Must know Hemoglobin, Iron and Anemia – Top 10 foods

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What is Haemoglobin ?
Haemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs.

How much is adequate ?
The normal ranges for hemoglobin depend on the age and, beginning in adolescence, the gender of the person. The normal ranges are:
Newborns: 17 to 22 gm/dL
One (1) month of age: 11 to 15gm/dL
Children: 11 to 13 gm/dL
Adult males: 13 to 18 gm/dL
Adult women: 12 to 16 gm/dL

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Most frequent reasons for low hemoglobin ?
A low hemoglobin level is referred to as anemia or low red blood count.
loss of blood (traumatic injury, surgery, bleeding, colon cancer or stomach ulcer),
nutritional deficiency (iron, vitamin B12, folate)

Most women suffer from anemia due to iron deficiency and monthly cycles

What will happen because of low hemoglobin ?
A slightly low hemoglobin count isn’t always a sign of illness — it may be normal for some people. Women who are pregnant commonly have low hemoglobin count. Some issues are:
constant tiredness,
constant need to drink water,
constant weakness and a lack of appetite
Occassionally can have bad head rushes whenever we stand up, no matter how fast or slow, and sight would go black for about 10-20 seconds

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How to find the cause ?
Get a blood test done for Iron and Vitamin B12 count ?
Are you on any medication that can cause gastrointestinal bleeding (bleeding from the stomach and intestines), such as ibuprofen or aspirin ?
Examin menstrual pattern – have you been experiencing particularly heavy periods ?
family history of gastrointestinal bleeding or blood disorders
any recent blood donations ?

What to eat to increase iron and hemoglobin ?
ChickPeas – These legumes provide your body with almost 5 mg of iron per cup, plus a hearty dose of protein
Pumpkin seeds
Oatmeal breakfast
Beetroot is the ideal food to avoid getting anemia as it stimulates haemoglobin production. It regenerates red blood cell production in your body and speedily fights the symptoms of anemia.
Spinach – Both raw and cooked spinach are excellent sources of iron, though cooking spinach helps your body asbsorb its nutrients more easily. Just one cup of cooked spinach delivers more than 6 mg of iron as well as protein, fiber, calcium, and vitamins A and E.
Sesame oil

Recipe for success :
Eat an oatmeal breakfast mixed with raisins and pumpkin seeds and drink a juice which has an equal quantity of beetroot juice, orange juice and carrot juice to a glass before you eat breakfast. The healthy concoction helps raise your hemoglobin levels to a great extent.

I haven’t mentioned many non-veg foods. Attached is an image which has few other options including non-veg.

How much is needed and what not to do ?

Starting at adolescence, a woman’s daily iron needs increase. Women need more iron because they lose blood each month during their period. That’s why women from ages 19 to 50 need to get 18 mg of iron each day, while men the same age can get away with just 8 mg. Toddlers and children upto adolescence needs around 10mg daily.

Do not use supplements unless its dangerously low or is pregnant. Iron supplements can cause side effects, usually stomach upset such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dark stools, or constipation. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to constipation. Adding extra fiber to your diet can help relieve this symptom.

For children, iron overdose can be especially toxic. Although most people only absorb about 10% of the iron they consume, people with hemochromatosis absorb up to 30%. As a result, the iron in their body can build up to dangerous levels. That excess iron can deposit in organs such as the liver, heart, and pancreas, which can lead to conditions like cirrhosis, heart failure, and diabetes. For that reason, people with hemochromatosis should not take iron supplements.

Lastly, what are causes of high hemoglobin levels ?
Living at a high altitude
Lung disease (emphysema, COPD)
Tobacco smoking
Bone marrow disorders (polycythemia vera)

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