Mar 29, 2001
My hg level dropped down to 9.4 g/dl though I was not facing any weakness or any other serious problem. Even I don't have piles problem or problem in which my blood is exhausted. Please tell me what are the reasons for hg level going so below? What are tests to be done? Also guide me about diet for hg improvement.
Response from Dr. Frascino
Since this site is for HIV-related problems, I'm assuming you are HIV-positive. You are definitely anemic. The lower level of normal for men is 14 and for women, 12. Symptoms of anemia can often be quite insidious, especially if the anemia developed slowly over time. Common symptoms include exercise intolerance and feeling tired.
As for causes of anemia in the setting of HIV disease, several possibilities should be investigated:
1. Medication side effects, particularly with AZT-containing drugs, but also with Bactrim (Septra), ganciclovir, dapsone, pyrimethamine, interferon, and cancer chemotherapy. 2. HIV itself can cause anemia. 3. Blood loss 4. Iron or vitamin deficiencies 5. Opportunistic infections, such as MAC or parvovirus B19
I would start by evaluating these possibilities. Treatment would depend on the underlying causes. If you were deficient in iron or certain vitamins, then dietary supplements would be helpful; however, if for instance, your anemia was caused by AZT or by HIV itself, then Procrit, a medication that stimulates your system to make additional new red blood cells, would be the appropriate therapy.
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