A hemoglobin test is often used to check for anemia, a condition in which your body has fewer red blood cells than normal. If you have anemia, your cells don’t get all the oxygen they need.
- Symptoms of anemia, which include weakness, dizziness, pale skin, and cold hands and feet
- A family history of thalassemia, sickle cell anemia, or other inherited blood disorder
- A diet low in iron and minerals
- A long-term infection
- Excessive blood loss from an injury or surgical procedure
Low hemoglobin levels may be a sign of:
- Different types of anemia
- Iron deficiency
- Liver disease
- Cancer and other diseases
High hemoglobin levels may be a sign of:
- Lung disease
- Heart disease
Polycythemia vera, a disorder in which your body makes too many red blood cells. It can cause headaches, fatigue, and shortness of breath.