MCHC is the acronym for Mean Corpuscular Hemoglobin Concentration. When a test has been conducted or what we called the MCHC Blood Test, the doctors seek to determine your overall health especially the level of hemoglobin present in your blood. Hemoglobin is the protein in red blood cells that transports oxygen to the cells in different organs of the body especially the lungs. It is also what gives the blood its red color. This test can be performed whether you have a disease or not because the said test can also be used to test for signs of anemia and infection in your body.
MCHC Blood Test must be done most especially to the patients complaining too much weakness or fatigue, inflammation, bleeding or bruising easily.
What does a Low or High MCHC Mean?
Basically, the main goal of a doctor conducting this blood test is to know the average of hemoglobin level in the patient’s blood. Study says that the average level for mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration is 28-36 grams/deciliter. When the results show that the level is below this average, it is classified as too low. This may cause by blood loss over time (which might occur with tumors in the colon and other parts of gastrointestinal tract), too little iron in the body or we call it hypochromic anemia. Hypochromic anemia means that the red blood cells do not have enough hemoglobin to function correctly. This anemia is also known as Iron-deficiency Anemia which is often caused by not getting enough iron in the food that we eat and there are chances that we have inability to absorb or utilize dietary iron. People who are suffering of low MCHC may look pale; feel physically weak and short of breath all the time.
On the other hand, if the patient’s level is high or shall we say, above 36 grams/deciliter, then he is also suffering an anemia called hyperchromic or macrocytic anemia. Hyperchromic or Macrocytic anemia means that hemoglobin is too high. This may cause by a folic acid deficiency, liver disease, vitamin B12 deficiency and hereditary spherocytes. Spherocytes are the red blood cells containing an overly high amount of hemoglobin. This anemia is also seen with burn patients. Those people who has this kind of anemia feels severe fatigue, chronic headache, loose motion, uncontrolled body movement or ataxia, tongue soreness, breathing difficulty and increased heart rate as its symptoms.
Having this test, it is important for every laboratory to mention their considerable normal range in the reported result document because each laboratory uses a different technique or machinery which has different calibration value. This is why the normal value is expressed in range.
How are MCHC Blood Tests performed?
This test will be performed by a doctor whether the patient have signs of disease or none. This is because this test can be used to test for signs of anemia and infection which is sometimes, we are not aware that we already have.
Some doctors perform this test like a typical blood test; it is getting blood into a tube that contains an anticoagulant. Then, it will be analyzed by a Coulter counter where blood cells will pass and be counted, and their size is measured. This instrument will calculate for the hematocrit number by multiplying the red cell count by the size it produces. Then, the amount of hemoglobin is also measured by bursting the red cells. Finally, the instrument will divide the hemoglobin and hematocrit number.
In some ways, if a differential is ordered, the test is automated. With this, the red cells may appear more pale than usual if you have low MCHC or darker when it is high.
Ways to improve MCHC levels
Sometimes, people take for granted this kind of test because they say that they are too young for it and are healthy enough because they don’t feel any signs of disease. But, let this be a reminder for everyone today that having a too low or too high MCHC levels could be associated to having diseases like cancer. And most of the time, we are not aware of it.
On the other hand, if a person is already having too low or too high MCHC levels, there are ways to improve its level. And the first step for its improvement is to know the cause of this condition.
If the cause is a systematic condition like bone marrow defects, cancer and kidney problems, then the patient must get specialized treatment. But if it is due by certain types of drugs, the patient must consult the doctor for alternative medications. And if it is caused by nutritional deficiencies, the best advice will be to eat more mineral rich food and take iron, folate, vitamin C and B12 supplements. For best supplements, you have to consider its bioavailability.
As blood transports oxygen to different parts of our body, it is very important to know its condition. MCHC Blood Test is one way of knowing it hence, giving proper action to address it. Finally, people may now know what the test is about, the ways to do the test and some tips to help them improve MCHC levels.