Optimum Hemoglobin Levels

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Anemia is a worldwide condition that affects many people of various ages, lifestyles and health history. This condition affects the red blood cells in the body when not enough hemoglobin is being made due most often to the lack of iron in the body. A way to help with this is by administering drugs, such as Epogen and Procrit, which can increase the hemoglobin level in the body. There is no one optimal hemoglobin level for everyone as it varies due to different factors, including sex, health, and lifestyle.
One of the factors that cause hemoglobin levels to vary in people is the sex of an individual. There is no major difference in hemoglobin levels in prepubertal children, but there is a difference between adult men and women. The normal …show more content…

Anemia is prevalent in women due to physiological processes …show more content…

Athletes and the everyday, ordinary person will not have the same optimal hemoglobin level because their lifestyles are very different. Athletes normally have a below average hemoglobin level and that may be seen as a sign for anemia. The reason the hemoglobin level is lower in athletes than in the everyday person is because the plasma volume expands and the number of red blood cells increases during a workout.7 This plasma volume expansion causes the hematocrit to be lower in athletes compared to that of non-athletes. If athletes were to take Epogen, this would increase the hematocrit and the uptake of iron, and therefore the hemoglobin levels. A highly increased hematocrit will increase the blood viscosity and can put strain on the heart and can lead to cardiac overload.7 This shows that too high of a hemoglobin level and hematocrit in athletes can lead to heart failure, so the amount of Epogen taken can be dangerous. Many athletes have been found using a technique called “blood doping” to increase their athletic performance. Epogen is used to increase the amount of oxygen that is available to the body by chemically raising the production of the red blood cells and therefor raising the hemoglobin concentration in the body.8 The use of this drug this way can cause more harm than good if the hemoglobin level goes too high. Blood doping in athletes can result in death due to adverse reactions

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