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Anemia means that your body does not have enough red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body.
When you have anemia, you may feel dizzy, tired, and weak. You may also feel your heart pounding. For some people, it's hard to focus and think clearly.
One common cause of anemia is bleeding. Bleeding from ulcers, hemorrhoids, cancer, or other problems can cause anemia. It may also be caused by heavy menstrual periods.
Your treatment may include iron pills. Iron helps your body make hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the part of the red blood cell that carries oxygen. If you have severe anemia, you may need a blood transfusion to give you red blood cells as quickly as possible.
Sometimes it takes several months to get iron levels back 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 advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) 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 advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: September 8, 2022
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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