Hemoglobin: What is it? Function, Types, Normal Values ​​and Thalassemia

It comprises four vital protein molecules (globulin chains) connected and allows the maintenance of this medical contribution.

Hemoglobin is a protein molecule in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to body tissues and returns carbon dioxide from tissues to the lungs; it has multiple functions in its various parts.

Talking about chains, the molecules of normal hemoglobin (abbreviated Hgb or Hb) contains two chains of alpha-globulin and two chains of beta-globulin that give an equal four chains.

The beta chains are not typical for their prolonged development in fetuses and babies. The hemoglobin molecule is formed by two alpha chains and two gamma chains, another of their characteristics.

Continuing with the baby’s essence as it grows, the gamma chains are gradually replaced by beta chains, forming the structure of normal hemoglobin, also known as an adult.


Each globulin chain contains an essential supplement of universal knowledge called iron called heme or, in other words, a group of proteins familiar to hemoglobin.

This iron is vital in delivering oxygen to the blood, whose vitality is evident.


The iron contained in the hemoglobin is also responsible for the red color of the blood. This point arouses the curiosity to continue knowing about these medical contributions of general ignorance.

Hemoglobin also plays a vital role in maintaining the shape of red blood cells.

Usually, you can see red blood cells like a rubber band, but if the hole is in its center, it will not vary from being round to another shape that is its standard form.

A different form to the mentioned thing is abnormal globules that really or in particular should not be called under this term because it does not fulfill the functions that correspond to it.

What are the average values ​​of hemoglobin?

Several factors determine the hemoglobin level; in the safe laboratory tests, you will see “gr,” which refers to grams, and “dl” refers to deciliter, two of the two units used to express the results.

The average hemoglobin values in humans depend on the person’s age, which is also essential if it is female or male to obtain medical results.

Normal levels of hemoglobin:

  • Newborns: from 17 to 22 gm / dL.
  • 1 week old: from 15 to 20 gm / dL.
  • 1 month old: 11 to 15 gm / dL.
  • Infantes: 11 a 13 gm / dL.
  • Men: from 14 to 18 gm / dL.
  • Women: from 12 to 16 gm / dL.
  • Men of the third age: 12.4 to 14.9 gm / dL.
  • Women of the third age: 11.7 to 13.8 gm / dL.

These values ​​usually vary depending on the laboratories they attend, but the difference will vary slightly.

Some laboratories do not differentiate between adult hemoglobin values ​​and those cataloged “after mature age.”

Pregnant women are advised to avoid high and low hemoglobin levels to avoid the risk of fetal death (high level of hemoglobin above the normal range) and premature birth or low birth weight (low hemoglobin level).

What is high hemoglobin?

Hemoglobin levels higher than usual can be observed in people who live at high altitudes and in people who smoke.

Dehydration produces a significantly high hemoglobin measurement that disappears when the proper fluid balance is restored.

Other causes that cause a state of high hemoglobin are:

  • Lung diseases.
  • Certain brain tumors.
  • A disorder of the bone marrow known as polycythemia.
  • Excessive consumption of psychotropic substances or drugs.

This drug is used in athletes for blood doping purposes (increasing the amount of oxygen available to the body by chemically increasing the production of red blood cells). About this medical function, various contributions are reflected in this contribution of medicine.

What is thalassemia?

Thalassemia is a group of inherited conditions such as deficiency or disorders in the hemoglobin states. The fact that the body does not produce globulin molecules will create a compensatory mechanism to form other less compatible globulin molecules.

That is, the lower production of red blood cells causes this condition. The different types of thalassemia are defined according to what type of globulin molecule is deficient. In this way, depending on the number of globules in the organism, the level of thalassemia will be defined.

Types of Hemoglobin

The types of hemoglobin are diverse, but the most named and asked mainly by patients are 2 “low hemoglobin and high hemoglobin.”

Low hemoglobin

The prototype of that person that we see faded is synonymous, or it may be that this presents a low hemoglobin picture.

Given this conjuncture, it is emphasized that hemoglobin is characterized by anemia, which refers to the death of red blood cells found in the body, the end of each of which may cause low hemoglobin, that is, a low consumption of food. A human being should consume the necessary vitamins.

High Hemoglobin

If the low hemoglobin is a consequence of the death of red blood cells, “the high” is synonymous with a more significant number of these globules that is not positive to the human body and can cause heart attacks or other diseases.

Consequently, a human being must have a balanced hemoglobin picture, remembering that everything varies according to gender or age, as previously explained.