Anemia Testing

Anemia occurs when the quality of hemoglobin found in the red blood cells drops below normal. In women, iron deficiency may be due to heavy menses, but in older women and in men, the bleeding is usually from disease of the GI tract. Occasionally, iron deficiency may be due simply not eating enough iron in the diet. Iron deficiencies may also result from some extreme diet. Treatment of iron deficiency usually involves iron supplements. The cause of iron deficiency should be determined by your personal physician.

Blood testing may show a normal or low hemoglobin, decreased iron, low ferritin, and abnormal red blood cells indices. The total iron finding capacity will be increased. The ferritin test is considered to be the most specific for identifying iron deficiency anemia, unless inflammations are present. This is determined by your personal physician or health care provider.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is less common than iron deficiency and is usually not due to dietary deficiency of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause long-term nerve problems, often causing numbness and tingling that starts first in the hands and feet. Hemoglobin is low but red blood cells are normally large.

Folic acid deficiency can cause the same pattern of changes in hemoglobin and red cell indices as does vitamin B12 deficiency. Folic acid is found in many foods, especially in green, leafy vegetables.

Lab Testing : Iron test, Serum iron, Ferritin, CBC, bone marrow aspiration, blood smear, sickle cell test.