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Symptoms and Signs of Hemoglobin

Doctor's Notes on Hemoglobin

Hemoglobin is an oxygen-carrying protein found inside of red blood cells (known as erythrocytes). The hemoglobin molecule is made up of four protein chains joined together and plays a role in maintaining the shape of the red blood cells. Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or level of hemoglobin is lower than normal. Anemia can arise dur to loss of red blood cells (such as bleeding), decreased production of red blood cells by the bone marrow, or destruction of red blood cells.

Symptoms of anemia are related to lower amounts of oxygen delivered to the body. They can include malaise, fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and hair loss. The skin may appear pale in people with anemia. Other associated symptoms can include dizziness and heart problems.

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Hemoglobin Symptoms

Anemia is a term that means less than normal levels of red blood cells or hemoglobin in a person's blood. The term is derived from the Greek term anaimia, meaning lack of blood. The symptoms of anemia usually include some of the following symptoms:

Underlying causes that are responsible for the anemia often produce other symptoms that are more specific to the underlying cause.

Anemia Symptoms and Signs, Types, Treatment and Causes Slideshow

Anemia Symptoms and Signs, Types, Treatment and Causes Slideshow

Anyone Can Have It

This illness means you have a lower than normal red blood cell (RBC) count. Normal values vary; blood tests like the complete blood count (CBC) can be explained by your doctor. Anemia may also result from low levels of hemoglobin, the protein that transports oxygen to the body. No matter what the cause, less oxygen is available and this produces weakness, dizziness, and shortness of breath. It is treatable once the underlying cause is identified. Long-standing or severe lack of oxygen can damage of the brain, heart, and other organs.


The three main causes of the illness are inadequate or faulty production of red blood cells, a high rate of destruction of red blood cells, and excessive bleeding. Megaloblastic is one type of faulty red cell production. The condition of anemia may be mild and easily treatable or severe and require immediate intervention.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.