Hemoglobin is a very important substance in our blood, since it regulates the level of red blood cells and these are essential to transport oxygen through our blood. Hemoglobin contains large amounts of iron and it is what produces the red color of our blood. The usual levels are 13 to 18 for men and 12 to 16 for women. Normally when people talk about hemoglobin they usually refer to a lack of it or to having very low levels, which is what causes anemia, that is, a lack of iron in our blood, something much more common among women than among men. That is why we usually think that the best thing for our health is to have high percentages of hemoglobin. However, this is not entirely true, since the levels must be within the ranges indicated above. A very high concentration in our blood also carries dangers to our health, as it can cause blood clots, by thickening the blood, and these in turn cause cardiac arrest or heart attack. Therefore it is important to keep these levels in balance. If you have done a blood test and you have discovered that you have a too high proportion of this protein in your blood, surely you are wondering how to lower hemoglobin. Don’t worry; throughout this article we explain how you can do it:
What do you need to lower hemoglobin?
- Change your life habits
Instructions for lowering hemoglobin
- The first change you must make in your life is to quit smoking. The action of smoking usually has an effect on an increase in this protein. In fact, studies in this regard show that the highest rates are always found among smokers. In addition, high hemoglobin is also associated with lung diseases. Likewise, if you are a smoker and a blood test reveals excess iron in the blood, you should have lung tests done, since you may have associated respiratory problems, and if you suffer from these, you should stop smoking immediately. Quitting this habit will surely cost you a lot, but your health will benefit enormously. After the first months without smoking you will notice how your lung capacity increases, you have more resistance and even your skin will rejuvenate. Everything is advantages!
- Another fundamental point that dramatically influences blood hemoglobin levels is altitude. In fact, if you live in a very high place, the most important thing is that you move to a lower area, if possible at sea level.
- Linked to the previous point, there are other factors such as mountaineering and hiking that can also become a risk. Obviously this only happens if these activities are carried out very often and in very high areas. Don’t worry, you won’t have to abandon the sport you love, you just have to substitute some routes for others and concentrate on places at a low level of altitude.
- Drinks a lot. Dehydration is, along with smoking, another of the most common causes that can favor an increase in iron levels in the blood. The ideal is to drink water, although you can also drink juices or drinks with mineral salts. People tend to drink less water than our bodies need. On average we are supposed to ingest about two liters of liquid (not only through what we drink, but also through the liquid included in the food). Drinking such an amount of liquids is something that we do not usually do naturally, so we must develop a routine to get used to it. I recommend that you set a number of glasses of water that you should drink in a certain time slot. For example: two glasses in the morning, another two at noon and another two in the afternoon. It’s just an example, but you will see that by doing it this way you can easily remember the amount of liquids you have taken. If you suffer from mild dehydration, something quite common, when you start doing this routine and rehydrate yourself you will notice how your health improves. Migraines and headaches will decrease and you will notice your rejuvenated skin.
- Take aspirin once every two weeks. As everyone knows, aspirin causes the blood to thin. Therefore, it will be of great help so that clots do not occur in your blood. Remember that high hemoglobin levels cause your blood to thicken and taking aspirin reverses the process. Do not increase the dose, this is very important. A couple of aspirin a month is more than enough. If your blood is too thin it will also be a problem, as a slight cut can turn into uncontrolled bleeding.
- Donate blood. When you draw blood, your body is forced to re-produce the amount drawn. This means that your old, thick blood will be replaced by new, thinner blood. You will feel better physically and emotionally, since you will be helping people who need transfusions. You can also perform a phlebotomy. It is a process similar to blood extraction, except that in these cases the only thing that is extracted are the red blood cells.
- If you suffer from glycosylated hemoglobin, a particular type associated with diabetes, you can help lower its levels through a change in your diet. You should avoid carbohydrates and fats. Cut all fast food and fried foods from your diet from the start and include foods rich in omega-3 such as nuts. It will also help you to eat fruits and drink tea.
Tips to lower hemoglobin
- Even if you feel physically well, it is recommended that you go to your doctor every six months to perform routine tests and see if everything is going well. High hemoglobin levels initially do not show any symptoms. In other words, unlike what happens when its presence is low, when we have anemia, when we feel tired and listless, its high presence does not show any kind of ailment. Therefore, the only way to know if your percentage is too high is to go to the doctor and do the relevant tests.
- Although by itself this condition is not too serious if it is kept under control, it is recommended that you carry out a complete medical examination, since it is sometimes associated with other diseases. The most common and already mentioned is that of a lung disease, normally caused by tobacco and that leads to excessive scarring of the lung tissue. But there are also other diseases that can cause it and among them are heart and spinal cord problems.
- There are no serious risks during blood extraction (feeling dizzy, bruising, excessive bleeding,) so it is advisable to perform them periodically to know the exact state of your health.