Hemoglobin is what makes out blood red. I carries the oxygen from our lungs to our cells. Hemoglobin is primarily composed of iron. A normal hemoglobin is 120 g/l. Western medicine has altered normal range for menstruating women to 115g/l to account for monthly blood loss. Blood Conservation protocol does not recognize this alteration. Any patient with a hemoglobin less than 120 g/l is considered anemic. There are many causes of anemia. The most common are iron deficiency and B12 deficiency.
A quick analogy. If we compare iron to bricks and hemoglobin a brick wall B12 is the stone mason. B12 is what takes iron and converts it to hemoglobin. Just to complicate matters, I am going to introduce a third player, the hormone erythropoietin. Erythropoietin is excreted by the kidneys and is the general contractor. It tells the bone marrow to use its B12 to produce hemoglobin.
A deficiency in any or all three of these components may result in anemia. When you are anemic the symptoms you experience are two-fold:
- Symptoms related to decreased oxygen getting to the cells.
- Dizziness and headache (reduced oxygen to the brain)
- Nausea (reduced oxygen to the digestive tract)
- Chest pain (reduced oxygen to the heart muscle)
- Symptoms related to the body trying to get more oxygen to the tissues
- Increased respiration (getting more oxygen into the lungs)
- Increased heart rate (getting the oxygenated blood to the body)
- Decreased blood pressure (the body diverts blood from the extremities to the vital organs in the core)