In this group, we find various pathologies that cause red blood cells to be destroyed, directly interfering with hemoglobin levels and reducing them.
- Sickle cell anemia.
- Thalassemia .
- Enlarged spleen.
- Vasculitis or inflammation of the blood vessels.
As for the significant blood losses, they can be caused by frequent blood donations, abundant periods, bleeding caused by an ulcer, hemorrhoids, cancer, or bleeding caused by a significant wound.
Treatment for low hemoglobin
If, after some blood tests, we find that our hemoglobin is low, it will be essential to inform our GP as soon as possible or go to a consultation with a hematologist to determine the origin of the condition. In many cases, it is necessary to carry out other complementary tests to discover the cause of the decrease in red blood cells.
The treatment will strictly depend on the cause that produces this deficit. Therefore the opinion of an expert is a priority in these cases.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Low Hemoglobin: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment , we recommend that you enter our Blood, Heart and Circulation category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.