What Is the Danger of High Hemoglobin?

A high hemoglobin count can indicate serious medical conditions such as kidney failure, liver cancer and heart failure, according to Mayo Clinic. High hemoglobin can also result from residing in high-altitude environments. High hemoglobin counts are often expected by physicians when testing for certain illnesses.

High hemoglobin counts are also found in individuals with congenital heart defects, scarred lungs and COPD, explains MedlinePlus. High counts typically indicate chronic low blood oxygen levels. Individuals with high hemoglobin may also experience symptoms of faintness and excessive bleeding when their blood is drawn.

High hemoglobin levels can also indicate polycythemia vera, a blood disorder in which the body produces excess amounts of red blood cells, according to Lab Tests Online. Individuals with lung disease that hinders breathing function may also have high hemoglobin levels, due to the fact that the body naturally produces extra blood cells when it has difficulty absorbing sufficient amounts of oxygen. Hemoglobin tests are performed to monitor individuals with chronic anemia and to analyze red blood cell function.

Low hemoglobin levels can indicate several conditions such as internal bleeding caused by stomach ulcers, bone marrow damage caused by infections or chemotherapy treatments, inflammatory conditions, excessive menstrual bleeding and vitamin B-12 deficiencies, according to Lab Tests Online.