Low hemoglobin is very common in the general population—about 10% of adults. The condition can occur for a number of reasons, but most cases are genetic in nature. If you have low hemoglobin, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you will develop iron deficiency as much as it means that your body has an increased risk of developing it. When you have low hemoglobin, your body doesn’t absorb enough iron from the foods you eat, which compromises your immune system and can cause other health problems. However, it’s not impossible to get rid of the condition if you want to do so. Here’s what you need to know about the causes of low hemoglobin and how to avoid them!
What Is Hemoglobin?
Hemoglobin is essential to the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. The proteins in red blood cells can bind oxygen and transport it to the body’s different tissues. Hemoglobin is a complex carbohydrate combined with proteins. The individual compounds in hemoglobin are called ‘molecular units’ and are represented by the letter ‘A’.
Oxygen is bound to the ‘A’ in the molecule by a molecule of ‘myoglobin’, which is a protein. This is called hemoglobin-myoglobin binding. The blood also carries some waste products and carbon dioxide back to the lungs, exchanging it for fresh oxygen. The complex carbohydrates in red blood cells are broken down into simple sugars during this exchange, which provides energy for the body. There are so many types of medical testing to check hemoglobin levels. A low level of hemoglobin in the blood can result in one of the following conditions:
1. Iron Deficiency
Iron is an essential mineral that is required in very small amounts to make red blood cells, keep your blood strong, and support your immune system. If you don’t get enough iron from your food and from your own body, you will become an iron and vitamin-deficient person. An iron deficiency can cause low hemoglobin and a high risk of anemia. Although it might affect both men and women, iron deficiency is more common in women because of monthly blood loss due to menstruation.
In men, it’s rare and rarely occurs (unless you have a genetic condition). An iron deficiency can result from inadequate dietary intake, malabsorption, or poor absorption of iron from your digestive tract. It can also be caused by chronic blood loss, such as due to chronic blood loss, iron-deficiency anemia, blood disorders, prolonged vomiting, prolonged diarrhea, or prolonged use of oral Iron and Vitamin B supplements.
2. Blood Pyruvate Storage Disorder
A blood disorder called pyruvate storage disorder results in low hemoglobin levels. In this condition, the body doesn’t have enough pyruvate, an intermediate component of the metabolic process that produces energy. The result is low hemoglobin levels, which lead to severe fatigue. Other possible symptoms of pyruvate storage disorder include low muscle mass and growth retardation. The disorder is inherited and affects both boys and girls equally. It’s caused by a single gene mutation and is often characterized by a lack of physical activity.
Thalassemia, also known as “blood” disease, occurs when the body doesn’t produce enough hemoglobin (or doesn’t make it in the right way). It’s a genetic condition associated with an increased risk of infections. Thalassemia can affect all racial and ethnic groups, but it occurs most often in people of Mediterranean and African ancestry. It’s most common in people of Mediterranean descent, including people with Greek, Italian, Lebanese, and Syrian ancestry.
4. Anemia of Chronic Disease
Anemia is a condition in which your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. The hemoglobin in red blood cells transports oxygen to your tissues. You won’t get enough oxygen to your tissues if you have anemia. Anemia can result from low hemoglobin levels, blood disorders, or a high erythrocyte threshold. The erythrocyte threshold is the point at which the red blood cells are damaged or destroyed. It’s the result of your body’s attempt to maintain an adequate hemoglobin level.
5. Other Causes
Iron-deficiency anemia and thalassemia are adults’ most common causes of low hemoglobin. However, they can occur because of other causes. Other causes of low hemoglobin can include certain medications, blood disorders such as sickle cell disease, chronic blood loss, and blood loss during pregnancy. Additionally, if you don’t eat enough iron-rich foods—such as meat, fish, dried fruit, green vegetables, and eggs-your body will have a lower level of iron and may develop low hemoglobin levels.
How To Avoid Low Hemoglobin?
There are several things that you can do to prevent low hemoglobin. They include consuming enough iron-rich foods, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough exercise. You can also prevent low hemoglobin by eating a balanced diet that includes plenty of iron-rich foods. You can also take a multivitamin and mineral supplement that contains iron if you don’t eat enough iron-rich foods. Iron-rich foods have many other health benefits, so including them in your daily diet will benefit your overall health. You can also take a liquid iron supplement.
Low hemoglobin is common and can be caused by genetic factors, iron deficiency, or anemia. It can also occur when you don’t eat enough iron-rich foods. You can prevent low hemoglobin by consuming iron-rich foods and taking a multivitamin that contains iron.