Hemoglobin Test

1 What is a Hemoglobin Test?

A test that measures the amount of hemoglobin – a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen to your body’s organs and tissues and transports carbon dioxide from your organs and tissues back to your lungs – in your blood is called hemoglobin test.

It means that you have anemia or have a low red blood cell count if the test reveals that your hemoglobin level is lower than normal.

The causes of anemia are bleeding, vitamin deficiencies, and chronic diseases.

Possible causes of a higher than normal hemoglobin level includes:

  • living at a high altitude
  • smoking
  • polycythemia vera
  • burns
  • dehydrations and excessive vomiting

2 Reasons For Procedure

Some of the reasons for hemoglobin test include:

  • to check your overall health or as part of a routine exam to screen for a variety of disorders or to monitor your general health
  • to monitor a medical condition such as anemia and to guide treatment for this disorder
  • to diagnose a medical condition if you are having fatigue, weakness or shortness of breath

3 Potential Risks

Other than bruising at the puncture site or dizziness, there are no potential risks for hemoglobin test.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

To prepare for the hemoglobin test, you can eat and drink normally if it will only be used for hemoglobin but if it will be used for other tests.

Consult your doctor if you need to do anything before the test.

5 What to Expect

Here you can find out what to expect from your hemoglobin test.

You doctor will get a sample of your blood by pricking your fingertip or will insert a needle into a vein in your arm.

Pricking the heel is the option for infants. The blood will then be sent to the laboratory for analysis. You can do your normal activities after the test.

6 Procedure Results

The normal range for hemoglobin test results include:

  • women – 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter
  • for men – 13.5 to 17. 5 grams per deciliter

You may have anemia if the results are lower than normal that is caused by:

If the results are higher than normal it may be because of:

Your doctor may suggest additional tests to determine the next steps to be taken.