Hemoglobin (cont.)

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What does a low hemoglobin level mean?

A low hemoglobin level is referred to as anemia or low red blood count. Lower than normal number of red blood cells is referred to as anemia and hemoglobin level reflects this number. There are many reasons (causes) for anemia.

Some of the more common causes of anemia are:

  • loss of blood (traumatic injury, surgery, bleeding, colon cancer or stomach ulcer),
  • nutritional deficiency (iron, vitamin B12, folate),
  • bone marrow problems (replacement of bone marrow by cancer),
  • suppression by red blood cell synthesis by chemotherapy drugs,
  • kidney failure, and
  • abnormal hemoglobin structure (sickle cell anemia or thalassemia).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/11/2014

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