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Anemia means that you don't have enough red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. When you have anemia, it can make you pale, weak, and tired.
Many things can cause anemia. The most common cause is loss of blood. This can happen if you have heavy menstrual periods. It can also happen if you have bleeding in your stomach or bowel.
You can also get anemia if you don't have enough iron in your diet or if it's hard for your body to absorb iron. In some cases, pregnancy causes anemia. That's because a pregnant woman needs more iron.
Your doctor may do more tests to find the cause of your anemia. If a disease or other health problem is causing it, your doctor will treat that problem.
It's important to follow up with your doctor to make sure that your iron level returns to normal.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse call line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: November 8, 2019
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Caroline S. Rhoads MD - Internal Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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