Hemoglobin, also spelled Hemoglobin and abbreviated Hb or Hgb, is the iron-containing oxygen-transport metalloprotein in the red blood cells. Hemoglobin in the blood carries oxygen from the respiratory organs to the rest of the body (i.e. the tissues) where it releases the oxygen to burn nutrients to provide energy to power the functions of the organism, and collects the resultant carbon dioxide to bring it back to the respiratory organs to be dispensed from the organism.
Normal Hemoglobin levels:
The following listing shows the normal Hemoglobin values for each distinct age or sex group:
Newborn: 14 to 24 g/dl.
Newborn to 2 weeks: 12 to 20 g/dl.
2 to 6 months: 10 to 17 g/dl.
6 to 12 months: 9.5 to 14 g/dl.
1 to 6 years: 9.5 to 14 g/dl.
6 to 18 years: 10 to 15.5 g/dl.
Adults over 15: The values may be decreased slightly.
Male: 14 to 18 g/dl.
Female: 12 to 16 g/dl.
Pregnant Female: More than 11 g/dl
Causes of high Hemoglobulin level -
Cyanotic Heart Defects
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
Causes of Low Hemoglobulin level
Anemia (various types)
Destruction of red blood cells
Nutritional deficiencies of iron, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin B6
Foods to Increase Hemoglobin
Iron-rich Foods - If you eat meat, beef, liver, and shrimp are great iron-rich foods. If you are a vegetarian, you will have to get your iron from sources that are not as readily absorbable. Some of these sources are spinach, tofu, asparagus, pineapple, dried fruits and iron-enriched breads and grains. If you are not allergic, add some almonds and other nuts to your diet for a quick boost in iron.
Vitamin C-rich Foods - Vitamin C helps your body to absorb the iron you eat. You can get vitamin C from many fruits and vegetables including peppers, mangoes, oranges, strawberries, cabbage, broccoli, grapefruit, tangerines, tomatoes, and spinach.
Folic Acid-rich Foods - Folic acid is one of the B vitamins that are essential in producing red blood cells. Folic acid is found in sprouts, seeds, peanuts, broccoli, wheat germ, and other nuts. Be sure to add more folic acid to your diet if you are taking a lot of Vitamin C since Vitamin C causes your body to excrete folic acid.
Whole Grains - Many whole grains in the form of breads, cereals and pastas are enriched with iron and B12.
Blood Transfusion to Increase Hemoglobin
Particularly if low hemoglobin is due to blood loss from surgery or trauma, your healthcare provider may recommend a blood transfusion to replace the hemoglobin that has been lost. Except in the case of massive blood loss, your doctor will typically try other methods to increase your hemoglobin before using a transfusion.
Things to Avoid
There are also certain things you should avoid to prevent low hemoglobin count.
Iron Blockers: There are foods that block your body from absorbing iron. Avoid drinks such as coffee, tea, milk, and colas and foods that contain a lot of fiber and calcium. Over-the-counter antacids can also block the absorption of iron
Oxalic Acid Foods: In some people, foods high in oxalic acid (such as parsley) may bind with iron and not allow your body to absorb the iron
Food with Gluten: If you have celiac disease, you should avoid gluten- containing foods such as wheat since the gluten can block the absorption of iron