Sickle cell tests are used to identify the presence of hemoglobin S, to evaluate the status and number of a person's red blood cells (RBCs) as well as hemoglobin level, and/or to determine whether a person has one or more altered hemoglobin gene copies
Iron deficiency anemia - iron supplements or dietary changes. If the condition is due to loss of blood, the bleeding must be found and stopped.
Vitamin deficiency anemias - treatments include dietary supplements and B-12 shots.
Thalassemia - blood transfusions, folic acid supplements, removal of the spleen and, sometimes, blood transfusions and bone marrow transplants.
Anemia of chronic disease - this is anemia associated with a serious, chronic underlying condition; there are no specific treatments. The focus is on the underlying condition.
Aplastic anemia - blood transfusions or bone marrow transplants.
Sickle cell anemia - administering oxygen, pain relief, and intravenous fluids. Other treatments could include antibiotics, folic acid supplements, and blood transfusions. A cancer drug known as Droxia or Hydrea is also used.
Hemolytic anemias - avoiding suspect medication, treating infections, immunosuppressant drugs. Plasmapheresis (blood-filtering) might be necessary in some cases.
If the anemia is caused by nutritional deficiencies, a change to an iron-rich diet can help alleviate the symptoms. The following foods are high in iron: Iron-fortified cereals and breads Dark-green leafy vegetables, for instance, curly kale and watercress Pulses and beans Brown rice White and red meats Nuts and seeds Fish Tofu Eggs Dried fruits, including apricots, raisins, and prunes
The treatment of the anemia varies greatly. First, the underlying cause of the anemia needs to be identified and corrected. For example, anemia as a result of blood loss from a stomach ulcer should begin with medications to heal the ulcer. Likewise, surgery is often necessary to remove a colon cancer that is causing chronic blood loss and anemia.
Sometimes iron supplements will also be needed to correct iron deficiency. In severe anemia, blood transfusions may be necessary. Vitamin B12 injections will be necessary for patients suffering from pernicious anemia or other causes of B12 deficiency.