Anemia is a condition that affects your red blood cells. Without the proper amount of red blood cells in your body, your cells and tissues won't receive enough oxygen. This may make you feel tired and weak.
Anemia can last a short time or be a long-term condition. Your symptoms can vary greatly depending on the type of anemia you have. Symptoms of anemia include:
- Chest pain
- Cold hands and feet
- Irregular heartbeats
- Pale skin
- Shortness of breath
University of Miami Health System hematologists work with you to determine the cause of your anemia and ensure you get the treatment you need.
A blood test is the main test used to diagnose anemia. Your doctor will check for red blood cells in a blood sample to diagnose the condition.
Bone Marrow Biopsy
In some cases, your doctor may want to study your bone marrow to look for causes of anemia. For this test, your doctor will use a large needle to take a sample of your bone marrow to study in a lab.
Endoscopy or Colonoscopy
Sometimes anemia is caused by bleeding in the digestive tract. Your doctor may want to check for causes of bleeding using a special, lighted camera (scope). The scope is either placed down your throat (endoscopy) or through your rectum (colonoscopy). You will be sedated during both procedures.
If anemia is caused by an iron deficiency, your doctor will give you specialized iron supplements to help improve your red blood cell count.
Anemia can also be caused by vitamin deficiencies. Your doctor may give you a multivitamin to help treat these types of anemia.
Some types of anemia cannot be fixed with supplements. Instead, you may need regular blood transfusions to ensure you have the healthy blood cells you need.
Bone Marrow Transplant
Bone marrow helps make red blood cells. If you have unhealthy bone marrow, you may need a bone marrow transplant to help your body can make healthy blood cells.
Chemotherapy can help treat anemia caused by unhealthy cells in the bone marrow by destroying these cells.
If your immune system is attacking your red blood cells, immunosuppressants can help stop your body from destroying your blood cells.
Plasmapheresis is a treatment that filters your blood, removing the cells that can cause anemia.
Some people with anemia may benefit from having their spleen removed. The spleen makes and removes blood cells.
Some types of anemia, such as sickle cell anemia, can cause pain. Your doctor may provide pain medicines to help treat this pain.
You may need extra oxygen to help your blood cells work normally.
Why Choose UHealth?
Advanced, comprehensive hematology care. Our large team of expert hematologists provide the care you need to manage blood disorders and treat blood cancers. We offer convenient care — with treatment available at multiple locations — and use innovative, personalized treatments to help improve your health and quality of life.
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