Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells. These cells are responsible for carrying oxygen around the body. In addition to delivering oxygen, hemoglobin also carries carbon dioxide out of the cells and into the lungs. Then release carbon dioxide as the person exhales. Low hemoglobin makes it difficult for the body to perform these functions.
A person can increase hemoglobin levels at home by following some simple steps. Here is how to increase your haemoglobin level.
Increase iron intake
Hemoglobin is an important component of red blood cells. People with reduced hemoglobin levels may benefit from eating more iron-rich foods. Iron can promote the production of hemoglobin, which also helps to form more red blood cells.
Iron-rich foods include meat and fish, eggs, dried fruits (such as dates and figs), broccoli, leafy vegetables (such as kale and spinach), green beans, nuts and seeds, and peanut butter.
Increase folic acid intake
Folic acid is a type of vitamin B, which plays an important role in the production of hemoglobin. The body uses folic acid to produce heme, a component of hemoglobin that helps carry oxygen. If a person does not get enough folate, their red blood cells will not mature, which may lead to folate deficiency anemia and low hemoglobin levels.
Some of the prime sources of folic acid include spinach, rice, peanuts, black eyed peas, kidney beans, avocados, and lettuce.
Maximize iron absorption
Intake of iron in food or supplements is important, but a person should also help their body absorb iron. Foods rich in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, strawberries, and green leafy vegetables, can increase iron absorption. Taking vitamin C supplements can also help with this.
Vitamin A and β-carotene can help the body absorb and use iron. Although vitamin A supplements can help the body process iron, vitamin A can be dangerous if you consume too much of it.
Huge amount of vitamin A intake may cause a condition called hypervitamin A. This can cause symptoms such as bone and joint pain, severe headaches, and increased pressure in the brain.
Take iron supplements
A doctor may recommend iron supplements for people with very low hemoglobin levels. The dosage will depend on a person’s level. Please note that too much iron can be dangerous. It may cause hemochromatosis, which can lead to liver disease and side effects such as constipation, nausea and vomiting. Supplements can cause iron levels to gradually increase over a few weeks. The doctor may recommend taking supplements for several months to increase the body’s iron reserves.
Besides, pregnancy may lead to low hemoglobin levels. The doctor will check whether hemoglobin is low through a blood test. Low hemoglobin is diagnosed when the hemoglobin in the blood of men is below 13.5 grams per deciliter (g/dL) or when women are below 12 g/dL.
A person’s hemoglobin level may decrease for many reasons, including iron deficiency anemia, pregnancy, liver or kidney problems, and chronic diseases. It is possible to naturally reduce hemoglobin levels without the underlying cause. Some people may even have low hemoglobin without any symptoms or indications.
Under the guidance of a doctor, a person can raise the hemoglobin level to within the normal range. The normal range is 13.5 to 17.5 g/dL for men and 12 to 15.5 g/dL for women.
The level of hemoglobin suitable for children varies with age. Anyone who is concerned about a child’s hemoglobin level should consult a doctor.
If taking supplements and changing diet do not show sufficient effects, people with very low hemoglobin levels may need additional treatment.
Symptoms of very low hemoglobin levels include:
Fast or irregular heartbeat, pale skin and gums, fatigue, muscle weakness, frequent or unexplainable bruising, recurring headaches.