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Low Haemoglobin: Symptoms, Causes And How To Increase Haemoglobin

In this article, we discuss what are the symptoms and causes of low haemoglobin in the body. In addition to this, what foods can help increase it.

Low Haemoglobin: Symptoms, Causes And How To Increase Haemoglobin

Green leafy vegetables are a great source of iron that promotes haemoglobin production

What is Haemoglobin?

Haemoglobin is a protein found in the blood, particularly the red blood cells. Haemoglobin is the incharge of regulating oxygen in the blood. It is also considered to hive the colour red to red colour cells. This function persists in vertebrates. Vertebrates are animals that have a spinal column or as backbone, including humans. 

The normal haemoglobin levels for women range between 12.3 to 15.3 grams per decilitre (one tenth of a litre) and between 14.0 to 17.5 grams per decilitre for men. Low levels of haemoglobin or red blood cells in the blood can can cause a blood disorder called Anaemia. An anaemic person's body is either unable to make enough haemoglobin or their body breaks the haemoglobin or red blood cells quickly/ too fast. Besides taking a blood test, here are other indications that can help you find out if you have low haemoglobin.

How to know if you have low Haemoglobin?

  • Dizziness
  • Feeling faintish or out of focus incase of sudden quick movements (For example, standing too fast after having seated for a long period)
  • Headache
  • Fatigue, feeling tired
  • Feeling cold, compared to usually
  • Pale skin
  • Weakness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Bruising easily and often 

What causes Haemoglobin to decrease? 

The most common and least worrisome cause for low haemoglobin is iron deficiency. However, besides that, here are few other reasons that might cause a decrease in the haemoglobin in the body:

  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Lead poisoning
  • Leukemia
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Vitamin deficiency anaemia
  • Cancer
  • Aplastic anaemia
  • Cirrhosis
  • Hypothyroidism 

How to Increase Haemoglobin? 

Incase the low levels of haemoglobin are not worrisome, here are few iron-rich foods you can incorporate in your diet to increase haemoglobin in your blood naturally:


Fish is great source of iron and many other nutrients such as vitamins D, B2 and omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a great source of protein to add in your diet and is versatile to cook.

Organ meats

Organ meats such as liver are very high in iron and other nutrients that boost production of haemoglobin in the body.


It is a great source of iron and many more nutrients. Broccoli is also very versatile and can be made into various healthy dishes such as stews, soups and salads.


Spinach is a very popularly known source of iron for the body. Spinach is also used regularly in Indian cuisine.


Tofu which is derived form soybeans is also a great source of iron. Tofu is also extremely versatile and works as a great replacement for paneer and protein-rich meats. 

Sweet potatoes

They are a great source of iron. They are also a much healthier alternative to potatoes. Just like potatoes, sweet potatoes are extremely versatile and can be incorporated into numerous dishes. 


Kale is another high-iron green vegetable and works great in salads as a replacement for lettuce.

Besides eating iron-rich foods, you can also keep these things in mind:

  • Consume iron supplements routinely
  • Consume more vitamin C (citrus fruits, supplements, etc.)
  • Increase folic acid intake in your diet (dried beans, sprouts, peanuts, etc.)
  • Exercise regularly
  • Avoid coffee, teas, alcohol, as they might reduce body's ability to absorb iron from iron-rich foods

However, incase of severely low haemoglobin count or diagnosed chronic diseases, it is wise to see a doctor and take professionally navigated measures to better your health.

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Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.


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