There are tons of different kinds of anemia, and different causes of it. In a general sense, anemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells are essential for getting oxygen to the rest of our body tissues. Without this oxygen, we can get dizzy or even experience chest pain. Anemia and inflammation can cause low energy, so check out these tests that look for it.
Anemia or Hemochromatosis Levels: These tests look for abnormal blood cell amounts that are associated with fatigue. If anemia is causing your fatigue, you’ll need more tests to pinpoint the source of your anemia.
HGB Level: Hemoglobin is an iron-containing protein that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to body tissues. All of our tissues need oxygen—it’s an essential energy source.
Ferritin: Ferritin is a protein that stores iron in the blood. The ferritin level is a sensitive indicator of the body’s iron stores. Serum ferritin levels are very helpful in evaluating blood disorders like iron-deficiency anemia. In this variety of anemia, hemoglobin’s low because there’s not enough iron in the body. This is usually the case because of a very gradual blood loss from the stomach (ulcers), colon (polyps) or menstrual period. Hemochromatosis is the condition when the ferritin level is elevated and the iron stores are quite high. Too much iron can then build up and hurt vital organs like the pancreas and liver. This condition is uncommon, affecting one in 600 people.
Inflammation: These tests detect high levels of inflammation in your body. What causes inflammation may cause fatigue. Your doctor can follow up with more specific tests (like those for rheumatoid factors or lupus, or less common diseases, if these screening tests indicate that your fatigue is not a result of anemia).
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