Causes of increase in hemoglobin. Diet for people with high hemoglobin
Almost everyone has heard of a low hemoglobin issue and anemia developing because of it, while just a few think about negative impact of the increased hemoglobin.
Is it truly bad? After all, a lot of hemoglobin means your blood can carry more oxygen, it seems. This is just partially true. Our body is a balanced system, and it does not tolerate lack or excess of something, including the level of hemoglobin.
Why rises the hemoglobin level?
To understand the nature of changes it is necessary to briefly talk about where and how red blood cells are formed. They are synthesized by the bone marrow in response to the body’s signals about the lack of oxygen (hypoxia), or in response to the release of specific substances – blood-forming stimulants.
Therefore, increase in hemoglobin can be caused by diseases leading to hypoxia: pneumonia and chronic bronchitis, pulmonary fibrosis. Smoking also causes lack of oxygen in blood.
Other states, causing an increased production of blood-forming stimulants include tumor, chronic diseases of heart and blood vessels toxicosis, poisoning and many more. In addition, increased hemoglobin may be caused by blood thickening due to dehydration or heat, heavy sweating.
In any case, hemoglobin level above 130-140 g per liter of blood in women and higher than 150 g per liter of blood in men requires consultation with a doctor.
Of course, treatment will based on the cause of the disease, but one of the most important steps in any treatment is the correct diet. Following a diet in most cases gives sufficient visible results in parallel with the medication therapy. A specific diet will be offered to you by a doctor while we will give just some basic principles of nutrition.
The first thing that comes to mind when you hear of increased hemoglobin, is to eat less products containing iron, but it’s the wrong tactic. This practice is only possible if you have hemochromatosis – a specific hereditary disease with excessive iron absorption and deposition of it in the tissues of the body. A special restrictive diet is prescribed only in such case. In all other cases it is unjustified. Therefore it will be necessary to plan the diet based on the cause of the increase in hemoglobin.
In blood thickening
In summer hemoglobin level raises because of excessive sweating and fluid loss when they are not adequately replenished. The body, including blood, suffers from dehydration, and the diet should be designed to adequately replenish fluid resources.
In summer many people refuse soups in favor of the more solid food, and it’s not very good. It is necessary to eat soups and first courses on a daily basis – just switch to cold versions like gazpacho, beetroot soup and light vegetable soups.
In summer it is better to reduce the consumption of red meat and fish. Start eating more vegetable and dairy dishes instead. Vegetables are the source of additional liquid and vitamins and they contain little iron. Dairy food is a competitor for iron in the diet: calcium makes iron absorption in your Intestines difficult.
In summer do one meat and one fish day a week, all other days during the heat weather eat soups, salads and dairy roducts.
Drink more liquid
Many people deliberately limit the volume of water they drink in summer to sweat less. However, sweating is the body’s cooling mechanism, it helps the body to not overheat. A dehydrated body overheats faster causing drowsiness, lethargy, headaches, as well as general malaise. You should drink plenty of fluids, on average at least 50 ml of water per kg of body weight each day, and in summer even more. This includes all liquid from the food and drinks.
Drink tea: black and green, herbal infusions and fruit compote. It is also helpful to drink simple drinking or low-salt water. Remember that juices and soda, even unsweetened, can poorly quench thirst, as carbon dioxide and sugar only increase thirst and sweating.
You need to drink in small sips 50-100 ml of fluid every half of hour. And more: the liquid should not be cold but at room temperature, which is about 20-25 degrees.
What to avoid?
There is a category of products that could do significant harm in people with high hemoglobin. This is alcohol, even in minimal quantities. Ethyl alcohol and products of its breakdown have a stimulating effect on the blood-forming. That’s why people who drink alcohol have normal or high hemoglobin.
If you have high hemoglobin you should not take vitamins and food supplements containing iron and it’s activators. Such is the vitamin C contained in many products. Your body receives from food normal amount of it necessary for life, you do not need to further enrich the diet with it.
A lot of iron is found in seafood, especially in raw fish and marine life. So forget about these types of food or considerably limit their consumption. You should also reduce the amount of red fish and dried fish food you eat(especially together with bier).
Limit consumption of sugar and food containing it: cakes, pastries, chocolate and candies. While sweets contain little iron, but they create a favorable environment for its absorption from food in your stomach.
There are products that help to fight against high hemoglobin. These are nuts and whole-grain dishes like rice or whole grain bread, tofu is also very good. Beans, spinach, apricots, grapes are also healthy. But, in any case, planning of the diet will depend on the disease that caused increase in hemoglobin.
Increased hemoglobin is of course a serious symptom and it should not be ignored. But there is no need to panic, suspecting a serious illness. Change your food and water regimen and do a blood test – most likely, the result would be quite normal.
Do you know your hemoglobin level?