Heamoglobin is protein within all red blood cells (RBCs) that contain iron and is well known for its ability to allow oxygen to bind to the red blood cell and carry it from the lungs to tissue and organs in the body.
The test measures the amount of heamoglobin in the blood.
Haemoglobin levels will rise when the number of RBCs increase and vice versa fall when the number RBCs decrease as seen in bone marrow production problems and blood loss.
Symptoms of decreased haemoglobin (Anaemia) include fatigue and weakness (tiredness). Too many RBCs cause the blood to be thick and a condition called polcythaemia which could give rise to blood flow problems.
Haemoglobin may be tested as part of a general health examination or in the presence of signs and symptoms indicating possible anaemia or polycythaemia.
Some signs and symptoms of anaemia include:
Some signs and symptoms of polycythaemia include:
This test may be performed as part of monitoring for treatment of symptoms or a specific disease and the interval is usually determined by the overseeing healthcare practitioner.