Hemoglobin also abbreviated as Hb or Hgb is a iron containing protein molecule which is present inside the red blood cells (RBCs). Each molecule of hemoglobin consists of four heme groups which surround a globin group which further consists of two linked pairs of polypeptide chains.
How does Hemoglobin works?
It transports oxygen from respiratory organs such as lungs or gills (in aquatic organisms) to the tissues present throughout the body and releases oxygen, permitting aerobic respiration and thus provides energy to the cells which is called metabolism.
It also facilitates transport of other gases like carbon dioxide, nitric oxide etc. Carbon dioxide is bound to the globin molecule as carbaminohemoglobin and is carried by the hemoglobin molecules to release it at the same time as oxygen. An important regulatory molecule nitric oxide is also carried by hemoglobin by binding it to the globin molecule.
- Hemoglobin structure consists of two pairs of polypeptide chains called as globin chains.
- Heme is attached to each of the four chains which is an iron complex.
Normal Hemoglobin Levels
Normal hemoglobin range:
- For men: 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter
- For women: 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter
Blood Test: CBC Complete Blood Count test
Low Hemoglobin Symptoms
Maintaining normal hemoglobin levels in the blood is very important for every individual irrespective of age. Low levels of hemoglobin creates a deficiency of iron in the red blood cells which leads to anemia.
Now-a-days a large number of population is facing the problem of low hemoglobin levels which causes a lot of trouble to the people. Some of the common symptoms related to low hemoglobin levels are as follows:
- Pale skin
- Short of breath
- Craving to eat non edible things like dirt, clay etc
- Swollen tongue
- Cold limbs
- brittle nails
- irregular heartbeat
Causes of Low Hemoglobin levels
Low hemoglobin levels are caused by a deficiency of iron in the blood. If your diet is deficient in iron then you are at a risk of suffering from anemia.
- Iron deficiency
- Vitamin B-12 deficiency
- Folate deficiency
- Excessive blood loss through bleeding
- Kidney or liver problem
- Thalassemia (genetic disorder causing low hemoglobin levels)
Causes of High Hemoglobin levels
- Polycythemia vera ( production of too many red blood cells by bone marrow)
- Lung problems
- Living at high altitude
- Smoking and alcohol
- Extreme physical exercise
How to increase low hemoglobin levels
1. Add iron to your diet
Foods: eggs, spinach, beans (chickpeas, kidney beans etc), lentils, raisins, lean meat (chicken breast), sea food
2. Add Vitamin B6, B7 and B12 in your diet
These vitamins are very important for cell production.
Foods: fish, nuts, cereals, peas, banana, green beans, carrots
3. Add juice
Add grape, apple and pomegranate juice to the diet. Use fresh juice not packed one.