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Anemia is a condition in which there is not enough red blood cells or hemoglobin in the blood. Hemoglobin is a substance in red blood cells that carries oxygen.
When you do not have enough red blood cells or hemoglobin (are anemic), your body cannot get enough oxygen and your organs may not work properly. As a result, you may feel very tired or have other problems.
Symptoms may occur suddenly or develop slowly. If your anemia is mild, you may not have symptoms.
This condition is diagnosed based on blood tests, your medical history, and a physical exam. In some cases, a test may be needed in which cells are removed from the soft tissue inside of a bone and looked at under a microscope (bone marrow biopsy). Your health care provider may also check your stool (feces) for blood and may do additional testing to look for the cause of your bleeding.
These symptoms may represent a serious problem that is an emergency. Do not wait to see if the symptoms will go away. Get medical help right away. Call your local emergency services (911 in the U.S.). Do not drive yourself to the hospital.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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