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Hemoglobin Level - P00087

Hemoglobin is a compound found within the red blood cells in our body, and it is this compound which carries oxygen from the lungs to all the other parts of our body through blood. The hemoglobin test helps us measure the amount of this compound present in the blood, allowing us to determine the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Hemoglobin levels can be checked as part of the full blood count test as well.

This test helps your doctor measure the level of hemoglobin present in the blood. Hemoglobin is a compound which is present in the red cells and is used as the transport medium for oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. There are conditions where you can have too little or too much of hemoglobin, which can easily be detected by doing this investigation.

If your doctor suspects that you might be suffering from a condition which results in abnormal levels of hemoglobin in your blood, then you will be requested to undergo this test. Too little hemoglobin in the blood is known as anemia and has many causative factors. Too much of hemoglobin can be due to causes like polycythemia Vera or even dehydration.

There are no special preparations that you have to make before you undergo this test.

During this, a Medical Lab Technician will draw out a small volume of blood, using a needle and syringe which is inserted into a vein in your arm. This blood sample is then sent to the lab for analysis.

Since this test is a simple drawing of blood, you will not feel a lot of discomfort. You might experience a mild pain on inserting the needle, but you will not experience any uneasiness afterwards.

There is very little risk in undergoing a hemoglobin test, because it is a simple blood drawing. Very rarely you might continue to have a mild pain or some swelling at the site where the needle was inserted, but these symptoms will resolve on their own within a couple of days.

The normal level of hemoglobin for males should be between 13.5 to 17.5 grams/dL and for females it should be between 12.0 to 15.5 grams/dL. If your results are showing values less than this, then you have a condition called anemia, which can be caused by iron deficiency, vitamin B12 deficiency as well as thalassemia. If you have results higher than normal it can be due to Polycythemia Vera or even heart disease.

The results of your hemoglobin test may be affected if you have had any episode of heavy bleeding prior to undergoing the test such as heavy menstruation or bleeding due to an injury. Certain medications can also have an effect on the hemoglobin level. Make sure to discuss these facts with your doctor.