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All you need to know about MCHC Blood Tests

Team AckoSept 22, 2022

Typically, doctors recommend a blood test to detect abnormalities in the body. It is a standard part of diagnostic and routine healthcare. This article specifically talks about MCHC Blood Tests, what they measure and when they are typically prescribed. So, if you haven’t come across this type of blood test before, read ahead to know more!

Blood Test

What is an MCHC Blood Test?

An MCHC or Mean Corpuscular Haemoglobin Concentration Blood Test is a test that measures the concentration of haemoglobin in the blood. Haemoglobin is the protein in the blood responsible for transporting oxygen around the body. Consequently, having a high or low haemoglobin level can result in adverse health complications.

When should an MCHC Blood Test be taken?

An MCHC Blood Test is usually ordered by doctors under the following circumstances.

  • If you suffer from a blood-related disorder like anaemia.

  • If you suffer from diseases like hyperthyroidism, hereditary spherocytosis and autoimmune haemolytic anaemia.

  • If you have a less than normal red blood cell count or suffer from iron deficiency.

Different types of blood tests

The following is the list of the various blood test types.

1) Complete blood count

A complete blood count (CBC) is typically ordered by doctors to diagnose blood-related diseases or disorders like infection, inflammation, anaemia, etc. The following are usually detected and measured in a CBC test.

  • Hematocrit

  • Mean Corpuscular Volume (MCV)

  • Haemoglobin

  • White blood cells

  • Red blood cells

  • Platelets

2) Blood enzyme tests

This type of blood test detects and measures the enzymes present in the body. Different enzymes are produced in the body to regulate metabolic chemical reactions. Enzyme blood tests are usually ordered to detect certain health issues. For example, an enzyme called “cardiac troponin enzyme” is measured by blood tests to detect heart disease. This enzyme is generally produced when the heart sustains an injury.

3) Blood clotting tests

A blood clotting test is used to detect the protein that is responsible for blood clotting and is also referred to as a coagulation panel. This test is usually ordered if your doctor suspects you may have a blood clotting disorder. Also, if you are consuming blood clotting medication to combat a health condition, your doctor may order regular blood clotting tests to monitor your blood.

4) Lipoprotein panel

Lipoprotein or lipid panel is a blood test prescribed if your doctor suspects you may be suffering from coronary heart disease. It is usually administered after an eight to 12-hour period of fasting. 

A lipid panel test can help detect the following.

  • triglycerides level in the blood

  • total cholesterol level

  • high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol level

  • low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol level

If a person has abnormal triglycerides or cholesterol levels, it could indicate a higher probability of developing heart disease.

5) Basic metabolic panel (BMP)

This test detects the level of chemicals present in the blood’s plasma protein and is also referred to as a “blood chemistry 8 test”. It gives a doctor an insight into the condition of the patient’s organs, muscles and bones.

BMP tests detect the following health problems.

  • Abnormal electrolyte levels may mean that you are suffering from dehydration or some other condition.

  • Abnormal calcium levels in the blood may indicate malnutrition, cancer or other diseases or disorders.

  • A blood-sugar level that is higher than normal may indicate diabetes or the risk of developing it.

  • If the test detects waste products in the blood, like creatine or blood urea nitrogen, it may indicate issues with the kidney.

Different blood test methods

The following are the typical methods to collect blood for a blood test.

  • Venipuncture: This test involves blood being drawn from your arm with the help of a needle and vial. It is the most commonly performed blood test.

  • A finger prick test: This test involves pricking your finger and can be performed at home. These types of tests require little or no equipment and generally provide fast results.

  • A heel stick test: This type of test involves pricking the heel to collect a blood sample and is usually ordered for newborns.

  • Arterial blood test: This test is performed to check oxygen levels in the blood. This is because blood oxygen levels are more accurately read in the arteries than in the veins. However, arterial blood tests may cause more pain than blood tests from a vein.

Causes and symptoms of high MCHC levels

The following are the usual causes of high MCHC levels.

  • Hereditary Spherocytosis: Hereditary Spherocytosis is a genetic disorder that affects red blood cells. A typical symptom of this medical condition is fever. Some of the other common symptoms include anaemia, gallstones and jaundice.

  • Autoimmune Haemolytic Anaemia: This health condition develops when antibodies attach themselves to red blood cells. It can be induced by diseases like Lupus or Lymphoma or by medications such as penicillin. Symptoms of this autoimmune disorder include fever, weakness, abdominal discomfort, etc.

  • Severe Burns: Individuals who have sustained bodily burns may develop Haemolytic Anaemia. Undergoing a blood transfusion may assist in managing this condition.

The common symptoms of high MCHC levels include the following.

  • Paleness

  • Fatigue

  • Chest pain

  • Weakness

  • Fever

  • Jaundice

  • Abdominal discomfort

  • Fainting

Treatments for high MCHC levels

Depending on the cause of the high MCHC levels, the following are the common treatments prescribed by medical professionals.

  • Avoid alcohol consumption.

  • Quit or limit smoking.

  • Consume nutrient-rich food, especially with vitamin B-12 and folate.

  • Consume doctor-prescribed supplements.

Causes and symptoms of low MCHC levels

The following are the typical causes of low MCHC levels.

  • Hemolysis

  • Cancer

  • Lead poisoning

  • Inability to absorb iron

  • Iron deficiency

  • Parasitic infections

The symptoms of having low MCHC levels include the following.

  • Chest pain

  • Headache or dizziness

  • Fatigue and weakness

  • Cold feet or hands

  • Shortness of breath

  • Irregular or fast heartbeat

  • Pale gums and skin

Treatments for low MCHC levels

The following are the standard treatment methods for low MCHC levels.

  • Consume iron-rich food, and based on your doctor’s advice, consume iron supplements.

  • Add vitamin B6-rich foods to your diet like bananas, salmon, chicken breast, etc.

How long does it take to get the result of a blood test?

The duration between when you undergo a blood test and when you will receive its results vary from one blood test to another. Therefore, consult your doctor regarding this after taking a blood test. Also, check if the test results will be sent to you or your doctor. If you receive the results directly, take the help of your doctor to understand them and determine the next steps (if needed).

How are blood tests done?

Generally, the following steps are involved in an MCH Blood Test.

Step 1: The region in your arm where blood would be drawn out is cleaned with a sterile disinfectant.

Step 2: A rubber band will be fastened around your arm, and you will be asked to make a fist to increase the visibility of your veins.

Step 3: A needle with a tube is inserted into a vein in your arm to draw blood.

Step 4: After adequate blood is collected, the needle and rubber band are removed.

Step 5: The site where the blood was drawn is covered with a cotton or bandage.

Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most commonly asked queries regarding MCHC Blood Tests.

Is it possible to order my own blood tests?

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Yes, you can get your blood tested at home with minimal equipment. Nonetheless, you may need to consult your doctor to interpret the results.

Why undergo an MCHC Blood Test?

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Your doctor may order an MCHC Blood Test if they suspect you have anaemia. A test may also be prescribed to check the status of a medical condition you may be suffering from.

Why do you need to fast for some blood tests?

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Fasting before a blood test is sometimes required because it may affect the blood test results. For example, immediately after eating, blood-sugar levels temporarily spike. So, fasting is required before a blood glucose test.

Are blood tests risky?

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No, blood tests are generally low risk, and complications are rare.

Reference:

Disclaimer: The content on this page is generic and shared only for informational and explanatory purposes. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet. As this content piece is not vetted by a medical professional, please consult a doctor before making any health-related decisions.

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