Hemoglobin Test (Hb, Hgb, H & H)


Hemoglobin Test

A Hemoglobin Test is performed to measure the amount of hemoglobin in your blood. It is performed to check for health disorders such as Anaemia & Polycythemia. The Term ‘Hemoglobin’ is formed by the combination of two words- Haem + Globin. Haem represents the Iron & Globin represents the Protein, Hence Hemoglobin is a protein present in RBC that contains iron & carries oxygen from the lungs to the body Tissues.

Hemoglobin Test Results

Health Condition RBC Hb Hematocrit
Anaemia Low Low Low
Polycythemia High High High

When is Hemoglobin Test Done?

Hemoglobin Test

Generally, Hemoglobin Test is done :

  • For periodic/regular Health Checkup.
  • If undergoing Cancer Treatment that may affect your bone marrow.
  • As a part of CBC (Complete Blood Count).
  • When symptoms of Anaemia are observed. Some Common symptoms are:
    • Paleness
    • Shortness of breath
    • Fatigue
    • Weakness
    • Lack of energy
    • Fainting
  • When symptoms of Polycythemia observed such as:
    • Dizziness
    • Disturbed vision
    • A headache
    • Enlarged spleen
    • Flushing

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Factors affecting Haemoglobin Test Results

Hemoglobin Count may vary with Age, Gender & other factors. Hemoglobin count may also vary with temporary health conditions such as Pregnancy and recent Blood transfusion.

HbA1c Hemoglobin Test

HbA1c is the glycated hemoglobin developed when Hemoglobin combines with Glucose to become GlycatedHemoglobin in the blood. This test is regularly done for Diabetic People for better Diabetes management.

 Hemoglobin Test HbA1c normal range

  • The HbA1c Normal Range is 4% -5.6%
  • 5.7% – 6.4% indicates increased risk of Diabetes.
  • Above 6.5% indicates a higher risk of Diabetes

 Hemoglobin Test Results

What does Hemoglobin Test results indicate?

  • Low level of Hemoglobin indicates Anaemia.
  • High level of Hemoglobin indicate polycythemia

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 Low Hemoglobin Symptoms

  • Weakness
  • Tiredness
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Fainting, and Paleness

 Causes of Low Hemoglobin

  • Excessive Blood loss due to trauma or heavy bleeding.
  • Due to Iron deficiency
  • Due to folate or B12 deficiency
  • Damage to the bone marrow
  • Bone marrow disorders
  • Kidney failure
  • Chronic inflammatory disorders
  • Due to Decreased production of hemoglobin
  • Due to Ruination of red blood cells

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 Causes of High Hemoglobins

  • Lung Disorder
  • Congenital heart disorders
  • Kidney tumors
  • Smoking: Smokers have higher hemoglobin than nonsmokers.
  • Genetic Disorders (abnormality in oxygen sensing & hemoglobin oxygen release)
  • People living at high altitudes have high Hemoglobin compensation
  • The dehydration causes temporary rise in Hemoglobin. Hb rises when the fluid in the blood reduces.
  • Excessive production of RBC

 Hemoglobin Test Normal Range

  • Hemoglobin count for a
    • man is observed between 13.5 to 17.5 grams per deciliter.
    • a woman is observed between 12.0 to 15.5 grams per decilitre.
  • The normal value for Hemoglobin varies with Age and Gender for children.

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Eat foods that are high in iron and folate

Iron plays a very important role in hemoglobin production. A transferrin is a protein that binds to iron and transports it throughout our body. This helps our body make RBC, which contain hemoglobin.

Food for Hemoglobin

To increase the hemoglobin level one need to start eating more iron.  Following are some iron-rich foods

  • Spinach
  • Liver and organ meats
  • Green beans
  • Shellfish
  • Beef
  • Cabbage
  • Broccoli
  • Kale

Folate is a vitamin B that our body uses to produce RBC that contains hemoglobin. Without enough folate, RBCs can’t mature. This can might lead to folate deficiency anemia and low hemoglobin levels.

You can add the following to your diet to increase folate intake:

  • Kidney beans
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Avocado
  • Black-eyed peas
  • Rice
  • Beef
  • Pean

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Maximize iron absorption

Whether you increase your iron intake through food or supplements, it’s also important to make sure your body can easily process the extra iron you put into it. Certain things can either increase or decrease the amount of iron your body absorbs.

Things that increase iron absorption

When you eat something high in iron or take an iron supplement, try eating foods rich in vitamin C or take a supplement at the same time. Vitamin C may help to increase the amount of iron your body absorbs.

Foods high in vitamin C include:

  • Citrus
  • Strawberries
  • Dark, leafy greens

Vitamin A and beta-carotene, which helps your body produce vitamin A, can also help your body absorb more iron. You can find vitamin A in animal food sources, such as fish and liver. Beta-carotene is usually found in red, yellow, and orange fruits and vegetables, such as:

  • Carrots
  • Winter squash
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Mangos

You can also take vitamin A supplements, but make sure you work closely with your doctor to figure out a safe dose. Too much vitamin A can lead to a potentially serious condition called hypervitaminosis A.

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Things that decrease iron absorption

Calcium from supplements as well as food sources makes it harder for your body to absorb iron. However, it’s important that you should not completely eliminate calcium from your diet, because it’s an essential nutrient for your bone. Try to avoid calcium supplements if possible and try not to eat calcium-rich foods right before or after taking an iron supplement.

Foods high in calcium include:

  • Dairy
  • Dark, leafy greens
  • Soybeans
  • Seeds
  • Figs

Phytic acid can also reduce your capacity to absorb iron, especially if you don’t eat meat. However, it affects iron absorption during a single meal only, not throughout the day. If you don’t eat meat, try to avoid foods that are high in phytic acid along with iron-rich foods.

Foods high in phytic acid include:

  • Walnuts
  • Brazil nuts
  • Sesame seeds

Keep in mind that, like calcium, phytic acid is an essential nutrient that shouldn’t be completely removed from your diet.

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Important Links:
What is Liver Function Test (LFT)?
Cardiovascular Disease – Types, Causes and Prevention …
Facts About Blood Group
Tests Performed During Pregnancy
General Diet Plan
Personalized Diet Plan

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