Is there a problem when hemoglobin is at 7?

Expert Answers
jraineharrison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Yes, a hemoglobin of 7 is low and cause for concern. A normal level of hemoglobin for men is in the 13.5-17.5 g/dl and for women is in the 12.0-15.5 g/dl. A hemoglobin of 7 would be below the normal range. 

Hemoglobin levels are determined by taking a blood test at a medical practitioner's office. Hemoglobin carries red blood cells throughout the body. When a person has a low hemoglobin, anemia may be present.  Anemia is a disorder that can be caused by low hemoglobin, vitamin B12 deficiency, cancer or malnutrition. Signs and symptoms of anemia include weakness, feeling very tired, fainting, shortness of breath, and enlarged spleen, known as splenomegaly. Splenomegaly can occur without a patient's knowledge and may be discovered upon physical exam. However, splenomegaly could result in a ruptured spleen which could lead to significant blood loss. Thus, if someone with anemia is found to have splenomegaly, contact sports should be avoided. 

Generally, anemia is diagnosed at or below 11 g/dl. A hemoglobin of 7 is significantly lower than the normal range. A low hemoglobin may be the result of severe illness such as cancer, leukemia, or other chronic illness.