What to Ask: Anemia

Blood travels through the arteries and veins, delivering oxygen and nutrients to body cells. Blood that is carrying oxygen is bright red, but it becomes dark purple after it gives up that oxygen to body tissues and enters the veins. In general, the blood itself changes very little with aging, but diseases that cause abnormalities in the blood are common in older people.

Here are questions you can ask your healthcare provider about anemia and other blood disorders:

  1. How do I know if I have anemia? What are the symptoms?
  2. If I have anemia, what tests do I need to find out why?
  3. Is it safe to take a multi-vitamin with iron every day? What are the side effects?
  4. How often do I need to get my blood count checked?
  5. Are bruises on my arms a sign of a bleeding disorder?
  6. I don't want blood transfusions. Are there other options?
  7. Is it safe to take B12 supplements to get energy?
  8. If I feel really tired a lot, should I ask for a B12 shot?
  9. Are there any foods I can eat to help build the iron in my blood?
  10. Do any of the medications I am taking cause blood problems?

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