Hemoglobin

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Overview
Interpretations
FAQ's
Hemoglobin

Overview of Hemoglobin

What is Hemoglobin?

Hemoglobin is an iron containing protein which is found in the Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and carries oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues. The hemoglobin test measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood.

Sample Type

The sample type collected for Hemoglobin is: Blood

Preparation for Hemoglobin

  • No special preparation required

Why Get Tested for Hemoglobin?

  • To detect anemia

  • To detect Hb levels before and after blood transfusion

  • To monitor the response to treatment of anemia or polycythemia

  • If you have a family history of an inherited blood disorder

  • In case of excessive blood loss from an injury or surgical procedure




Understand more about Hemoglobin

Hemoglobin (Hb) is a protein found in red blood cells (RBCs) that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues, and to exchange the oxygen for carbon dioxide. Hemoglobin then carries the carbon dioxide back to the lungs and where it is exchanged for oxygen. Iron is an essential part of hemoglobin. Most blood cells, including red blood cells, are produced regularly in your bone marrow (present within the cavities of many of large bones). To produce hemoglobin and red blood cells, your body needs iron, vitamin B12, folate and other nutrients from the foods you eat.

A decrease in hemoglobin concentration in blood results in anemia. Anemia is a blood disorder characterized by a decrease in the total amount of red blood cells (RBCs) or hemoglobin in the blood or a lowered ability of the blood to carry oxygen to body organs and tissues. Anemia is the most common blood disorder, affecting about a third of the global population and can cause symptoms like tiredness (fatigue), weakness, shortness of breath etc.

The hemoglobin test is usually performed as a part of complete blood count (CBC) test.


What Results of Hemoglobin mean?

Interpretations

Low hemoglobin levels may be seen in:

  • Different types of anemia

  • Thalassemia

  • Iron deficiency

  • Liver disease

  • Cancer and other diseases


High hemoglobin levels may be seen in:

  • Lung disease

  • Heart disease

  • Polycythemia vera, a disorder in which your body makes too many red blood cells. It can cause headaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath

  • People living in high altitude area


Patient Concerns about Hemoglobin

Frequently Asked Questions about Hemoglobin

Q. Can a healthy diet help in keeping my hemoglobin levels near normal?
Yes, a well balanced diet can help in keeping the hemoglobin levels optimally since iron, vitamin B12 and folate are the most important causes of anemia.
Q. How is this test performed?
This test is performed on a blood sample. A syringe with a fine needle attached is used to withdraw blood sample from a blood vessel in your arm generally from the inner side of the elbow area. The doctor, nurse or the phlebotomist will tie an elastic band around your arm which will help the blood vessels to swell with blood and hence makes it easier to withdraw blood. You may be asked to tightly clench your fist. Once the veins are clearly visible, the area is cleaned with an antiseptic solution and then the needle is inserted into the blood vessel to collect the sample. You may feel a tiny pinprick during the procedure. Blood sample once collected is then sent to the laboratory.
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