Blood Tests: Understanding Your MCHC Levels

MCHC blood levels

If you have had recent blood work done, you may be wondering, what is MCHC in your blood? Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration (MCHC) is a value found on a complete blood count (CBC) test that shows the average concentration of hemoglobin in your red blood cells. Hemoglobin is the molecule that attaches to oxygen, making it a very important molecule to monitor. One of the main reasons for checking MCHC levels is to establish if you have a form of anemia, or other blood related concerns. 

How are MCHC levels tested 

MCHC levels are tested by using the CBC Whole Blood Test. Blood is drawn via a venipuncture in the arm, usually by the elbow. Once your blood sample is collected it is sent off to the lab for testing. The lab will look for MCHC levels in relation to the volume of red blood cells collected in your sample. 

Complete blood count test 

In order to find out the MCHC levels in your blood, you will have to complete a CBC blood test. If you have ever had blood work done, then you know this procedure is rather straightforward. If you haven’t, we have some helpful information listed below so you can get a better understanding of a CBC test prior to your MCHC blood test procedure. 

Before the test

For some blood tests, there are some dietary instructions that you must follow. For a CBC blood test, you do not have to worry about this, which means you can show up with food in your stomach. This being said, make sure you show up hydrated so your blood flows quicker. Being hydrated will allow for the blood collection to happen faster. Don’t forget to bring your insurance card and other pieces of identification to your MCHC assessment. 

During the test

As mentioned above, the blood is collected via a small puncture in a visible vein in your arm. The area will be sanitized prior to the needle being poked into your arm. It only takes a few moments to draw the blood. If you know that you tend to feel light headed or dizzy when getting blood work done, tell your medical professional prior to the blood draw so that they can be prepared should you faint. Your medical professional will apply pressure to the spot of incision to prevent bleeding, and you will be sent off with gauze and a bandaid to cover the incision site after the blood sample is complete. 

After the test

Testing for MCHC levels in your blood requires little downtime. You can get back to your day-to-day activities immediately after the blood sample is drawn. However, if you are sensitive to blood work or have a hard time with needles, you may want to allow yourself some time to rest if you feel uneasy. Some common side effects that you may encounter could be: 

  • Lightheadedness
  • Sore arm from needle
  • Mild bleeding
  • Infection at site of needle (uncommon if medical practitioner sanitized the area)

Interpreting your MCHC results

Some people will have blood test results that show high levels of MCHC, low levels of MCHC, or a normal range of MCHC. Below we will break down what qualifies as high, low, and average MCHC levels, and what that means for your blood health. 

MCHC blood test: normal range

The normal range for MCHC levels is usually between 32g/dl and 36g/dl. If your MCHC levels come back within this range, you would be considered to have normal results. However, some types of anemia are still active with normal MCHC levels. Below are the types of anemia that could occur with normal MCHC levels. 

  • Blood loss anemia
  • Bone marrow failure
  • Hemolytic anemias 

MCHC blood test: low

If your MCHC blood test comes back low, that means the levels are below 32g/dl. This means that your blood cells do not have enough hemoglobin. Some causes of low MCHC levels in blood are: 

  • Iron deficiency
  • Sideroblastic anemia
  • Anemia of chronic disease
  • Lead poisoning

If you have low level results, speak to a medical professional to learn how you can increase your MCHC levels in your blood.  

MCHC blood test: high

If your MCHC blood test comes back high, it means that levels are above 36g/dl. Some causes of high MCHC levels in your blood are: 

  • Liver disease
  • Burns
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Hemoglobin C disease. 

The bottom line

It is important to know what your personal MCHC levels are, and blood tests are the easiest and most effective way to get the answers. If you are in need of a CBC blood test in Texas contact Your Health Lab today for more information. Your Health Lab has over 3500 blood tests available and will be able to help you get the answers you need.

Previous Post
How is Blood Drawn: What You Can Expect
Next Post
What is Gastroparesis?