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Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 17535
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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Is there any thing I can do to increase my haemoglobin level

Customer Question

Is there any thing I can do to increase my haemoglobin level (109)
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 11 months ago.

Hello from JustAnswer.

There are many interventions that may help improve haemoglobin levels, and the msot common are increased intake of iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid. However, it is also important to consider the specific reason for a low haemoglobin.

Has there been any evaluation for the cause of the low haemoglobin?

Do you have the full results of the complete blood count, including the MCV?

Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 11 months ago.

I had asked for some further information about the blood tests and evaluation that has already been done and have not heard back.

It is important to determine the exact cause of the low haemoglobin, but also to consider why that condition is present.

For example, one of the common causes of a low haemoglobin is iron deficiency. However, it is not a simple next step to say that the individual should increase the iron intake. It is important to consider why iron deficiency is present. The body holds onto iron quite well, and it is essentially impossible to become iron deficient solely because of poor intake. The body will develop other serious nutritional deficiencies long before developing iron deficiency. However, if there is loss of iron, usually through chronic blood loss, then iron deficiency can develop. In a younger woman that is still menstruating, the source of chronic blood loss is apparent, so it is common to simply increase iron intake in these women. But in a post-menopausal woman or an adult male of any age, the cause of chronic blood loss is usually not apparent, so the finding of iron deficiency should lead to an evaluation for a source of chronic blood loss, which is most often in the gut, such as a cancer or a bleeding ulcer.

And this is an example for only one cause of a low haemoglobin. There are different considerations for each possible cause. Each cause poses it own unique issues in evaluation and/or treatment. Vitamin B12 deficiency may ne due to an inability to absorb vitamin B12, so may need to be treated with shots initially.

If the evaluation to determine the cause of the low haemoglobin has not yet been done, it is reasonable to be eating foods that contain the key nutritional components, iron, vitamin B12, and folic acid, such as red meats and fresh vegetables, particularly dark green vegetables. But these dietary changes should not be the sole intervention for a low haemoglobin.

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