5 Ways To Increase Your Hemoglobin Levels Immediately

how to increase hemoglobin

At some point in time, most kidney disease sufferers will have a problem with their hemoglobin (haemoglobin) levels. This is mainly due to the decreased production of Erythropoietin (EPO) within the kidneys (Erythropoietin is a hormone secreted by the kidneys that stimulates production of red blood cells). Hemoglobin is the iron containing and oxygen carrying protein found within the red blood cells. This protein therefore delivers the most important nutrient to human life, oxygen. It also transports the toxic element carbon dioxide to the lungs for exhalation.

Today I thought I would cover something that I encountered today in clinic (in actual fact i was yesterday :-)) – A lady that I have now been seeing for just over a month brought in her latest test results and we went through them with glee. Overall her results were on the improve – sodium now in normal range, creatinine had dropped by 100 points, potassium now in normal range, liver enzymes improving, and most importantly, her eGFR (estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate) had gone from 12 to 17 in just a few short weeks. We high fived each other. Of course we have some way to go, but you have to celebrate the wins. This is crucial for a positive mindset and staying on course.

After going through the report there were two main things that we needed to focus our attention on. Her hyperparathyroidism was still out of control, and her hemoglobin levels were still too low. Hemoglobin should be sitting between 14-18 g/dL for males, and 12-16 g/dL for females. My client’s hemoglobin levels were at 10 g/dL.

Low hemoglobin levels directly affect your energy levels by lowering the amount of oxygen being transported throughout your body. So you end up feeling even lousier than you already are. I am hoping that these quick tips you can start to feel normal again, and get your readings within normal limits without too much intervention.

Here Are The Top 5 Tips On How To Increase Hemoglobin Naturally

1.    Chitosan
Did you know the humble shrimp could be your ticket to increased hemoglobin levels? Not only that, but clinical studies have proven “throwing another shrimp on the barbie” will lower urea and cholesterol levels, and help lose excess fat!

Chitosan is structurally similar to cellulose (a complex carbohydrate found in plants), which consists of glucose molecules connected to one another. This substance is mainly found within the exoskeleton of shrimp, crab, prawns and other shellfish, but is best taken as a supplement.

2.    Nutrient supplementation: Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid (aka Vitamin B9), & Vitamin C
Nutrition is important, all biological process that occur within the body require specific nutrients to carry out each individual process, therefore a lack of a certain nutrients will either slow down that process (e.g. hemoglobin production), or shut it down all together.

For the production of hemoglobin there are 10’s of nutrients to aid the production, however, there are a small select few that are required above all others, those being: Iron, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Folic Acid (aka Folate, Vitamin B9), and Vitamin C.

Aim for the following therapeutic dosages…

  • Iron: 20mg a day
  • Vitamin B6: 50mg a day
  • Vitamin B12: 1500mcg (micrograms) a day
  • Folic Acid: 500mcg (micrograms) a day
  • Vitamin C: 1000mg a day

3.    Food as medicine
Supplementation is fantastic, but sometimes you just don’t want to be swallowing pills all the time. Here are the richest food sources of the aforementioned nutrients.

  • Iron: Oysters, mussels, enriched cereals, molasses, green leafy vegetables, tomato paste, dhal, dried apricots (Red meats and liver may have high iron, but they are not recommend – they bad for kidney disease)
  • Vitamin B6: Muesli, whole grains, fortified cereals, liver, tuna, sunflower seeds, lentils, kidney beans, avocado, peas, nuts, banana
  • Vitamin B12: Poultry, crustaceans, fish, fortified cereals, eggs, soymilk, molluscs
  • Folic Acid: spinach, beans, asparagus, peas, lentils, turnip greens, organ meats, orange, cantaloupe, pineapple, grapefruit, banana, raspberry, strawberry, corn, tomatoes, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, bok choy, baker’s yeast, sunflower seeds.
  • Vitamin C: Guava, red capsicum, brussel sprouts, citrus juice concentrate, papayas, kiwi fruit, blackcurrants, mango, cabbage, broccoli, strawberries, lychees, oranges, sprouts

4.    Herbs
Herbal medicine also offers a number of solutions on how to increase hemoglobin levels. Three herbs in particular I have found to be of most benefit are: Withania, Dong Quai, Nettle leaf

  • Withania: has its origins in India where is has been used for thousands of years. Withania is a fantastic herb, it improves the health of red blood cells, and also benefits the body by enhancing energy production, decreasing inflammation, calming the nervous system, and being a tonic for the entire body.
  • Dong Quai: is also another herb that is steeped with tradition, but this time from China. For centuries mothers from China have been using the root of Dong Qaui in soups to help their themselves, and their daughters, to increase production of red blood cells during their menstrual cycle.
  • Nettle Leaf: I see Nettle leaf almost like natures multi-vitamin and mineral supplement. It has high amounts of iron, and also vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B’s, vitamin E, vitamin K, calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, and more.

Nettle leaf is not to be confused with Nettle root as this is to help prostate enlargement.

5.    Fenugreek seeds
I personally love the type of little tip that I am about to mention, because they work, and because they’re so simple that they just seem too good to be true.

Fenugreek tip: Cook one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds with your evening meal every night, preferably with a little rice, for 15 days to help increase hemoglobin levels.

I hope this post has been of great benefit on how to increase hemoglobin levels.

Until next time keep well!

P.S. The other fantastic thing about the last tip is that fenugreek I also clinically shown to lower blood glucose levels in diabetics.

Filed Under: Associated ConditionsKidney SymptomsKidney Treatment


About the Author: Hello, my name is Duncan Capicchiano, I am the owner and creator of KidneyCoach.com. My professional background is Naturopathy, and I am also an International Author and Researcher that specialises in the treatment and management of kidney disease. My most famous work in kidney disease is The Kidney Disease Solution Program. Lastly - but most importantly - I am the loving "father" of my two dogs Ruby and Pebbles, my horse Cossie, and husband to my beautiful wife, Fiona.

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  1. Fiona says:

    Great article and really interesting. Your website is full of fantastic information that I think all kidney disease suffers should be aware of.


  2. Duncan says:

    Thanks Fiona, it was my pleasure!

  3. Lisa L says:

    I love to read your posts every day!

  4. Sunni Kately says:

    I have been to the doctor several times. I found this website describing my issue of kidney pain symptoms.

    • Justin says:

      Dear Duncan,
      This is justin, Recently i came to know that i am suffering from kidney disease called IGA, my haemoglobin is 11.3 and HCT/PCV is 31.3. Do you have any idea of dieting to protect the kidney?

      • Duncan says:

        Hi Justin,

        Good question. There is in fact many things you can do tp help kidney function through dieting when one has IgA nephropathy.

        One of the biggest tips I can give you is to eat a diet free from gluten. Gluten causes the immune system to over work, and therefore produce more IgA anti-bodies. Gluten is best avoided.

        Gluten is found in many foods, but the most common are wheat, rye, spelt, and kamut.

        Hope that helps!


  5. Phil Challis says:

    Excellent content and I am a big promoter of alternatives to prescription medicines which should be avoided if at all possible. The problems with blood and vital organs often start because of an imbalance of the bodies chemical make up. Notably, when your uric acid levels become excessive you start to experience problems. The best way to manage your chemical balance is through diet as generally speaking red meats are full of purines which contribute to excessive uric acid build up. While some foods are a good source of iron if they are not taken in moderation you can incur problems. Shellfish are high in purines as is the dark meat of poultry so stick to the white meat.

  6. Justin says:

    Dear Duncan,

    Thanks for your advise.
    My current stage is better than before, earlier my creatine ratio was 228 and current satge is 149, that means its reduced. As per the information from doctor my kidney functioning only 60% and earlie it was 30%, I think so this happened because i control my diet, is there is any special dieting for IGA patients, can you recommend.

    Best regards,


    • Duncan says:

      Hi Justin,

      That is fantastic news!! Well done. I love hearing stories like yours. There are many dietary modifications patients can do specifically for IGA kidney disease, however probably one of the biggest things is to remove all gluten from your diet. Gluten unfortunately aggrevates the immune system even more, so it is best to avoid. Other tips include, avoiding sugar, red meat, hydrogenated fats, and eating plenty of vegetables.


  7. 1-oct-2011
    my brother is 15 yr old and suffeerin from a kidney disease.
    his creatinine level is 5 and hb is 7. from last two years we are maintaining a low protein diet for him as to keep his condition stable.
    plz suggest some natural and effective measures to increase his kidney working as in his case transplant is also nt possible due to weaken bladder muscles.
    plz suggest something as soon as possible


  8. R.DhaneshKumar says:

    my wife was really happy, when i showed this to her………. thank u

  9. very very fantastic tips for good health. thanks says:

    thanks for giving free information about health

  10. Duncan says:

    Dear sir, right now my cr is125, but most of the days afternoon my body feels very wk and lazy, and feels sleepy.
    I think so I have to quit my job, and to take retirement.
    can I take exercise


    • HI Justin,

      Yes in most cases exercise is a crucial in becoming healthier, and I recommend that people start off simply by walking if they haven’t exercised for a while (20mins x 3 times a week). However I would check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.


  11. Stacey says:

    i am going thur my second occurrence of breast cancer ~ mets are all over but in my liver also, even with PROCRIT shots i cant keep my hemoglobin counts up. would these tips be safe for me? i will of course ask my doctor too…but wanted to see what you thought

    • Hi Stacey, I don’t see any reason why these remedies would pose any risk for your current health (except for Dong Quai). I agree that you should always check with your doctor or health care professional, but all of these remedies should only improve your condition. As mentioned Dong Quai is the only one I would definitely recommend avoiding, and that is because it alters estrogen levels in the body.

  12. Justin says:

    Dear Ducan,
    Good News! Yesterday I tested my creatine and found 107 ( earlies higher was 129, 124,239)and my urine cr is 1.8. As per the information from doctor my kidneys function is 100% ok, Thank God.
    And for the urine CR, dr as informed me that it will ok after sometime, shall I take any precaution.



  13. praba says:

    hi this article is awesome, this is help me lot thank u so much.

  14. zygfryd ostrowski says:

    I have Myelody splastic syndrome and I am lookin for some natural supplemens to raice my hemoglobin to help with my refractory anemia withringed side oblast.

  15. Mani says:

    I hope these food tips will increase my hemoglobin content in my body 🙂

  16. Afzal says:

    My mother in low (age 59) suffers diabetes from long time, recently her kidney test, s. createnene found 3.9, hemoglobin level 9.1, blood pressure also high. what can we do?

  17. Nicelee says:

    Hi Duncan,

    This website is very informational and has given me and my Dad new insights in dealing with diabetes and kidney problem.

    He has Type II Diabetes with high creatinine level and low hemoglobin count.

    I hope that with your Program, we will be able to find a solution to this problem.

    Thank you and I will keep you posted should there be any progress/developments.

  18. Sk Rahman says:

    I have been suffering Spondalytist Airthatise (SPA) primary stage. I am taking Salfasalazine (2+1+2) and Folic acid (0+0+1) but day by day my hemoglobine level are increasing, every 4 months interval i go for CBC test of blood and result is showing that gradually it is increasing (15.5-13.7-13.3-14.7-15.8-15.9-16.0-17.3)
    But when i start slafasalazine then hemoglobin fall down after that it is increasing.

    Can any one help me giving information why it is increasing and what should i do now…

  19. Anjum says:


    I just stumbled upon your website doing a quick Google search for low hemoglobin. I had a quick (I hope!) question. My 72-year old father was recently told he has a Hgb count of 12.9. All his other blood levels – B6, B12, folic acid and iron – were all at normal levels. If his iron level was satisfactory, then he’s not anemic, correct? What else might be causing a low Hgb? He’s made an appointment with a hematologist, but we’re just trying to make some sense of this all.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Anjum,

      Unfortunately kidney disease can cause low hemoglobin levels when all those elements you mentioned are in the optimum range (B6, B12, folic acid, iron, etc). This is because the kidneys produce a hormone called erythropoietin (EPO), which signals the bone marrow to produce red blood cells. Therefore as kidney function declines, so too can EPO, resulting in low hemoglobin levels and chronic anemia.

      When chronically low in hemoglobin, some patients will require EPO injections.

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