Hemoglobin

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Overview
Test Results & Interpretations
Patient Concerns

Overview of Hemoglobin

Test Description

It is usually done to evaluate the amount of haemoglobin in your blood as a part of complete blood count or routine health check up. It should also be tested if you have symptoms of low haemoglobin (anemia) like easy fatigue, weakness or high haemoglobin (polycythemia) like headache, dizziness. It is also done before or after any major surgery, during pregnancy, in chronic kidney diseases or to monitor the response to treatment in anemia patients.

Why Get Tested

  1. As a part of routine preventive health check up
  2. When you have signs or symptoms of anemia like pale skin, weakness, fatigue
  3. When you have signs or symptoms of polycythemia like headache, disturbed vision, enlarged spleen 
  4. To diagnose and measure the severity of anemia or polycythemia
  5. To monitor the response to treatment of anemia or polycythemia

Precautions

  • No special preparation required

What Results of Hemoglobin mean?

Interpretations

Low hemoglobin with low RBC count and low hematocrit indicates anemia. Some important causes of anemia include:

a. Iron, Vitamin B12 or Folate deficiency 

b. Excessive loss of blood 

c. Decreased hemoglobin production as in Thalassemia 

d. Excess destruction of red blood cells as in hemolytic anemia 

e. Bone marrow disorders like aplastic anemia, leukemia, lymphoma 


High hemoglobin with high RBC count and high hematocrit indicates Polycythemia. Some causes include:

a. Lung diseases
b. Smoking
c. Dehydration
d. High altitude
e. Kidney tumors


Patient Concerns about Hemoglobin

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can I test my hemoglobin at home?
There are some home tests for hemoglobin available but the quality of the results is controversial. Therefore, preferably you should get a hemoglobin tested at home.
Q. Are there any warning signs for abnormally low hemoglobin level?
Some warning signs are fatigue, fainting, pale skin, shortness of breath.
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CAP

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