What is a blood hemoglobin test?
Hemoglobin is a protein found in the red blood cells of your blood. The hemoglobin protein is carries oxygen to your body tissues and transports carbon dioxide from the body tissues to the lungs . A blood hemoglobin test is usually performed to elicit the amount of hemoglobin in your body.
If the Hemoglobin level is low, then it is likely that your red blood cell levels would be lower to than the normal range. This is known as anemia. If your hemoglobin levels are high, then this could be a result of several factors.
What is the purpose of a hemoglobin test?
There are several things that a hemoglobin test can reveal about a patient.
- Your overall health. A hemoglobin test is often done as a part of your routine physical exam. It lets you know if you are anemic.
- Diagnose your medical condition. If the doctors suspect some underlying medical condition, then they can ask for a hemoglobin test to assess your hemoglobin levels.
- Monitor medical conditions. This is done for patients who have been diagnosed with anemia or polycythemia vera. This is done to check if you are responding well to medical treatment .
What is the connection between iron and blood hemoglobin?
Iron is very vital for the production of the blood in the human body.
Haemoglobin is an iron-containing protein found in red blood cells. Oxygen moves into the red blood cell and binds to haemoglobin, which allows it to be transported around the body. Haemoglobin has two major parts: heme molecules, which are structures containing iron and globin molecules which are proteins that surround and protect heme. What is the relationship between haemoglobin and iron? Iron is the building block needed to produce haemoglobin. Red cells are continually being replaced and this process reuses iron from the old red cells. Despite this recycling, our body has an ongoing need for iron from our diet.
Around 70% of the iron found in your red blood cells is in hemoglobin. Around 6% of the iron found in your body is a component of certain proteins. These are essential for a number cell or tissue functions such as respiration and metabolism. Iron is also essential for an efficient and stable immune system.
Around 25% of the iron in our bodies is stored in the form of ferritin. This protein is circulated by the blood stream to all the cells, tissues, and organs of your body. . When iron levels are low in the body, the hemoglobin levels also go down. When the iron levels are depleted, then it is known as iron depletion, which can soon lead to iron-deficient erythropoiesis. The last stage of iron depletion in the human body is known as iron deficiency medically termed as anemia.
To maintain healthy hemoglobin levels, one must consume at least 1.8 mg of iron per day in the portion diet . The food products that are rich in iron are veal, pork, turkey, chicken, liver, etc. You can also get high levels of iron from vegetables such as spinach , jaggery , dates , potatoes, green beans, broccoli, etc.
What are the normal levels of hemoglobin?
Normal levels of hemoglobin in an adult are different between males and females. It also varies depending on the age of the person.
- In men, it is 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter.
- In women, it is 12.0 to 15.5 grams per deciliter.
What does a low test result mean?
Doctors normally say that you are anemic if your hemoglobin level is lower than normal range. There are some causative factors, they are as follows:
What does a higher than normal result mean?
When you have a high hemoglobin level, it could be due to:
- Lung disease
- Heavy smoking
- Excessive vomiting
- Polycythemia vera
- Extreme physical exercise
- Living at a high altitude
What are the symptoms of low hemoglobin?
Some symptoms of low hemoglobin are as follows:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Skin pallor
- Cold, swollen hands or feet
- Having trouble with physical activity
What are the symptoms of high hemoglobin?
Symptoms of having a high hemoglobin level are as follows:
- Excessive sweating or hyperhidrosis
- Feeling exhausted
- Joint pain and swollen extremities
- Skin discoloration
You should visit your doctor if you experience any of the symptoms.
Call 1860-500-1066 to book an appointment.
How is a blood hemoglobin test taken?
A sample of your blood is collected and sent to the lab for testing. There is no complex procedure involved.
A blood hemoglobin test detects hemoglobin levels in your body. The level of hemoglobin also lets you know if the iron in your body is normal. Once your test results are back, the doctor can prescribe the right diet and /or medication to help get the levels normal.