Hemoglobin, an Important Part of Your Blood, May Be Measured Via a Blood Test.
Hemoglobin is a protein that is included within red blood cells (RBCs). It’s the part of the red blood cell that brings oxygen to, and CO2 far from, the cells in the body. Without the correct amount of hemoglobin at a loss blood cells, the cells of the body will not be able to get sufficient oxygen.
When hemoglobin is irregular, the shape of the red blood cells is impacted. The distinctive shape of a red blood cell– which looks like a donut that does not have a total hole through the middle– is altered.
The shape of the red blood cell helps it to travel through the capillary and do its job. A malformed red cell might not be able to perform its functions. And a red blood cell of the incorrect size or shape may have difficulty passing quickly through capillary.
Why It’s Done
You might have a hemoglobin test for several reasons:
- To examine your general health. Your doctor might test your hemoglobin as part of a complete blood count during a regular medical exam to monitor your general health and to evaluate for a range of disorders, such as anemia.
- To detect a medical condition. Your doctor might recommend a hemoglobin test if you’re experiencing weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath or dizziness. These symptoms and signs might indicate anemia or polycythemia vera. A hemoglobin test might help diagnose these or other medical conditions.
- To keep track of a medical condition. If you’ve been identified with anemia or polycythemia vera, your doctor might use a hemoglobin test to monitor your condition and guide treatment.
How You Prepare
If your blood sample is being checked just for hemoglobin, you can drink and eat typically before the test. If your blood sample will be used for other tests, you may need to fast for a specific amount of time prior to the sample is taken. Your doctor will give you particular directions.
What You Can Anticipate
For a hemoglobin test, a member of your health care group takes a sample of blood by pricking your fingertip or placing a needle into a vein in your arm. For babies, the sample might be gotten by puncturing the heel. The blood sample is sent to a laboratory for analysis. You can go back to your usual activities instantly after the sample is taken.
The Hemoglobin Level Test
The hemoglobin level in blood might be checked during the course of detecting or keeping track of numerous diseases and conditions. This test is not specific enough to be used by itself to diagnose any specific condition, so for the most parts, physicians will use the results of the hemoglobin level test in combination with the results of a hematocrit level test (which is the volume of red blood cells in a blood sample). Other test results, as well as a history of symptoms and signs, might likewise be used to determine what is happening in the blood.
Referral Range For Hemoglobin Level
A hemoglobin test is normally purchased as one part of a total blood cell (CBC) count.
Hemoglobin levels in the blood are frequently measured as grams per deciliter of blood, but other measuring systems may likewise be used. The type of systems used will depend upon what is typically used by the lab that is processing the blood samples. Each lab will have its own definition of a “regular” hemoglobin variety, therefore the levels given listed below are just examples, and should not necessarily be used to compare to any actual test results.
Talk with your doctor if you have any questions regarding the levels reported in a hemoglobin test and what they may mean for your health.
Example Hemoglobin Level Reference Ranges
|Approximate Range for Women||12.0 to 15.5 g/dl|
|Approximate Range for Men||13.5 to 17.5 g/dl|
|Approximate Range for Children||11 to 16 g/dl|
Expressed in grams per deciliter of blood (g/dl)
Why Do We Measure Hemoglobin?
Hemoglobin levels that are greater than typical might be caused by low oxygen levels. A low level of hemoglobin might be related to illness and conditions such as hereditary heart disease, cor pulmonale (an issue connected with emphysema), increased RBC production caused by an excess of erythropoietin, pulmonary fibrosis (scarring in the lungs), or polycythemia vera (an unusual disease of the bone marrow).
A low level of hemoglobin is a common condition called anemia. This is the most typical of the blood conditions, and it has many different causes.
There are a wide variety of illness and conditions that are associated with anemia, like erythropoietin, hemorrhaging, poor nutrition, overhydration, lead poisoning, or shortages in iron, folate, vitamin B12 or vitamin B6.
What If Your Hemoglobin Is Low?
Low hemoglobin and anemia are common, especially in individuals with chronic illnesses like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Nevertheless, getting the underlying disease under control will help in correcting the issue. There are other efficient treatments that a doctor can prescribe to treat anemia.