Raising hemoglobin levels

I hope this isn’t a medical-advice question.

In the beginning of November, I got rejected as a blood donor because my hemoglobin was a few points too low. I’ve been to the doctor to see why this is, since it’s always been at an appropriate level before, and I was assured that there’s no medical issue here.

The question is: how can I get my hemoglobin level back up again? The doctor suggested eating red meat more often and including more foods that contain iron in my diet, but she didn’t say what those were. I know spinach has a lot of iron in it; what other foodstuffs should I stock up on? And are there other ways? Does exercise affect hemoglobin production?

Dark green leafy vegetables (like spinach) are good sources of iron and B vitamins as well. There are also a large variety of vitamins and potions on the market targeted at increasing iron levels (Think Femiron or Geritol). Probably less helpful, but living at higher altitudes will cause the body to produce more hemoglobin to increase it’s oxygen carrying abilities.

Did anybody else read the Thread title as: “Raising Hemogoblins”?
I was thinking it was a Vampie cultivation thread. You know, like schemes to raise Chinchillas in your bathtub?

Blackstrap molasses is good, too. By the spoonful.

Yellow dock root, if you’re into herbals. You can buy it dry and boil 1 ounce in water to cover for about 20 minutes, then strain it and add an equal amount of blackstrap molasses to the water. Heat and stir until it combines, then take a spoonful a day.

[Insert standard herbal disclaimer here.]

My understanding is that iron in heme-groups (myoglobin, hemoglobin, etc.) is typically absorbed at about 50%, but iron in vegetable sources average from 1-2%. Therefore, I’ll suggest the red meat.

I used to be in the same boat for about a year. Nothing helped! Then one day, I went to donate I went to donate and my haemoglobin was magically at a good level, and it has been that way ever since.
The only thing I can think of that changed was that I became a lot busier (which meant I had to stop exercising, for some, exercising excessively detroys haemoglobin) and because I was always on the run I had about a sub a day with all the salads.

Unfortunately for me, I cut my hand with a scalpel while dissecting a cadaver last week and I cannot donate for a year :frowning:

Do you have low blood pressure as well?

For some reason the Red Cross information is inaccessible, so I’ll use Héma-Québec (to whom I’ve donated repeatedly and plan to do so again on Monday) as a reference. Their criterion is a hemoglobin level greater then 12.5 g/dL. Other cites indicate a level of 12 is normal enough for adults. While you might be fine and dandy with a 12, I’d guess the primary concern for the donation center is that you not pass out while in their care, creating a major hassle.