What is Hemoglobin?
The hemoglobin (Hb) test measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood, an an iron-containing protein which is found in the Red Blood Cells (RBCs) and carries oxygen from the lungs to the body tissues. This test is often done as part of a complete blood count (CBC) to check for anemia, a condition in which your body has fewer red blood cells than normal. Abnormally high or low Hb can cause symptoms like exhaustion and shortness of breath.
In adults, the average hemoglobin level is slightly higher for men than for women. You can increase your hemoglobin level by adding iron rich foods in your diet and by taking iron supplements.
Why is Hb done?
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
What does Hb Measure?
The hemoglobin test measures the amount of hemoglobin in the blood.
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.
Interpreting Hb results
Low hemoglobin levels may be seen in:
Different types of anemia
Cancer and other diseases
High hemoglobin levels may be seen in:
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
Answers to Patient Concerns & Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Hb
Frequently Asked Questions about Hemoglobin