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This can help them detect problems like a disease or medical condition. Sometimes, blood tests can help them see how well an organ such as the liver or kidneys is working. A hemoglobin test is a blood test that helps doctors check the level of red blood cells. Red blood cells deliver oxygen to the different parts of the body. A hemoglobin test is done to check for low or high levels of red blood cells. It can be done as part of a routine checkup to screen for problems and or because a child isn't feeling well. When the level of red blood cells is low, it's called anemia. When the level is high, it's called polycythemia.

Your child should be able to eat and drink normally unless also getting other tests that require fasting beforehand. Tell your doctor about any medicines your child takes because some drugs might affect the test results. Also let the doctor know if your child has had a blood transfusion or smokes. These can affect hemoglobin levels.

Appointments at Mayo Clinic

Wearing a T-shirt or short-sleeved shirt for the test can make things easier for your child, and you also can bring along a toy or book as a distraction. Most blood tests take a small amount of blood from a vein. To do that, a health professional will:. Hemoglobin is sometimes tested with a "fingerstick" test. The health professional will clean your child's finger, then prick the tip of it with a tiny needle or lancet to collect the blood.

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In babies, blood draws are sometimes done as a "heel stick collection. Collecting a sample of blood is only temporarily uncomfortable and can feel like a quick pinprick.

Hemoglobin References

In men and postmenopausal women, iron deficiency is almost always the result of gastrointestinal blood loss. In menstruating women, genitourinary blood loss often accounts for increased iron requirements. Oral contraceptives tend to decrease menstrual blood loss, whereas intrauterine devices tend to increase menstrual bleeding. Other causes of genitourinary bleeding and respiratory tract bleeding also increase iron requirements. For blood donors, each donation results in the loss of to mg of iron. During periods of growth in infancy, childhood and adolescence, iron requirements may outstrip the supply of iron from diet and stores.

Iron loss from tissue growth during pregnancy and from bleeding during delivery and post partum averages mg. Breastfeeding increases iron requirements by about 0.

Building Your Hemoglobin Level Without Blood

Your "iron level" is checked before each blood donation to determine if it is safe for you to give blood. Iron is not made in the body and must be absorbed from what you eat. The adult minimum daily requirement of iron is 1. Only about 10 to 30 percent of the iron you consume is absorbed and used by the body.

Definition of hemoglobin - NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms - National Cancer Institute

The daily requirement of iron can be achieved by taking iron supplements. Ferrous sulfate mg, taken orally once a day, and by eating foods high in iron. Foods high in vitamin C also are recommended because vitamin C helps your body absorb iron. Cooking in iron pots can add up to 80 percent more iron to your foods. Consult with your primary care provider before taking iron supplements. This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or health care provider.