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  1. 4 Ways to Increase Your Hemoglobin Levels

    May 16, 2017 by Andrea
    Photo: Flickr/Scott Robinson via CC by 2.0

    Photo: Flickr/Scott Robinson via CC by 2.0

    Because sickle cell warriors already have a lower red blood cell count than non-warriors -- and the RBCs that are present are susceptible to sickling -- they also possess lower amounts of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body, and when that oxygen can't get to where it needs to go, a pain crisis can set in. Here, we're bringing you four ways to increase your hemoglobin, thus helping reduce painful episodes.

    1. Get your daily dose of Xickle RBC-Plus.
    While this doesn't exactly produce red blood cells, it is specifically made to help maintain their structural integrity in sickle cell warriors. Xickle RBC-Plus (the supplement version of the drug SCD-101), can help ensure that RBCs can flow through the blood vessels easily, delivering oxygen to various parts of the body. Combined with the nutrient sources below, warriors can improve red blood cell health.

    2. Raise your iron intake.
    Iron merges with other proteins in your body to create the hemoglobin that's found in RBCs. If you don't have enough iron in your system, you won't be able to make enough hemoglobin to oxygenate your organs and tissues. To be sure you're getting enough, reach for foods like lean meats, shrimp, whole grains, raisins, spinach, and nuts.

    3. Load up on fresh fruits.
    Skip the juice (it's mostly sugar, anyway), and up your body's supply of vitamin C and folate. Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, and folate is a key component in red blood cell production. Examples of fruits to enjoy include apples, oranges, papayas, bananas, strawberries, and grapes, just to name a few. You can also get folate from broccoli and greens, for example.

    4. Boost that B-12.
    Another nutrient imperative to the development of red blood cells is vitamin B-12. Seafood is rich in this nutrient, so enjoying more salmon, crab, tuna, and the like is definitely a good move. And, if your doctor recommends it, you can take B-12 as a vitamin supplement, as well.

    Managing your intake doesn't need to be overwhelming, either. Check out on of these apps to help you track and reach your hemoglobin level goals.

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