When to see a doctor

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Hemoglobin tests are given for many reasons, such as to screen for or help diagnose disease and to monitor treatment response. Some people learn that their hemoglobin is low when they go to donate blood. If you're told that you can't donate blood because of low hemoglobin, make an appointment with your doctor.

Make an appointment if you have signs and symptoms

If you experience signs and symptoms of a low hemoglobin count, make an appointment with your doctor. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Pale skin and gums
  • Shortness of breath
  • A fast or irregular heartbeat

Your doctor may recommend a complete blood count test to determine whether you have a low hemoglobin count or whether your signs and symptoms are caused by something else.

If your test reveals you have a low hemoglobin count, you will likely need more testing to determine the cause. Then your doctor can explain what this means for you.

May 08, 2015