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How Can Anaemia Be Diagnosed?

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Ankur Mittal 93% (164 ratings)
MBBS, MD, FICH
Hematologist, Ludhiana  •  11 years experience
How Can Anaemia Be Diagnosed?

What do we mean by the term Anemia?

It is described as a decrease in the total number of red blood cells, or hemoglobin in the blood, or a decreased oxygen-carrying capacity of blood.

How to know if an individual has Anemia?

  1. An individual with anemia may show one or more of the following signs or symptoms:
  2. Shortness of breath, chest pain, and headache are especially seen with exercise as the oxygen supply decreases
  3. Difficulty in concentration which is mostly seen in children
  4. Easy tiredness, fatigue, and loss of energy
  5. Dizziness because of low blood volume leading to hypotension
  6. Hair loss especially while combing, washing hair. Also, hair becomes brittle and dry due to anemiaInsomnia (lack of sleep)
  7. Cramps in legs especially calf muscle
  8. Rapid heartbeat with exercise as the demand for oxygen increases during exercise, so your heart beats faster than usual
  9. Craving for indigestible substances, such as pica, paper, mud, ice, dirt, etc.
  10. Koilonychia (spoon-shaped nails or upward curvature of the nails)
  11. Soreness and cracks at the corners of the mouth
  12. Very heavy menstrual periods or irregular bleeding because of low hemoglobin count
  13. Pale skin is especially seen over the palms of your hands and under your nail beds. Also, the conjunctiva looks pale
  14. Anemia due to Deficiency of Vitamin B12 Dementia (loss of memory)
  15. Tingling sensation in the hands or feet
  16. Loss of the sense of touch
  17. Difficulty in walking
  18. Stiffness in the arms and legs
  19. Delayed growth and development in children
  20. Swelling of the hands and feet
  21. Episodes of severe pain in the joints, abdomen, and limbs as the red blood cells obstruct capillaries

Anemia by Chronic Red Blood Cell Destruction/Hemolytic anemia

  • Jaundice (yellowish or greenish pigmentation of skin and sclera of the eyes)
  • Brown or red colored urine due to the destruction of red blood cells
  • Fever due to the destruction of red blood cells
  • Small bruises under the skin
  • Abdominal pain because of enlargement of the spleen and liver
  • Black stools due to the destruction of the red blood cells
  • Anemia Caused by Chronic Lead Poisoning
  • Level of lead in blood is higher than 50 μg/dLA blue-black line is seen on the gums. It is also known as a lead line
  • Abdominal pain
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting

Investigations

  1. Complete blood count: This test will help an individual know the percentage of hemoglobin in blood as well as red blood cell count. Also, mean cell volume (MCV) is used to categorize anemia.
  2. Serum Ferritin Test: Ferritin levels below 15–20 micrograms/L in a person confirms iron-deficiency anemia.
  3. Total Iron-Binding Capacity: It measures the blood's capacity to bind iron with transferrin. 

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