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As I was driving, I saw a sign posting about blood donations being taken.  When I saw that, it reminded me of a time in high school when I tried to donate blood and was told that I wouldn’t be able to based on the fact that I was “slightly anemic.” At the time, I was told to eat more meat/protein-rich foods and come back in. I never really thought much about it afterward, but seeing that sign made me wonder about what anemia is really all about and what can be done about it.

What I didn’t realize at the time was, that being told “you cannot donate blood” should have been a red flag for me to go see the doctor and get it checked out. Since I was told I probably didn’t have enough protein before I donated, I figured that it wasn’t a big deal. The truth is, unless a doctor tells you it’s nothing, there is no way to be certain what kind of anemia you have. There are hundreds of types of anemia (I had only heard of one!). A person gets anemia when there are a lack of red blood cells, which supply oxygen to your body. Basically, all of these types can be grouped into 3 categories: 1) anemia caused by blood loss, 2) anemia caused by decreased/faulty red blood cell production, 3) anemia caused by destruction of red blood cells. All of this means that some are more manageable than others.

Many people with this condition often feel fatigue, cold, pale, shortness of breath, etc. When you are at the doctor’s office, the Medical Assistant will conduct a blood test and that test will determine what category of anemia that you have and what course of treatment would work best, whether it be a change in diet, medication, or vitamins.

If helping people and working in healthcare sound interesting to you, MedQuest College offers an amazing Medical Assisting program that is completed in just 10 months, working with students from many different walks of life who need/want to make a meaningful and lasting career change. MedQuest College has classes that work with just about any schedule you have. Medical Assisting classes are 4 days a week, for 4 hours at a time. Click here for more information.