U.S. doctors online nowAsk doctors free
A 36-year-old member asked:

how do you test for anemia? my doctor told me my rbc count is a bit low. what tests need to be done to identify the various types of anemias?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alec Moorman
Cardiology 21 years experience
Anemia : Anemia has many potential causes. Anemia is a result of either the failure to produce enough red blood cells, or the excessive loss or destruction of red blood cells. The type of anemia can generally be diagnosed with simple blood tests. In addition to the cell count, a blood smear can be made to look at the blood cells under the microscope. The shape of the blood cells might give a diagnosis. Iron levels should also be tested for since iron is an essential element in the production of red cells. Other tests might be ordered to check for the destruction of blood cells in the blood stream. Once the type of anemia is diagnosed, further medical test may be necessary since many anemias are a consequence of some other medical condition.
Dr. Michael Dugan
Specializes in Hematology
Hard to: Answer in 400 characters. First question is was your doc talking rbcs count or hemoglobin ( hgb) or hematocrit ( hct). The evaluation of anemia includes indices of blood production, iron studies, vitamin levels and evidence for blood loss or destruction just to get started.

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits
$15 per month

90,000 U.S. doctors in 147 specialties are here to answer your questions or offer you advice, prescriptions, and more. Get help now:

Ask doctors free
Personalized answers
Free
Talk to a doctor
24/7 visits
$15 per month
Last updated Oct 3, 2016
Connect with a U.S. board-certified doctor by text or video anytime, anywhere.
24/7 visits
$15 per month

Disclaimer:

Content on HealthTap (including answers) should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and interactions on HealthTap do not create a doctor-patient relationship. Never disregard or delay professional medical advice in person because of anything on HealthTap. Call your doctor or 911 if you think you may have a medical emergency.