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Health and Fitness

Why It is Required to Do a Hemoglobin Test

Hemoglobin, sometimes called Hb, is a “complex protein”. The main function of hemoglobin is to carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body. It is also the function of hemoglobin to transport oxygen to the tissues in place of carbon dioxide and to carry carbon dioxide back to the lungs, from where carbon dioxide is expelled back out of the body. The iron in hemoglobin helps maintain the normal shape of red blood cells.

What is hemoglobin test?

Hemoglobin test measures the level of hemoglobin in your blood. Hemoglobin is a protein that carries oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body. If your hemoglobin levels are abnormal, it may indicate some sort of disorder in your blood.

Why is hemoglobin test done?

Hemoglobin tests are often done to check for anemia. Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells in your blood is much lower than normal.

The hemoglobin test may also be used to:

• To detect and assess the severity of anemia and polycythaemia
• To monitor the response of anemia or polycythaemia to treatment
• To select a blood transfusion or other appropriate treatment if anemia is severe

With the help of hemoglobin test, the amount of hemoglobin found in the blood is analyzed. The amount of hemoglobin in the blood indicates the blood’s ability to deliver oxygen to the body and carry carbon dioxide to the lungs. When the number of red blood cells in the blood increases, the level of hemoglobin also increases. When the body reduces the production of red blood cells, it also reduces the level of hemoglobin, which is a sign of anemia.

A hemoglobin test is often done along with other tests, such as a haematocrit (a test that measures the percentage of red blood cells in your blood) and a complete blood count (a test that measures the percentage of red blood cells in your blood). The number and type of red blood cells in the blood is assessed).

What is done before the hemoglobin test?

You can eat your normal daily diet before the hemoglobin test, but keep these things in mind as all of these factors can affect the hemoglobin test result:

• If any other test is being done along with the hemoglobin test, in which food or drink is prohibited, then go for the test on an empty stomach.
• If you are taking any kind of medicines, then tell your doctor about this in advance because some types of medicines can affect the result of hemoglobin test.
• If you have recently donated blood or received a blood transfusion, you should inform your doctor about this before the test.
• If you smoke also tell the doctor about it.
• It is also very easy for you to wear half sleeve shirt and T-shirt while going for the test.

How is the hemoglobin test done?

During the test, a blood sample is drawn by inserting a needle into a vein in your arm. First of all, the doctor will clean the skin where the needle is to be inserted with an antiseptic. After that, the upper part of the skin will be tied with bandage, due to which the blood flow in the veins stops and the veins start swelling. After the vein is clearly visible, the doctor inserts a needle into the vein and fills the blood sample in the vial or syringe attached to it.

What is done after the hemoglobin test?

After taking the sample, the doctor first unties the bandage tied on the arm and then takes out the needle. A piece of cotton or a bandage is applied at the needle site to stop the bleeding. To analysis the blood it must be sent to the lab.

You may feel slight discomfort for a short time during the process of taking the sample. The sample is also available to collect from home. Now anybody can take the facility of hemoglobin test at home. They didn’t need to go anywhere. The sample is collected at home. After taking the sample slight prick is felt during the needle insertion.

You can go back to your normal day to day activities after having the hemoglobin test.

When should the hemoglobin test be done?

Hemoglobin test is done as a blood test to check general health and to check anemia and its severity.

Some of the common symptoms for which a doctor may suggest a hemoglobin test are:

• Depression
• Yellowing of nails, skin and gums
• Cold hands and feet
• Fatigue
• Loss of appetite
• Weakness
• Breathlessness
• Pain in chest
• Brittle nails
• Dizzy

There can be some other reasons as well for which the doctor may suggest you to get the hemoglobin test done:

• If you have lost a lot of blood during an injury or operation.
• If you have a parent or family member with a blood disorder such as sickle cell anemia.
• if you are pregnant
• if you have any type of infection
• If you are not getting enough iron from food
• If you have any kind of medical problem that affects your hemoglobin level.

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