Your body’s most important organ may be working overtime due to low hemoglobin – here’s what you need to know.
We’ve been taught that checking our blood pressure and blood sugar, along with following a healthy diet and getting enough exercise, are some of the best things we can do to look after your heart. But did you know that hemoglobin and anemia can also impact your heart health?
Think about it: Hemoglobin can be found in our red blood cells, which is vital to…well, everything. And blood is pumped throughout the body by our heart, so if one’s not working the way it should then it’s going to have an effect on the other.
In this article, we’ll go over how anemia and hemoglobin can impact your heart and how you can look after both to show some love to your body’s most important organ.
How Hemoglobin and the Heart Are Connected
Before we get too deep, let’s have a quick refresher on the importance of hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is a protein found in our red blood cells that helps transport oxygen to different parts of your body. So if red blood cells are a car making an oxygen delivery to, let’s say, your legs during a morning jog, then hemoglobin is a roof rack that allows the oxygen molecules to come along for the ride.
Our body makes new hemoglobin with the help of dietary iron. When our iron levels are low, so is our hemoglobin and that means our body can’t get oxygen to where it’s needed in a timely manner.
So how does our heart play in all this? Let’s use the car example again, only this time let’s pretend your heart is a pizzeria and the oxygen molecules are pizza pies (you’ll see where we’re going with this in a second).
When we do any level of physical activity, our body says “I need oxygen to do this.” Your heart hears that call and sends a car out for delivery, only the car (your red blood cells) doesn’t have a trunk, roof rack, or anything else to keep the pizzas (oxygen) secure for the ride. No delivery.
Time passes and the pizza still hasn’t arrived, and your body’s still calling wondering where its pie is. “OK, we’ll send another car.” Only the same problem keeps happening, putting the pizzeria under some serious stress. Eventually the pies will get there, but the pizzeria had to send five cars instead of just one to get the job done.
Naturally, this puts the pizzeria under some serious stress. It has to work harder to make pies to fulfill new orders, as well as taking care of all the backlog caused by the broken-down cars.
This is exactly what’s happening inside your body. Your heart has to work harder to get the oxygen to where it’s needed, which can cause it to become stressed. This can lead to symptoms and conditions such as:
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat
- Chest pains
- Pale or yellow skin
Can Anemia Cause Heart Failure?
It must be said that deaths from iron-deficiency anemia are rare in places like the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But left unchecked, anemia could lead to other health conditions that, left untreated, could be deadly. Again, if your heart has to work overtime it’s going to put some major stress on it, which could lead to things like heart attacks or an enlarged heart. According to some studies, people with anemia are at a 41% higher risk of heart attacks.
How to Care for Your Heart with AnemoCheck
The best way to prevent any anemia-related heart problems is to address the issue right away. Using AnemoCheck, you can make sure your hemoglobin levels are in normal range. All it takes is a fingernail selfie: no needles or appointments required.
It’s also important to speak with your physician about any issues that may come up. If you notice your numbers are trending outside the normal range, talk to them about possible treatment plans.
To show your heart some love, download AnemoCheck today.