“Health is wealth,” you must have heard this phrase once in your life. Today I am going to open up the Pandora box to know how low can Hemoglobin go before death.

Do you know that low hemoglobin (HGB) can be a prominent sign of many diseases that need medical treatment? Oxygen intake is not enough for vital organs when you have a low level of Hemoglobin. You need to contact a health care provider as soon as possible if you have been experiencing signs of anemia such as paleness or rapid heartbeat.

What is the Low Level of Hemoglobin (HGB)?

A protein called Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells. With this molecule, oxygen is carried to the different parts of the body from the lungs. Normally, in males, the level of Hemoglobin is between 13.8 and 17.2 gm/dl, and in females, it is between 12.1 and 15.1 gm/dl. However, in children, the level of Hemoglobin depends according to age and sex.

Well, to determine how low can Hemoglobin go before death is not an easy thing, because people have several diseases and each disease has distinctive side effects on the body. Usually, in the routine blood tests, the level of Hemoglobin can be seen. It confirms a low level of HGB in males if the result shows 13.5 gm/dl, whereas for females 12 gm/dl indicates the lower HGB level. Blood tests often show results below these values, but it does not mean that you are having any severe health issues. On the other hand, if the HGB shows extremely low figures, then it may be due to some serious underlying diseases. Usually, it is because anemia that shows an abnormal count of Hemoglobin.

How Low can Hemoglobin Go Before Death?

The body would not be able to transport oxygen when you don’t have sufficient amount of Hemoglobin. Ultimately, it can lead to death. For the survival of a person, HGB is really mandatory, and without it, you could even die from cellular suffocation. Technically, for men 13.5 gm/dl is considered as low, and for women 12 gm/dl is the low number, still many cases provide evidence that people with acute and chronic anemia are functioning well enough to survive. So, how low can Hemoglobin go before death does not directly link with the number of HGB level.

how low can hemoglobin go before death

However, less than 8.0 gm/dl is found life-threatening, so generally, if you get closer or lower than to this figure, then most probably you will need medical care because of the strain that low HGB puts on your body.

Reasons for Low Hemoglobin (HGB)

A slight decline in the level of Hemoglobin might not be a disease. Some people, especially women during menstruation, may have a low hemoglobin level. On the other hand, if the level goes up to the specific figure, then it also illustrates the signs of disease that cause red blood cells in the blood. If the body is unable to produce enough red blood cells, then the blood cells become destroyed more swiftly than they are formed. As a result, the person suffers from blood loss. 

Sufficient conditions and diseases cause the body to make less red blood cells than normal. 

Some of the diseases include:

  • Iron deficiency
  • Folic acid deficiency
  • Leukemia
  • B12 deficiency
  • Plasma anemia (Bone Marrow)
  • Cancer
  • Multiple myeloma disease
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Cirrhosis
  • Kidney disease
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Lead poisoning
  • Use of anti-virus drugs and chemotherapy drugs

You can observe the HGB levels when the body destroys these cells faster than it produces red blood cells. It includes the following diseases:

  • Spleen growth
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Vasculitis
  • Porphyry
  • Thalassemia

When you suffer blood loss nearly 30-40 percent of your total blood volume, your body may have traumatic reactions. It might be possible that your blood pressure drops down further, and your heart rate increases further. Noticeable confusion or disorientation is the most prominent signs that you may observe. Not only this, your breathing will be more rapid and shallow.

When the volume loss rises, your body will not be in the state to maintain circulation and proper blood pressure. Well, at this point, you may become unconscious. You will need some help for a quick aid to put off further blood loss and major side effects.

So, how low can hemoglobin go before death occurs?

When you don’t have any treatment measures, it might be possible that your body will completely lose the capacity to pump blood and maintain oxygen delivery right after you lose around 50% of your blood volume.

Your heart will stop functioning, your other organs will not respond, and you will be more like in a coma state. If there will be no more aggressive life-saving measures, the death is also expected.

Undoubtedly, the human body can recompense with blood loss. However, sometimes, it stops needless components from looking after your heart. Right before entering into the state of coma, you will feel fatigued. Well, if you are near to death, you will not even notice these feelings.  

When Do You Need to Consult a Doctor?

Low level of HGB usually appears as a result of a complete blood count test. You may have prescribed to perform the test if you have these symptoms:

  • Shortness of Breathe
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Energy deprivation
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Pale skin, nails and gums

You may also have to perform further tests to determine the reason for this condition and may give you appropriate medicines and supplements.  

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