The organic benefits of keeping good Hemoglobin levels

By Admin

Why Your Body Needs Hemoglobin

Your body needs fuel to run just like a car. Hemoglobin or Hb, is important because it transports the oxygen in your blood to all parts of your body. Think of the oxygen carried by hemoglobin as the fuel your body needs to stay alive and of course run efficiently.

Hemoglobin is a substance found in your red blood cells. Although other substances in your body, such as water and plasma, also carry oxygen, hemoglobin is unique because it can carry four times as much oxygen through the body as those other substances mentioned above.

Why Your Blood Is Red

Red blood cells are the color red because they contain hemoglobin, which is bright red in color.

How Hemoglobin Fuels Your Body

Because hemoglobin contains iron, it is an excellent vehicle for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide. When red blood cells fill the air sacks of your lungs, they take up oxygen. The hemoglobin in the red cells combines with the oxygen to form a compound called Oxyhemoglobin. When the red cells travel through the rest of your body, they give up the oxygen to the tissues. In the tissues of your body, hemoglobin takes up carbon dioxide and releases it into the air sacs of the lungs. The carbon dioxide is then exhaled and the process repeats over and over.

Do Not Take Hemoglobin For Granted!

Normally your body makes enough red cells for your blood to function properly. But some things can keep your body from making enough of them. If this happens to you, your Hb level may drop and as a result, your body will not get enough oxygen. A shortage of nutrients such as iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid can also lower your Hb counts.

Anemia & Hemoglobin

What is Anemia

Anemia results from a lack of enough Hemoglobin in a person’s blood. There are a number of different types of anemia. Some types will present only mild health problems, while other types of anemia can give a person major health problems.

Detecting Anemia

If you suspect that you may be experiencing the symptoms of anemia ask your doctor to check your blood work to determine whether you might be anemic or not. We explain more below about symptoms.

What Causes Anemia

Anemia develops from abnormally low levels of red blood cells or hemoglobin. A severely anemic person’s blood cannot carry enough oxygen to meet the needs of the body tissues. As a result, over time the person becomes tired physically and mentally. Some of the causes of anemia include:

  • Treatments for cancer, such as chemotherapy
  • Kidney Disease
  • HIV and some medicines used to treat it
  • Lack of vitamin B12 in your diet
  • Lack of folic acid in your diet
  • An inherited blood disorder, such as sickle cell anemia
  • Various conditions that cause red blood cells to break down too fast
  • Blood loss from an injury or surgery
  • Lack of iron in your diet

Symptoms of Anemia

Have you ever held your breath for longer than a minute? Do you remember how tired you were afterward? With anemia, you will feel tired all of the time. Even getting extra sleep will not make a severely anemic person feel better. If you are anemic you may also experience the following symptoms:

  • Extreme fatigue and weakness
  • Feeling tired
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Shortness of  breath
  • Difficulty thinking clearly
  • Headache
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Paleness of the skin

Know Your Hb Count

It is important for you to know your Hb count. The normal Hb count, or level, range is:

  • 14 g/dL to 18 g/dL for men
  • 12 g/dL to 16 g/dL for women (Hemoglobin is measured in grams (g) per deciliter (dL)

The average hemoglobin value for men is 16 g/dL and for women is 14 g/dL. However, keep in mind that the definition of “normal” varies from person to person.

Keep Track of Your Hb Count

We recommend that you ask your doctor for a blood test to check your Hb count. If you Hb count is lower than the normal range, ask your doctor about a treatment designed especially for you to raise your Hb count. If your Hb count is low, try to get into the habit of keeping track of it. Each time your Hb count is checked by your local laboratory, record it in a record book. It is a good practice to start keep track of all of your lab reports!

Take Charge of Your Health

Here are a few suggestions of other pro-active ways to keep your Hb count up and alleviate anemia:

  • Have your hemoglobin (Hb) checked regularly (monthly is okay)
  • Seek nutritional advice to include iron and vitamin-rich foods and supplements in your diet
  • Plan and limit activities to save energy and prevent muscle fatigue
  • Sleep more at night and take naps during the day if possible
  • Ask family members or friends to pitch in with things like child care, shopping, house cleaning or driving
  • Do not be afraid to ask your doctor any questions that you have about your disease and/or available treatment

 

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