The hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the tissues of the body and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. The normal ranges of hemoglobin depend on the age, and from adolescence on the sex of the person. Normal hemoglobin counts are 14 to 18 g / dL (grams per deciliter) for men and 12 to 16 g / dL for women. Hemoglobin levels depend on many factors, including a person’s age, race, gender, and general health. Each case must be treated by a specialist doctor, who will indicate the appropriate treatment.
What does a high hemoglobin level mean?
The hemoglobin count is an indirect measure of the number of red blood cells in the body.; a high count can be a sign of a health problem.
Certain medical conditions and lifestyle factors can cause a high hemoglobin count. It can be treated with medicine or with a procedure called a phlebotomy. The hemoglobin level is expressed in grams (g) per deciliter (dL) of whole blood, one deciliter being 100 milliliters.
High hemoglobin levels can occur in people who live at high altitudes and in people who smoke. In other cases it can go up due to dehydration, in these cases it will normalize by balancing the level of fluids.
When the body makes too many red blood cells, it causes the blood to become thicker than normal. This can lead to blood clots, heart attacks, and strokes. It is a serious life-long condition that can be fatal if left untreated.
What can I expect when my doctor finds a high hemoglobin count?
Doctors often find high hemoglobin when doing other checks for other health problems. Your doctor may perform other tests to determine the source of this high level, which will look for conditions that cause the body to make too many red blood cells or other conditions that decrease oxygen supply.
In a procedure called a phlebotomy, a healthcare professional inserts a needle into your vein and drains the blood through a tube into a bag or container. This procedure will be done until the hemoglobin level is close to normal. If you have a high hemoglobin count with no other abnormalities, it is unlikely to indicate a related serious condition.