What is HGB test?

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What is HGB test?
HGB test or Hemoglobin test is a test to determine the levels of hemoglobin circulating in the blood. Hemoglobin is contained in the red blood cells and is important in the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the various tissues of the body. It also helps in maintaining the proper structure and shape of red blood cells. If hemoglobin levels are not normal, it may indicate certain illnesses.

Usually hemoglobin tests are part of CBC or complete blood count. This is a generic blood test known to many and this involves measurement of certain blood components like, red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, hematocrit, and hemoglobin. In this type of test, a blood sample is taken from patients through an injection. This procedure will last for only a few minutes, and results may be taken just several minutes later.

Hemoglobin tests are done to know if a person has anemia or polycythemia. These conditions involve abnormal measurements of hemoglobin in the blood. When a person has anemia, the function of the red blood cells will be hampered leading to various complications. If there is a decrease in hemoglobin levels, then there will also be a decrease in oxygen supply for the various tissues of the body. If this happens, the heart and lungs will work extra hard to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood.

Normal hemoglobin levels for adults range from 12 to 18 grams per 100 milliliters. If levels are higher than these values, it may be because of overproduction of red blood cells in the bone marrow, or it may indicate that there is an underlying lung disease or severe dehydration. Low levels of hemoglobin meanwhile indicate that the person has anemia. This condition may be due to a lot of factors like iron deficiency, inborn defects on the hemoglobin structure like thalassemias and sickle cell anemia, liver cirrhosis, kidney problems, profuse bleeding, RBC structure abnormalities, or bone marrow problems.

Most people get to know their hemoglobin levels from standard medical tests. If levels are below or above normal, one must consult with his/her doctor immediately for proper treatment and medical care.

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