Why it's done

You may have a hemoglobin test for several reasons:

  • To check your overall health. Your doctor may test your hemoglobin as part of a complete blood count during a routine medical examination to monitor your general health and to screen for a variety of disorders, such as anemia.
  • To diagnose a medical condition. Your doctor may suggest a hemoglobin test if you're experiencing weakness, fatigue, shortness of breath or dizziness. These signs and symptoms may point to anemia or polycythemia vera. A hemoglobin test may help diagnose these or other medical conditions.
  • To monitor a medical condition. If you've been diagnosed with anemia or polycythemia vera, your doctor may use a hemoglobin test to monitor your condition and guide treatment.
March 16, 2017
References
  1. Hemoglobin. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/hemoglobin/tab/sample/. Accessed Nov. 27, 2016.
  2. Longo DL, et al., eds. Disorders of hemoglobin. In: Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 19th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw-Hill Education; 2015. http://accessmedicine.com. Accessed Nov. 27, 2016.
  3. CBC with differential, blood. Mayo Medical Laboratories. Rochester, Minn.: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. http://www.mayomedicallaboratories.com/test-catalog/Clinical+and+Interpretive/9109. Accessed Nov. 27, 2016.
  4. Nicoll D, et al. Pocket Guide to Diagnostic Tests. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com. Accessed Nov. 27, 2016.