Haemoglobin is a protein present in the red blood cells in the blood. These cells carry oxygen from the lungs to other body parts. Additionally, carrying oxygen releases carbon dioxide for exhalation. If you have low haemoglobin (below the normal range), your body will not get enough oxygen, leading to various complications. It is called anaemia when your haemoglobin levels are less in the blood.
Low haemoglobin symptoms include dizziness, weakness, shortness of breath, fatigue, palpitation, and pale skin. It is essential to take sufficient measures to increase your haemoglobin levels. Keep reading to learn how to increase haemoglobin.
Ways to increase haemoglobin levels
Let us discuss how to increase haemoglobin by using the following steps.
1. Consume Iron-rich food
It is beneficial to take iron-rich food if you have decreased haemoglobin levels. Iron helps increase haemoglobin production and augments the increase of red blood cells. Iron-rich foods include:
- Soy products like tofu
- Dry fruits like dates and figs
- Green beans
Dry fruits like dates and figs are also rich in fibre, which aids in slow sugar absorption in your body. When you consume them in moderation, they are safe and healthy fruits for diabetics.
2. Increase your folate intake
Folate is a type of vitamin B that plays a vital role in producing haemoglobin. The body utilises folate to make heme, a part of your red blood cells that carry haemoglobin.
If you are not getting sufficient folate, your red blood cells will not achieve maturity. Resulting in folate-deficiency anemia and decreased levels of haemoglobin. Best sources of folate include:
- Black-eyed peas
- Kidney beans
- Folate supplements
3. Maximize Iron Absorption in your body
Whether you increase your iron content through foods or supplements, ensure your body can absorb all the iron you take. Vitamin C-rich foods like strawberries, green leafy vegetables, and citrus fruits help boost the absorption of irons in your body. They are also recommended as good fruits for diabetes. Taking vitamin C supplements also helps in iron absorption.
Vitamin A and beta-carotene also aid your body in absorbing and utilising iron. You can take vitamin A as a supplement but consult a doctor about the dose. Fruits rich in vitamin A-rich are also healthy fruits for diabetics. Consuming too much vitamin A could be dangerous and potentially lead to a severe health condition known as hypervitaminosis A. Vitamin A-rich food includes:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
4. By taking Iron supplements
How to increase haemoglobin levels? Your doctor will recommend you take iron supplements if you have extremely low haemoglobin levels. The dosage will be based on your haemoglobin levels. Iron supplements are readily available in the market.
Taking excess iron could be dangerous. It may cause hemochromatosis, leading to liver disease and with a few side effects like nausea, vomiting, and constipation. Over a few weeks, taking supplements will gradually increase your iron levels. Your doctors may recommend you take iron supplements for several months to increase your iron content in the body.
When you exercise, your body produces more haemoglobin to meet the increased demand for oxygen throughout the body. So moderate to high-intensity exercises are highly recommended.
6. Avoid Iron Blockers
Get rid of the foods that interfere with your body’s abilities to absorb iron, especially if you have low haemoglobin. Some examples of iron blockers include:
- Cold drinks
Haemoglobin is essential for maintaining a healthy body. Taking a blood test will reveal whether your haemoglobin levels are normal or not.
What are the normal ranges of haemoglobin?
- 13.5 to 17.5 g/dL for men
- 12 to 15.5 g/dL for women
- Children’s haemoglobin levels vary based on their age.
What are the causes of low haemoglobin levels?
Common causes of anaemia include:
- Iron deficiency
- Folate deficiency
- Lack of vitamin B-12
- Kidney disease
- Cancer such as leukaemia
- Liver disease
- Sickle cell anaemia
- Heavy blood loss
A decrease in haemoglobin levels can also be caused due to lung disease, excessive smoking, and intense workouts.
With the aid of dietary changes and iron supplements, you can increase your haemoglobin levels. Get advice from a healthcare provider about the appropriate dosage of the supplement. Despite the supplements, if your haemoglobin levels remain low, you may need additional treatments, like a blood transfusion. Sometimes it takes a year for haemoglobin to reach a normal range of levels based on your treatments and the reason for the low haemoglobin levels.