Why is HGB low?

“HGB,” or hemoglobin, is a type of protein that is part of the red blood cells in humans and other vertebrates.  Hemoglobin also carries iron with it and involves itself in the transport of oxygen in the bloodstream.  Most of the time, a person may feel weak and sick if the hemoglobin count in the blood is low.

There are various reasons that can cause low hemoglobin levels in the bloodstream.  One common reason is related to a deficiency in iron.  A person is said to be anemic when there is a low iron content in the blood.  And since hemoglobin carries iron with it, when there is less iron to carry around in the bloodstream, hemoglobin levels also drop.  This health concern has prompted many doctors and nutritionists to advise patients with iron deficiencies to increase their intake of foods rich in nutrients including iron and vitamin B12 among others.  Eggs, red meat, poultry, beans, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of these nutrients.

Low hemoglobin counts may also register among pregnant women.  In this particular case, it is considered normal even if the hemoglobin levels are low.  Pregnancy is one of the few cases wherein low hemoglobin levels are considered normal.  But in the case of other sicknesses and ailments, one’s hemoglobin levels may also drop.  Diseases such as: cancer, hypothyroidism, Hodgkin’s lymphoma, vasculitis, thalassemia, porphyria, and leukemia may cause the body to produce less than normal levels of red blood cells, which ultimately reduce the hemoglobin count in the blood.

Certain drugs may also cause the hemoglobin count to drop. Drugs used for cancer treatment and HIV treatment are known to lower hemoglobin levels in the bloodstream.  Several bodily injuries may also lead to a low HBG especially when there is profuse bleeding.  In this condition, red blood cells with hemoglobin content literally exit the body thereby lowering the HBG count.

 

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