Low Red Blood Cells What Do They Mean? Causes and Symptoms

Red blood cells, better known as red blood cells, can suffer unevenness during their production in the body, in many cases associated with cancerous diseases such as leukemia.

What are low red blood cells?

The production of blood cells occurs in the bone marrow and they receive different orders to keep the body functioning.

These are measured in millions per microliter of blood, and within their composition is the protein called hemoglobin, which is responsible for transporting oxygen to the different tissues of the body.

Normal values ​​in men are between 14.5 to 18 for hemoglobin in the blood. In the case of women, the average is between 12 to 16 million microliters.

The low red blood cells They are the main cause of anemia, like that condition that denotes excess fatigue and weakness.


The causes of low red blood cell values they are multiple. In most cases due to diseases such as:

  • Megaloblastic anemia
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Iron deficiency anemia
  • Colon cancer
  • Leukemia
  • Lymphoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Ulcers in the gastroduodenal duct
  • Hepatic cirrhosis

There are cases of patients with anemia due to a genetic or hereditary problem, such as thalassemia. It is also possible to get this condition as a result of kidney failure, where there is noticeable blood loss in the urine.


When we experience a low count of these blood cells we feel like:

  • Headaches
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Soft spot
  • Trouble breathing
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Acceleration in heart rate
  • Pale skin and gums
  • Severe chest pain


There are different measures we can take to help prevent low red blood cells from triggering health risks, such as:

  • Reduce the activities that cause us to accelerate the heart rate. If they also make breathing difficult, it is best to rest at regular intervals.
  • Maintain a correct diet rich in protein and vitamins.
  • Drink copious amounts of liquids that do not have caffeine or alcohol in their ingredients.
  • Comply with the hours of sleep. Rest is very important, so let’s dedicate enough hours to sleep.
  • Prioritize day-to-day activities so that we can save energy. Sometimes we are subjected to a lot of pressure in the routine, but if it is we are undergoing cancer treatment we must be kinder to ourselves and select the most necessary activities.
  • Avoid sudden changes in position, such as when getting out of bed. It is best to rest for a few minutes before fully incorporating.


In view of the fact that the cause of low red blood cells comes directly from diseases, it is advisable to go to the doctor for their attention and opinion. Between the most common treatments for this blood condition they find each other:

  • Blood transfusion, specifically erythrocytes
  • Platelet transfusion
  • Supplemental Iron Medications
  • Multivitamin supplements
  • A diet high in protein
  • Intake of foods rich in B6 and B12
  • Taking erythropoietin protein
  • Stimulating injections for red blood cells

Other measures

If we are undergoing cancer treatment, and depending on the severity of the low red cell count, it is advisable to delay the treatment, allowing the body to generate its blood cells again. It must be remembered that chemotherapy is a treatment that destroys the bone marrow, and that is where red blood cells are produced in conjunction with other important cells in the body.

Also learn about the conditions for high red blood cells.

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