What is MCH: Levels of MCH

What is MCH: Levels of MCH

The term MCH stands for “mean corpuscular hemoglobin.” An MCH blood test reveals the average quantity of hemoglobin present in each red blood cell. Hemoglobin is an essential protein that is responsible for the formation of your blood cells. The red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body. It also supports your body to release carbon dioxide.

The high or low levels of MCH can cause some problems. The MCH can be determined through an MCH blood test. You should regularly keep a check on your MCH level so you get yourself prepared if the MCH level is not balanced.  

There are two other values related to MCH, but the work of all these values is different. These two are:

  • MCHC – Mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration

It is related with the size of blood cells, it tells how small or big your red blood cells are. The calculation of the amount of hemoglobin present per unit volume in each red blood cell. 

the average size of the cell If you have bigger red blood cells, it indicates that more hemoglobin and less amount of blood cells indicate a low hemoglobin level. 

MCH, MCHC, and MCV are commonly called red blood cell indices and there levels can be detected easily using MCH blood test. 

How can the MCH level be determined?

You need to go for a proper MCH blood test procedure to check your MCH level. It can be determined with a complete blood count (CBC) panel. If your doctor asks you for CBC, it includes a lot of health tests. You need to have a test for large ranges like anemia, diseases or infections, etc. CBC test is done for red and white blood cells, including the platelets. The blood platelets are also measured in the complete blood count tests. 

You can go for this check-up once a year and if there are symptoms of blood-related problems, go according to your doctor’s advice.  

Range for MCH

The MCH normal range should be between 27.5 to 33.2 picograms (pg) (Source). Women have lower MCH than men because they lose blood during their periods, and men do not go through this thing, so they have higher MCH than women.

Low MCH levels: Causes and symptoms

The low MCH levels can cause some problems in your body, so you have to maintain the basic level of MCH in your body. You can go for an MCH blood test at regular intervals to know your levels. If your MCH normal range counts lower than 27.5 pg, it results in a few red blood cells in your body. The low amount of hemoglobin in red blood is not good for your health, and you should keep yourself fit. 

Causes For Low MCH

If your MCH level is low, it indicates iron levels deficiency, and very low iron levels generally cause anemia. Iron deficiency anemia can lead to many health diseases that are harmful to you.

The iron-deficient anemia problems can be caused if you. 

  • Survived from major surgery or trauma
  • Are in the pregnancy period
  • Bleed and lose a lot of blood during periods
  • Have a peptic ulcer diseases
  • Gave birth to a child sometime before
  • Lose blood due to some other reasons
  • Do not eat foods and green vegetables which contain irons.  
  • Have Inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease.

Thalassemia is a condition in which your body does not make sufficient healthy red blood cells. Low levels of MCH can also lead to thalassemia. 

Symptoms of Low MCH 

If the level of MCH gets low in your body, the red blood cells will carry less amount of oxygen through your body. Because of this, you will feel weak, making you feel sleepy and tired the whole day. If the MCH goes low, you will feel lazy and sleepy every time. 

You may also feel:

  • Loss of hair and weak nails
  • Abstain heartbeats
  • Instability 
  • Burden in breathing 
  • Pain in the chest during the physical activities
  • Unknown noise in your ears
  • Lack of concentration
  • Hard to focus on things 
  • Craving to eat clay or ice
  • Yellow skin
  • Leg Cramps
  • Soreness in tongue

If any of these symptoms hit you, then you have to consult a good doctor. The proper MCH tests can determine your actual problem, and it will let you know the MCH level in your body. 

Treatment for Low MCH 

The treatment depends on the problem, which is causing you the low MCH. If there is any mild deficiency of iron, the doctor will advise you to:

  • Iron medicines
  • Stop the consumption of black tea
  • Consume the food which contains more amount of iron
  • Follow a vitamin c diet. The best diet to reduce iron deficiency 

If there is any serious deficiency of iron, the doctor will advise you to:

  • Have a blood transformation, in which other people’s pure blood will get transfer into your body.
  • Intravenous iron therapy, in which the iron medicines got injected in your veins. 

Pro note- The iron deficiency is not a big problem; you can treat it with proper medicines but do not take the iron supplements; they can harm your organs. Specialists advise that the low iron level can not be leveled through iron supplements. 

High MCH levels: Causes and Symptoms 

The high MCH levels can also lead to health problems in your body, so you have to maintain the proper level of MCH in your body. If your MCH normal range counts higher than 33.2 pg, it results in a higher amount of red blood cells in your body. The high amount of hemoglobin present in red blood can damage your cells, which is not good for your health, so you have to maintain the MCH level.


The high MCH is caused due to the very low level of Folate or vitamin B12. These vitamins are essential and responsible for the formation of red blood cells in your body. The vitamins can be decreased if:

  • You are having a more vegan diet, in which plant food contains very less to no B12
  • There is an autoimmune condition
  • Some of your body parts are not there in your body, they may get removed to treat you. 
  • The ability to absorb vitamin B12 gets down of your stomach

       Other serious causes:

  • Severe problems in Liver
  • Myelodysplastic syndrome (a disorder of stem cell)
  • Alcohol consumptions  
  • Low syndrome
  • Cigarette Smoking ( also passive smoking)
  • Hypothyroidism

If you have high MCH, you do not feel anything like sickness, but if you go for a regular check-up, your doctor can detect this and can advise you to go for the MCH tests. A six-month period is sufficient to maintain the MCH level. 

Symptoms of High MCH

The symptoms of high MCH can not be felt easily, and you will not get the sick feeling about yourself. The high MCH blood test indicates that your red blood cells are not dividing in a proper ratio, which results in the damaging of cells on a large scale. This can lead to anemia because of high MCH, you end up with very few blood cells. 

You will feel tired or lazy if you are having a high amount of mean corpuscular hemoglobin.

If there are not sufficient vitamin B12 in your body, you might have:

  • Stomach problems like diarrhea and stomach ache
  • Weakness in your muscles
  • Feel unbalanced body and gets trouble in balancing
  • Mood swings, anxiety, and depression
  • A burn-in heart
  • Nausea
  • Lose weight rapidly
  • Swollen, red, and tasteless tongue
  • Neutral feelings about things, you will feel like a needle in your hands and feet. 
  • Memory loss and confusion regarding most of the things. 

These are the basic symptoms of having high MCH; you do not feel the changes actually like normal disease or low MCH. But you can see the changes in your body after some time due to the high MCH. 

Treatment for High MCH

The treatment for high MCH is the same as the low MCH. If your red blood cells get destroyed due to the uneven distribution, you need to recover your red blood cells. The doctor will advise you to rake the proper medication which you need, like:

  • Folic acid medicines 
  • Some different types of medicines like low MCH
  • Vitamin B12 medicines or shots.

If the vitamin B12 level is low in your body for some time, you may not feel sick or weak, but having low mean cell hemoglobin for a long time can cause stomach cancer.

Apart from that, it can also harm your:

  • Memory
  • Bones 
  • Digestive system
  • Heart
  • Nerves 
  • Brain

Final Words 

MCH “Mean corpuscular hemoglobin,” is a very needy protein for your body. The hemoglobin should be present in a sufficient quantity in each red blood cell. If the MCH tests are not well, your doctor can help you with a good treatment for low or high MCH levels. 

You have to maintain a proper diet plan along with the healthy food. Include fruits, vegan food, and a scheduled workout in your daily list and adapt the good habits to maintain your MCH levels. If you take the medications and do well with your diet and workout, Low or high MCH will get balanced. This article will help you know everything about the MCH levels to take care of yourself and if you need any other information this article will help you.


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