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ANAEMIA- Preventive health test

Do you feel tired and irritated all the time? Do you feel exerted after carrying out simple daily tasks? If yes, then there’s a possibility that you are anaemic. Anemia is a health disorder that affects people in both poor and rich countries. The main cause is a deficiency of iron, though malaria, hemoglobinopathy (a genetic defect that results in the abnormal structure of one of the globin chains of the hemoglobin molecule), etc. could also be the reason.

Anemia is a condition in which the number of red blood cells or their oxygen-carrying capacity (via hemoglobin) is not sufficient to meet physiologic needs, which can vary due to sex, age, smoking etc. In its severe form, it can lead to dizziness, drowsiness, and fatigue.

What are the Tests Taken to Prevent Anemia? The doctors will first check for the following signs:
  • Check for paleness in gums, nail beds and skin
  • Check for irregular heartbeats
  • Check your lungs for rapid or uneven breathing
  • Conduct a pelvic and rectal exam to check for internal bleeding
  • Check the exact size of your liver and spleen
Tests to determine whether you have Anemia: Complete Blood Count (CBC): This test measures many parts of your blood. It checks your hemoglobin and hematocrit levels. Hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein in your red blood cells that transports oxygen to different parts of the body. Hematocrit is a measure of how much space red blood cells can take up in your blood. A low level of either of the two – Hemoglobin or Hematocrit is a sign of anemia. Other Blood Tests

Reticulocyte Count: This measures the number of reticulocytes in your blood. Reticulocytes are immature and young red blood cells (RBCs). Over time these immature RBCs transform and become mature RBCs that carry oxygen throughout your body. A reticulocyte count will show whether your bone marrow is making red blood cells in an efficient and correct pace.

Peripheral Smear: A peripheral smear consists of observing a sample of your blood under a microscope. If you have iron-deficiency anemia, your RBCs will look smaller than usual.

Tests to Measure Iron Levels: These tests determine how much iron has been used from your body’s stored iron reserves. Tests to measure this iron level include:

Serum Iron Test: This test will measure the amount of iron in your blood. The level of iron present in your blood may actually be ‘normal’ even if the total amount of iron present in your body is low. For this reason, there are other iron tests conducted.

Serum Ferritin Test: Ferritin is a protein that helps store iron in your body. This test is done to measure how much of your body’s stored iron has been consumed.

Transferrin Level Test/Iron Binding Capacity Test: Transferrin is a protein that carries iron in your blood. Total iron-binding capacity measures how much of the protein, i.e., transferrin, isn’t carrying iron. If you have iron-deficiency anemia, your test result will show a high level of transferrin having no iron.

Other Tests: Your doctor may ask you to get thyroid level tests conducted as well, for your thyroid hormone. Another blood test that would be recommended is for a chemical called erythrocyte protoporphyrin. This chemical is vital to produce hemoglobin. Other tests like fecal occult blood test may be checked too. This is to analyze blood in your fecal matter and to detect bleeding in the intestines.

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