Hemoglobin test or HGB blood test helps to measure the amount of hemoglobin present in the blood. A kind of protein, called Hemoglobin, is present in the red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body and CO2 back to the lungs. A lower level of hemoglobin than the normal value can be caused to anaemia. It is also caused due to Vitamin deficiencies, bleeding and chronic diseases. A higher level than the normal value can be caused due to several reasons such as, if you are suffering from blood disorder Polycythemia vera, living at high altitude, do smoking to an excess level, etc. The normal HGB blood test range varies from one lab to another and is inexpensive in nature.
Why is HGB test performed?
HGB test is mainly performed due to two reasons-
- To check the overall health condition: A doctor usually tests hemoglobin as a part of Complete Blood Count Test during a routine medical examination. Performing HGB blood test during pregnancy is a must as it examines whether mother’s hemoglobin is capable of transporting enough oxygen to the foetus or not.
- To diagnose a particular medical condition: A HGB test is ordered if one is experiencing weakness, fatigue, dizziness and shortness of breath.
- To monitor a medical condition- A hgb test is also performed to monitor the patient’s condition, who has been diagnosed with anemia or polycythemia.
How to prepare for the test?
Preparation for the test depends on the purpose of doing a HGB test. If the blood sample is being tested to measure the level of hemoglobin as a part of the routine test, the patient is allowed to eat and normally drink before the test. However, if the sample is used for other tests, one needs to fast for atleast 8 hours before performing the test. It is also advised to consult with the doctor once before the examination.
The test procedure is simple and inexpensive in nature. The blood sample withdrawn is collected in a vessel and sent to a laboratory for further analysis.
What do the HGB blood test results mean?
HGB blood test results:
- The normal value for hemoglobin for men ranges from – 13.5 to 17.5 grams per decilitre.
- The normal value for hemoglobin for women ranges from- 12.0 to 15.5 grams per decilitre.
The normal range for children varies with age and gender.