Hemoglobin Levels: High, Low and Normal Range: The Complete Guide

There are three types of cells in our body, namely red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. Hemoglobin is a protein full of iron and is found in the red blood cells. It can carry four molecules of oxygen. Hemoglobin is attached to the blood due to oxygen, and it carries oxygen to other parts of the body. When your cells have a low hemoglobin level, it means that the levels of oxygen in your body are also low.

Structure of Hemoglobin

It is made up of four oxygen molecules that are linked together. In a healthy adult hemoglobin molecule, there are two alpha-globin chains and two beta-globin chains. However, in infants, the beta chains are absent, and their hemoglobin consists of only alpha and gamma chains. As infants grow, the gamma chains gradually start to diminish and are replaced by beta chains.

How Hemoglobin Is Measured

To measure the levels of hemoglobin, the test of complete blood count CBC is carried out. The general standard of the levels of hemoglobin is different for different people.

Automated machines are used to release the hemoglobin from the samples of blood taken from the patients. The released chemical is then mixed with cyanide, and a light-absorbing compound is formed. In the end, the amount of the absorbed light is measured, and this measurement tells us exactly how much hemoglobin is present in our blood.

Normal Values of Hemoglobin

The normal values of hemoglobin vary from person to person. Values are dependent on many factors, such as the person’s:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Medical record

Furthermore, the system of test and the group of doctors also have different standards for normal values. Here, the complete detail of normal ranges has been given that is endorsed and widely accepted by the majority of the physicians. You will be able to ascertain your levels after reading the list.

For Adults

Adult men have slightly higher levels of normal hemoglobin than adult women. It is measured in gram per deciliters (g/dl) of blood. Here, the normal ranges of adult males and females are mentioned.

  • Males                  13.5 – 17.5 g/dl
  • Females              12.5 – 15.5 g/dl

For Children

Infants have higher levels of hemoglobin than adults. It is because they have higher levels of oxygen in the wombs and so, they need more blood cells to transfer the oxygen. However, as the infants grow up, the levels start going down. Here is the complete chart of the normal levels of hemoglobin in children.


Female Range g/dl

Male Range g/dl

0-30 days



2-3 month



3 – 6 months


9.6-14. 2

6-12 months



1-5 years



5-11 years


11.9 – 15.0

11-18 years



Causes of Imbalance in Hemoglobin Levels

If you have high or low red blood cells count, then the balance of hemoglobin would be disturbed. Hemoglobin is present in red blood cells, so the lower your red blood cell count, the lower your hemoglobin level and vice versa.

Primary causes of disruption in hemoglobin are:

  • Dehydration

If the quantity of fluid in your body goes down, then the red blood cell count would go higher, considering that there would not be enough floods in the body to balance the cells count.

  • Lung Infections

If your lungs have some infection or disease, then you might feel the disturbance in the level of hemoglobin. It is because when your lungs do not work effectively, then the body tries to generate more blood cells to help carry the oxygen to different parts of the body.

  • Kidney Tumors

Certain kidney tumors force your kidneys to produce erythropoietin in excessive amount, which eventually stimulates the production of red blood cells.

Symptoms of Low Levels of Hemoglobin

A person suffering from low hemoglobin is called anemic, i.e., he has anemia. Some of the significant signs of low levels of hemoglobin are:

  • Weakness
  • Pale Skin
  • Pain in chest
  • Restlessness in the legs
  • Shortness of breath
  • Bone Pain
  • Blindness


You can start consuming iron-rich food to balance the levels of hemoglobin. Furthermore, vitamin B12 and vitamin C are also pivotal in maintaining the levels so that you can enjoy your life to the fullest.


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Written by Tayyab SaqlaiN

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