When should a hemoglobin test be done?
Hemoglobin is a very essential component of our body as it is responsible for the transportation of oxygen in the blood. It is also known as the red protein since it is present in the red blood cell. It is a component containing iron and provides oxygen to almost all the vertebrates as well as their tissues.
Sometimes, the hemoglobin in your blood might reach certain abnormal levels, and at such times, you should get a haemoglobin test done.
What is a hemoglobin blood test?
A hemoglobin test tells you the amount of hemoglobin present in your blood. It reveals whether the hemoglobin levels in your body are normal or not. This test is done for many reasons, mainly for checking anemia. This test is also a part of the normal routine check-up of your body. Both the high and low levels of hemoglobin in your body have specific reasons and effects.
There are certain times where you should get your hemoglobin checked. Those are listed below:
- Major symptoms of anemia include dizziness, pale skin, cold hands and feet, weakness, and fatigue.
- If you have a diet that is low in iron and minerals. This makes you feel lethargic and weak.
- If you have an infection that has been there for a long time with no improvements visible even after trying to treat it.
- When you face excessive blood loss if you get a cut or any injury. Slow healing and clotting of blood is also an alarm for you to get your hemoglobin checked.
After getting your results, you can work on the issues that you may have. Those may be related to your hemoglobin levels. High and low hemoglobin levels of your blood can be caused due to various factors and also have many side effects.
High level of hemoglobin:
A high hemoglobin count in your body occurs due to various medical conditions and lifestyle factors. This condition can be cured by medication or through a procedure known as phlebotomy.
The causes of high hemoglobin are given below:
- Lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis, COPD, emphysema, etc. are some factors that increase the levels of hemoglobin.
- Heart conditions like congenital heart diseases.
- Excessive carbon monoxide exposure is a reason for high levels.
- Kidney tumors and hypoxia are other conditions that are also responsible.
Other lifestyle-related factors are:
- Living at high altitudes can affect the level of hemoglobin in your blood.
- Smoking cigarettes and other ways of consuming tobacco and nicotine.
- Heavy consumption of drugs or erythropoietin.
There are many effects of having a high level of hemoglobin in your body that needs to be treated.
Effects of a high level of hemoglobin are mentioned below:
- Your skin may feel itchy and dry. You can get easily injured and bruised and the healing process is very slow. Your skin color also gets affected and changed by a little purple or reddish tint on it.
- You often will feel dizzy and suffer from frequent headaches. You will also suffer from painful joint swelling.
- Constant sweating of your body and feeling exhausted quickly also are side effects of high levels.
- Rapid weight loss is also experienced.
Low levels of hemoglobin:
A low level of hemoglobin occurs mainly due to a major lack of iron in your body and is the main reason for anemia. All the other health conditions are caused due to a lack of iron in your body.
The causes of high hemoglobin in your body are mentioned below:
- Women deal with low hemoglobin counts in their bodies due to excessive blood loss during their monthly periods and childbirth.
- Age is also a cause. People who are over the age of 65 are more prone to low hemoglobin levels as their diet does not contain enough iron.
- People who use blood thinners such as aspirin for their medical needs.
- People who deal with kidney issues are also affected as enough red blood cells are not made by them.
The symptoms of having a low count of hemoglobin in your blood are:
- Weakness and fatigue are the two simple effects of low levels of hemoglobin.
- Fast or irregular heartbeats along with cold hands and feet.
- A tingling and creeping sensation in your legs.
- Frequent swelling and soreness of the tongue.
- Very brittle nails and regular headaches.
- Shortness of breath and feeling exhausted at all times is also due to low levels.
- Some major symptoms include weird cravings to eat items that are not meant to be eaten such as dirt, clay, or ice.
If you face any of these, make sure you get a hemoglobin test done.
Having a normal count of hemoglobin in your blood is very important for the proper functioning of all parts of your body. It keeps you fresh and healthy. Having a proper iron-rich diet is very important and so is exercising. Do get a hemoglobin blood test if you are dealing with any of the symptoms mentioned above.