Hemoglobin Test: Purpose, Preparation, Timing, and Cost
The amount of hemoglobin in the blood is measured using a hemoglobin test. The red blood cells have the amino acid hemoglobin. They help in carrying carbon dioxide from tissues and organs to your lungs. They also carry oxygen to tissues and organs. Getting a hemoglobin test can determine if your blood has sufficient hemoglobin.
What is a hemoglobin test?
A hemoglobin test is also done in concert with other tests. Tests like Electrophoresis are done to determine the full picture of red blood cells. The hemoglobin test estimates the percentage of red blood cells in your blood. A complete blood count test counts your blood cells and determines their composition. A doctor will diagnose blood diseases and other illnesses using your hemoglobin level. Anemia, which is indicated by a deficiency in hemoglobin or healthy red blood cells, is diagnosed through hemoglobin testing. Available easily, the hemoglobin test price varies from one place to another.
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What is the purpose of a hemoglobin test?
A normal test may include a hemoglobin test from your doctor. Hemoglobin testing includes a complete blood count test, which counts the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Your doctor can diagnose your health and check for particular conditions using your provided information.
A doctor may recommend a hemoglobin test if you show symptoms of diseases with low or high hemoglobin levels. The hemoglobin test is simple and inexpensive. Usually, the hemoglobin test price is low in most cities.
What are the symptoms of low and high hemoglobin?
Few red blood cells (RBC) or low hemoglobin levels can deprive your tissues and organs of oxygen. They are required to produce energy and keep you healthy.
Among the symptoms of low hemoglobin are:
- Pale skin
- Breathing difficulty
- Cold feet and hands
Your blood may thicken and slow down due to a high hemoglobin level. Since thick blood doesn’t flow as quickly, your organs don’t get enough oxygen, which causes other complications.
Among the symptoms of high hemoglobin:
- Double or blurred vision
- Clots of blood
Now, your doctor will examine your hemoglobin. Further, the treatments will be made to lessen or increase your red blood cell.
How is a hemoglobin test conducted?
The healthcare provider will draw blood from your arm. They can also prick their finger to draw blood. For newborns or young children, a heel stick may be used. Your healthcare provider will first wipe alcohol over your skin. To help the blood flow more easily, they’ll wrap an elastic band around your upper arm. Then, a tiny needle will be inserted into a vein. When the needle is inserted, you are likely to experience a sting. A vial will receive your blood as it flows from the needle. The vial will then be sent to a lab for analysis by your provider.
What is the normal hemoglobin level?
For adults, the normal range for hemoglobin levels in the blood is 12.4–17.4 grams per deciliter. However, depending on your age, race, and sex, levels may change. You may also have abnormal levels due to lifestyle and environmental factors, such as:
- Nutritional diet
- Physical exercise or activity
- Your current medication routine
What risks are associated with a hemoglobin test?
Blood testing doesn’t carry a lot of dangers. While the blood is drawn, you can feel a little discomfort. The area may seem bruised or swollen for a few days. Usually, these side effects disappear on their own.
What do low and high hemoglobin levels mean?
Low Hemoglobin Levels
Anemia, or low hemoglobin levels, may indicate that your body isn’t making enough red blood cells. Low levels also mean that your red blood cells are degrading more quickly than they are being produced. Hemoglobin concentrations also fall as a result of chronic blood loss. One of the main causes of anemia is this.
Low hemoglobin levels may also indicate:
- Absence of iron
- Lack of nutrients (for example, vitamin B12 or folic acid).
- Cancers that damage the bone marrow or blood.
- Kidney illness
- Liver illness.
- Sickle cell illness
- Autoimmune conditions.
- Bleeding from your gastrointestinal system, menstrual bleeding, surgery, injury, or blood loss.
- High Hemoglobin Levels
Due to some conditions, your blood contains an excessive amount of hemoglobin. Your hemoglobin is high if you’re dehydrated, as your red blood cells are highly present in your blood. High levels of hemoglobin may indicate:
- Polycythemia Vera
- Congenital cardiac problems.
- Various renal illnesses, such as kidney cancer.
- Lung conditions include pulmonary fibrosis and chronic pulmonary obstructive disease (COPD).
The results of a hemoglobin test can be regarded as within the normal range, higher, or lower. If the levels are normal, hemoglobin is working properly. If the levels are lower, hemoglobin is low, which indicates that cells are not getting enough oxygen. High hemoglobin levels indicate an underlying disease that produces too much hemoglobin.