Anemia | Diagnosis & Tests

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How is anemia diagnosed?

Talk to your doctor if you think you might have anemia. To diagnose anemia, your doctor will probably test your blood. If you have anemia, your doctor may need to do other tests to find out what's causing it.

 Normocytic anemia is most often found by routine tests that are part of a physical exam. It might be found by a blood test you get for some other reason. A complete blood count (also called a CBC) can show if you have normocytic anemia.

If your CBC shows a low number of normal-sized red blood cells, your doctor might want you to get more tests to see what is causing the anemia. If you were born with it, other family members may also need to be tested.

Should my child be tested for iron deficiency?

If you’re worried and think your child might have iron deficiency anemia, talk to your doctor. Infants at risk for iron deficiency should be checked with a blood test at 9 to 12 months of age. Toddlers should be checked 6 months later and at 24 months.

Should I be tested for anemia if I’m pregnant?

During your first prenatal visit, you’ll have a blood test to check for anemia. Even if you don’t have anemia during your early pregnancy, your doctor will probably want to check you again in your second or third trimester.

Bibliography

See a list of resources used in the development of this information.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/14
Created: 01/96

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