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Anemia testing

What blood test shows anemia?

 

 

The blood test that shows anemia is Complete Blood Counts.The first test that your doctor order is a Complete Blood Count (CBCs) that determines the level of hemoglobin, hematocrit, and RBCs that would suggest anemia.

 

 

What is anemia and what blood test shows anemia?

 

 

What blood test shows anemia?

 

Anemia is a condition in which there is not enough red blood cell in the body resulting in the deficient of the oxygen in the body.

 

It is a condition that develops when your body lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Anemia occurs when we have decrease levels of hemoglobin in RBC. One billion people globally affected by the anemia.

 

Measuring hemoglobin

 

It is measured in gm per 100 ml of blood.

It is not possible to say exactly what the normal level of hemoglobin is, because it varies from person to person. We may say, however, that hemoglobin below a certain level means anemia.

Hemoglobin below these levels means anemia :

 

Group Hemoglobin level (gm/100 ml)
Children (6 months-5 years) 11
Children (6 months- 14 years) 12
Men 13
Women 12
Women (pregnant) 14

 

Degree of anemia:

 

Mild anemia: Mild anemia occurs when the hemoglobin level is 10-12 gm/dl

Moderate anemia: Moderate anemia occurs when the hemoglobin level is 7-10 gm/dl.

Severe anemia:  Severe anemia is the anemia when the hemoglobin level is less than 7 gm/dl.

 

What are the symptoms and features of anemia?

 

Symptoms of anemia are mild at first which is not recognized without the blood test.

Symptoms :

  • Fatigue
  • Breathless on exertion
  • Palpitation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness

Features of anemia

  • The pallor of skin and conjunctiva.
  • Young children with severe anemia are vulnerable to infections if they have a poor immune response.
  • Slower in physical and mental development.

Some other symptoms are:

  •   Angina
  •   Constipation and poor appetite
  •   Sleepiness
  •   Tinnitus
  •   Mouth ulcer
  •   palpitation
  •   Hair loss
  •   Fainting and feeling faint
  •   Depression
  •   Breathlessness on excretion
  •   Twitching muscle
  •   Tingling,  numbness, and burning sensation
  •   Missed and heavy menstrual cycle
  •   Slow social development etc.

Causes of anemia :

 

  • Inadequate iron intake (iron –deficiency anemia)
  • Eating the low amount of iron. i.e. less consumption of food such as meat, egg, some green leafy vegetables which are high in iron.
  • Inability to absorption.
  • Pregnancy or blood loss due to menstruation: Caused due to heavy menstrual bleeding and blood loss during delivery.
  • Internal bleeding: Certain medical conditions may cause internal bleeding e.g.; ulcer polyps in the colon, colon cancer, regular use of pain relievers. Because of this blood loss continuously and anemia may occur. 60% of adults have iron deficiency anemia due to chronic blood loss from a gastrointestinal disorder.
  • Parasitic worm infestation: In a developing country the most common cause of anemia is worm infestation. eg; hookworm, roundworm, whipworm, etc…
  • Diversion of iron of fetal erythropoiesis during pregnancy.
  • Intravascular hemolysis.
  • Hemoglobinuria and occult blood.

Risk factors of anemia :

  • Poor socio-economic condition
  • Pregnancy and lactation
  • Adolescents girls
  • Multiparity
  • Menstrual problem.

 

Types of anemia

 

According to the size of the red blood cells (7-8 μm), there are three main types of anemia :

 

1)  Microcytic anemia:

  • If the red blood cells are smaller than normal than it is called microcytic anemia.
  • The major types of anemia include iron-deficiency anemia and thalassemia.

2) Normocytic anemia:

  • If the red blood cells are normal in size (but less in amount ) then it is called normocytic anemia.
  • That includes chronic diseases or anemia related to kidney disease.

3)   Macrocytic anemia :

  • The red blood cells are larger than normal than it is called macrocytic anemia.
  • It includes pernicious anemia and folate deficiency anemia.

 

Lab diagnosis of anemia (What blood test shows anemia)

 

The first test that your doctor order is a Complete Blood Count (CBCs) that determines the level of hemoglobin, hematocrit, and RBCs that would suggest anemia.

 

 Blood test shows anemia

 

1) Complete Blood Count (CBC):

  • A complete Blood Count(CBC) is typically the first test ordered and it determines the severity of anemia.
  • Hemoglobin, Hematocrit, RBC, and RBC indices are important to know about the types of anemia.

 

2)  Peripheral blood smear:

  • Looking for red blood cells under the microscope to determine the shape, size, and appearance.

 

3)  Fecal occult blood test:

  • A test for blood in the stool may detect bleeding from the stomach or the intestine.

Other blood tests that show anemia

 

4)  Iron-level:

  • A serum iron level will help to determine whether the anemia is related to iron deficiency anemia.
  • Ferritin and transferrin level is also helpful to diagnose iron-deficiency anemia.

 

5) Vitamin B-12 level : 

  • Vitamin B-12 is for the diagnosis of pernicious anemia.

 

6) Folate level :

  • Vitamin needs to produce RBCs helpful to diagnose folate deficiency anemia.

 

7)  Bilirubin:

  • Used to determine if the RBCs are being destroyed within the body may be the sign of hemolytic anemia.

 

8)  Lead level:

  • Lead toxicity is formerly one of the more common causes of anemia in children.

 

9)  Hb- electrophoresis:

  • Helpful for diagnosis of thalassemia and sickle cell anemia.

 

10) Reticulocyte count:

  • It measures the new RBC produced by the bone marrow.

 

11) Live Function Test(LFTs):

  • A common test to determine how the liver is working which may give a clue to other underlying diseases causing anemia.

 

12) Renal Function Test (RFTs):

  • A test that can help whether any kidney dysfunction exists.
  • Kidney failure may result in erythropoietin deficiency that leads to anemia.

 

13) Bone marrow biopsy:

  • Determines the production of RBCs and may be done when a bone marrow problem is suspected.

 

Treatment of anemia :

  • Blood transfusion.
  • Using the deficient materials that are necessary for the formation of Red Blood Cells.
  • Treatment of the pathological conditions that are causing anemia.
  • Supplementary therapy.

Prevention of anemia

  • To reduce the deficiency of iron consume dark green leafy vegetables, meat, pulses, double fortified salt, wheat flour, and rice.
  • Eat sources of Vitamin-C like fruits, lemons, oranges, and guava to improve the absorption of iron in the body.
  • Avoid consuming tea or coffee along with or immediately after meals as it impairs iron absorption.
  • Consult a doctor or nutritionist for special dietary advice.

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What level of anemia is severe?

Severe anemia:  Severe anemia is the anemia when the hemoglobin level is less than 7 gm/dl.

How do I know if I have anemia?

Symptoms of anemia are mild at first which is not recognized without the blood test.

Symptoms :
Fatigue
Breathless on exertion
Palpitation
Headache
Dizziness
Features of anemia
The pallor of skin and conjunctiva.
Young children with severe anemia are vulnerable to infections if they have a poor immune response.
Slower in physical and mental development.

Some other symptoms are:

Angina
Constipation and poor appetite
Sleepiness
Tinnitus
Mouth ulcer
palpitation
Hair loss
Fainting and feeling faint
Depression
Breathlessness on excretion
Twitching muscle
Tingling, numbness, and burning sensation
Missed and heavy menstrual cycle
Slow social development etc.

What foods should you avoid if you have anemia?

Avoid consuming tea or coffee along with or immediately after meals as it impairs iron absorption.

What should an anemic person eat?

To reduce the deficiency of iron consume dark green leafy vegetables, meat, pulses, double fortified salt, wheat flour, and rice.
Eat sources of Vitamin-C like fruits, lemons, oranges, and guava to improve the absorption of iron in the body.
Avoid consuming tea or coffee along with or immediately after meals as it impairs iron absorption.
Consult a doctor or nutritionist for special dietary advice.

 

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Advantages and disadvantages of methods and media of health education

 

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