Its main purpose is carrying oxygen via blood from the lungs to the body tissues. Haemoglobin also stores about 70% of the total iron present in our bodies. An interesting fact is that this iron content is what gives reddish coloration to the blood.
Normal Haemoglobin levels for men is between 14.0 and 17.5 grams per decilitre (gm/dL); for women, it is between 12.3 and 15.3 gm/dL.
Various blood disorders can lead to an abnormal Haemoglobin count in the body. In the case of Haemoglobin, we mostly come across only cases of deficiency of haemoglobin.
Deficiency of Haemoglobin can be broadly categorised into three categories:
On the other hand, high Haemoglobin levels are caused by dehydration, smoking, blood cancer, lung or heart diseases.
A high haemoglobin count may result in thickening of the blood and stopping it from flowing smoothly. Thicker blood also tends to clot faster. This is a rare blood disorder known as polycythemia, and can lead to fatality by strokes or heart attacks.
Alternatively, low haemoglobin count hints to anaemia. There are several types of anaemia, among which the iron deficiency anaemia is the most common one. The other anaemia types include aplastic anaemia (the body doesn’t produce enough new blood cells), vitamin deficiency anaemia, pregnancy related anaemia, haemolytic anaemia, sickle cell anaemia, etc. Anemias can lead to fatalities if not treated correctly at an early stage.
Foods rich in iron and vitamins are the solution for the most common anaemia type, i.e. the iron deficiency anaemia. Eating green leafy vegetables, dried fruits, meat, fish, beans, nuts and seeds can help us maintain a healthy haemoglobin count.