What do you understand by hemoglobin (HGB) Blood Test?
Hemoglobin Blood Test - Blood test to determine the concentration of hemoglobin in blood.
Your doctor may recommend hemoglobin test as a part of the complete blood count (CBC) , which may be done for various conditions and diseases or just as a part of general health screen.
Hemoglobin test may be repeated if you have a disease which affects the hemoglobin level like bleeding problems, chronic anemia, or polycythemia.
The test can help to evaluate;
- the severity of anemia or polycythemia,
- the response to treatment of anemia or polycythemia,
- if blood transfusions is needed for anemia
The normal hemoglobin level differs with age and sex of the person.
- Men: 13.8 to 17.2 gm/dL
- Women: 12.1 to 15.1 gm/dL
Some cause of above-normal hemoglobin levels include;
- Dehydration (loss of fluid from the body)
- Increased production of red blood cells in the bone marrow,
- Severe lung disease
- Living at high altitude
Some cause of below-normal hemoglobin levels include;
- Iron deficiency or
- Deficiencies of vitamins such as B12 and folate,
- Certain inherited hemoglobin defects (such as sickle cell anemia or thalassemias),
- Chronic diseases of the liver and kidney
- Excessive bleeding or blood loss
- Diseases which result in excessive destruction of red blood cells,
- Failure of bone marrow (aplastic anemia)
The normal test value can differ slightly from one laboratory to other. Consult your doctor to understand the meaning of your test result.
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Source: Expert Content Oct 04, 2011
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