Thursday, September 29, 2011

Haemoglobin

Haemoglobin is the iron-containing protein attached to red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Haemoglobin bonds with oxygen in the lungs, exchanges it for carbon dioxide at cellular level, and then transports the carbon dioxide back to the lungs to be exhaled.

Low hemoglobin means less oxygen in blood and the lowered oxygen may result in shortness of breath. In order to compensate the deficiency of oxygen in the blood, the body tries to enhance the output of the heart. Due to this, symptoms like palpitations, chest pain and aggravation of heart problems can be observed. In case hemoglobin becomes extremely low, it can cause enlargement of heart and also show the signs of heart failure. Physically, the symptoms of low hemoglobin that can be visible are pale skin, nail beds and gums.

There are other symptoms that are comparatively less common and can be seen in certain cases only. These are: swelling of limbs (both arms and legs), continuous sense of heartburn, bruises, excessive sweating, vomiting and discharge of blood with stool.


After your final exams grades are out, you still feel compelled to pick-up your graded exam paper. You want to know WHY? Similarly, today I felt compelled to pick-up the blood test results for my dad from yesterday. It would make no difference. Perhaps even if we detected this earlier something else would come-up. Or for that matter getting his haemoglobin levels to normal would mean blood tranfusions which would lead to more complications and prolong his suffering... He is in a good place and in peace!!

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