Blood Test, CBC - Hemoglobin (HGB)

The hemoglobin (HGB) test measures that red blood cells contain how much hemoglobin.HGB helps red blood cells transport oxygen from your lungs to your body through your arteries. HGB is a protein produced by your bone marrow that’s stored in red blood cells.HGB is what makes red blood cells look red. It also transports carbon dioxide to your lungs through your veins.

Your doctor may suggest an HGB test if you’re experiencing symptoms like shortness of breath, exhaustion, dizziness.

Why do I need the HGB test?

In order to determine hemoglobin levels the doctor need HGB test results. The HGB test may be ordered as part of a complete blood count (CBC) test.

Here are a few other reasons your doctor may prescribe an HGB test:

  • If you have parents or other family members who have blood disorders,
  • In pregnancy
  • Lost blood after surgery or injury
  • Got infection.
  • Lack of enough iron in your diet.

Fasting is not required for this HGB test specifically.

Ranges for the test results

HGB levels depend on your age and gender both. Normally healthy Hgb levels are as follows:


Hgb level, in grams per deciliter (g/dL)



young children


adult males


adult females (not pregnant)


adult females (pregnant)


For women if not pregnant, below 12 g/dL HGB levels are considered low

For men below 13 g/dL HGB level are considered low

These levels may change with certain conditions. For children it may vary according to their age especially in infants under 6 months old.

Symptoms of low hemoglobin

Low HGB is also known as anemia, which means that you don’t have enough red blood cells in your body. So common anemia symptoms are pain in your chest, shortness of breath, exhaustion, abnormal or fast heartbeat, skin paleness, and headache

A lower than normal amount of hemoglobin can result in decreased oxygen delivery to vital organs and muscles, resulting in fatigue or a lack of energy.

Symptoms of high hemoglobin

High HGB is known as polycythemia. It means you have too many red blood cells. Polycythemia vera is a type of blood in which your bone marrow overproduces red blood cells.

Common symptoms of high HGB levels include:

  • Itchiness
  • abnormal weight loss
  • feeling exhausted
  • sweating more than usual
  • dizziness
  • painful joint swelling
  • headache
  • jaundice
  • getting easily bruised or bleeding

The takeaway

Talk to your doctor if you’re experiencing any symptoms of high or low HGB

Your doctor may recommend an HGB test if you have symptoms of abnormal HGB levels or if you’re pregnant. So we should seriously take care of the symptoms of abnormal HGB levels and have the cause diagnosed.

Authenticated by:

Dr. Gaurav Sharma

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