The Body: The Complete HIV/AIDS Resource
Follow Us Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Download Our App 
Professionals >> Visit The Body PROThe Body en Espanol
Ask the Experts About

Fatigue and AnemiaFatigue and Anemia
Rollover images to visit our other forums!
  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary

anemia test
Jan 24, 2003

I'm a bit confused. I've read here and elsewhere that anemia is caused by low red blood cells but no one talks about measurung these guys on blood tests. Am I missing something? Are hemoglobins red blood cells? I just want to make sure my doctor is ordering the right test. Thanks for you very clear and funny questions. Joey

Response from Dr. Frascino

Hey Joey,

Don't be confused. That's a good question! You are correct: Anemia is a medical term for low red blood cells or low hemoglobin, an oxygen-carrying protein contained within red blood cells.

Actually, we do measure red blood cells when we get a complete blood cell count, often referred to as a CBC. The normal range is 3.6 to 6.1 million red blood cells in a single cubic milliliter of blood. The hemoglobin or hematocrit numbers are indirect ways of measuring red blood cells, and are easier to perform in the laboratory and often easier for we physicians to interpret and deal with.

The hematocrit measures the percentage of blood that is made up of red blood cells (as opposed to white blood cells, platelets, plasma, etc.). The normal ranges are 40-52 per cent of total blood volume for men and 35-46 per cent in women. Hemoglobin is an oxygen-carrying protein within red blood cells. The normal ranges are 14-18 g/dL for men and 12-16 g/dL for women. It's actually much easier for we physicians to keep track of hemoglobin and/or hematocrit results than actual red blood cell count numbers for a variety of reasons that are technical and beyond the scope of this forum. I am fairly certain your doctor is ordering the proper test. It's very basic.

As for my clear and funny "questions," well, I hope I provide more "answers" than questions, but if you're still confused, write back and I'll try to "clear" things up in my own "funny" little way.

Stay well.

Dr. Bob

the quicker-picker-upper
Procrit is it really all that safe

  • Email Email
  • Glossary Glossary



This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.

Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.

Review our complete terms of use and copyright notice.

Powered by ExpertViewpoint