Quick Answer: What Happens When Your Red Blood Cells Are Low?

Is low blood count serious?

Low blood cell counts can lead to serious complications that may delay your next round of treatment.

Monitoring your blood cell counts allows your doctor to prevent or reduce your risk of complications.

The most serious complications of low blood cell counts include: Infection..

How low can your red blood count go before you die?

People also sometimes want to know how low can hemoglobin go before causing death. In general, a hemoglobin less than 6.5 gm/dL is considered life-threatening.

What causes blood counts to drop?

Low blood counts can have many causes, including vitamin deficiencies, bleeding, and rare bone marrow failure diseases like aplastic anemia , MDS and PNH. If your blood tests are abnormal, your doctor may do other blood tests or take a sample of your bone marrow to find out why.

Does anemia mean you have cancer?

Probably not. A significant number of people with cancer — between 30 and 90 percent — also have anemia. There are several types of anemia; however, iron-deficiency anemia is most often linked to cancer. Iron-deficiency anemia is caused by a lack of healthy red blood cells in the body.

What are symptoms of low blood count?

If you have a low red blood cell count, you may:Feel a little tired or very tired.Feel less alert or have trouble concentrating.Have a loss of appetite or lose weight.Have paler-than-normal skin.Have trouble breathing.Have rapid heartbeat.Have reduced ability to exercise or climb stairs.

How can I increase my red blood cell count?

5 nutrients that increase red blood cell countsred meat, such as beef.organ meat, such as kidney and liver.dark, leafy, green vegetables, such as spinach and kale.dried fruits, such as prunes and raisins.beans.legumes.egg yolks.

How do you treat low red blood cells?

Your doctor or health care provider may prescribe or suggest to treat your low red blood count:Epoetin alfa (PROCRIT®).Darbepoetin (Aranesp®).Iron supplement.Multivitamin.A diet high in protein.A red blood cell transfusion.

How serious is being anemic?

When you’re anemic your heart must pump more blood to make up for the lack of oxygen in the blood. This can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure. Death. Some inherited anemias, such as sickle cell anemia, can lead to life-threatening complications.

Does anemia go away?

“If you’re losing blood from somewhere, once you address that the anemia will go away fairly quickly,” said Paranjape. “For iron-deficiency, it’s pretty straightforward whether you take an iron supplement or adjust your diet.”

Does low red blood cells mean cancer?

“Cancer is commonly associated with anemia, but anemia has many other causes that are not cancer,” says Steensma.

What causes your red blood cells to be low?

Diseases and conditions that cause your body to produce fewer red blood cells than normal include: Aplastic anemia. Cancer. Certain medications, such as antiretroviral drugs for HIV infection and chemotherapy drugs for cancer and other conditions.

Can you die from low red blood cells?

Why you can die from anemia. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body. When you don’t have enough red blood cells, your organs don’t get enough oxygen and can’t work properly. This can have severe consequences.

What are the symptoms of low hemoglobin?

Typical symptoms of low hemoglobin include:weakness.shortness of breath.dizziness.fast, irregular heartbeat.pounding in the ears.headache.cold hands and feet.pale or yellow skin.More items…

How long does it take to recover from anemia?

Most people start to feel better within a few days of beginning treatment. Even though you feel better, you will need to keep taking the pills for several months to build up your iron stores. Sometimes it takes up to 6 months of treatment with iron supplements before iron levels return to normal.

What foods should you avoid if you have anemia?

Foods to avoidtea and coffee.milk and some dairy products.whole-grain cereals.foods that contain tannins, such as grapes, corn, and sorghum.foods rich in gluten, such as pasta and other products made with wheat, barley, rye, or oats.More items…•