An MCH blood test checks your Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin. MCH is part of a CBC or complete blood count. The test is designed to measure the average amount of hemoglobin carrying oxygen inside red blood cells. Some cells will have an MCH that is higher, whereas red cells that are microcytic will have lower values.
The MCH blood test is only one of three indices of red blood cells, the other two being MCV and MCHC. These measurements can help in diagnosing medical problems. Normal hemoglobin levels should be between the range of 26 to 33 picograms for each red blood cell. Higher MCH levels may be indicative of macrocytic anemia, usually caused by a vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency. Abuse of alcohol can contribute to anemia, so disclose this to your physician if it pertains to you, so that your problems can be properly diagnosed and treated.
If your MCH blood test shows high levels of MCH, the recommended treatment method is dependent on what caused your levels to be so high. Treatment also varies depending on medications you take or other medical conditions or allergies that you may have. If you are diagnosed with high MCH levels, discuss your treatment plan with your physician and follow his directions. Be sure to let him know what over-the-counter medications and dietary supplements you use, as well.
If your MCH blood test reveals macrocytic anemia, your treatment may include supplementing your diet with vitamin B12 and adding more liver to your diet. Some of the symptoms of this form of anemia include fatigue, headache, ataxia, diarrhea, tachycardia and dyspnea. If you experience more than one of these symptoms, contact your physician.
The MHC blood test is important to your physician, since it can help to determine facts about your health. For the hemoglobin to carry oxygen into your blood, it must contain the proper amino acids and atoms of iron. Low MCH results may indicate a deficiency in iron, and levels that are too high may cause a supply of oxygen that is not sufficient for your blood. You won’t usually need to prepare specifically for the MCH blood test, although your physician may tell you to avoid fatty meals before your test.
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