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Talking to Your Doctor about Nutritional Anemia

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You have a unique medical history. Therefore, it is essential to talk with your doctor about your personal risk factors and/or experience with anemia. By talking openly and regularly with your doctor, you can take an active role in your care.

General Tips for Gathering Information

Here are some tips that will make it easier for you to talk to your doctor:

  • Bring someone else with you. It helps to have another person hear what is said and think of questions to ask.
  • Write out your questions ahead of time, so you don't forget them.
  • Write down the answers you get, and make sure you understand what you are hearing. Ask for clarification, if necessary.
  • Don't be afraid to ask your questions or ask where you can find more information about what you are discussing. You have a right to know.
Specific Questions to Ask Your Doctor
About Your Risk of Developing Anemia
  • What is my risk of developing anemia?
  • What can I do to decrease that risk?
  • Am I getting adequate nutrition in my diet?
  • Is my diet appropriate for my weight and lifestyle?
  • Should I be checked for anemia?
About Treatment Options
  • What are my treatment options?
  • What are the relative risks of the various options?
  • Is a transfusion necessary, or is there a safer alternative?
  • If I need medication, how long should I take this medication?
  • Will the medication interact with anything else I am taking?
  • What are the side effects?
  • How often should I check back with you?
  • Can I treat my anemia through dietary changes?
About Lifestyle Changes
  • Do I need to alter my diet or other lifestyle habits?
  • Are there any activities I should avoid?
About Your Outlook
  • Will anemia affect my quality of life? Temporarily or permanently?
  • How long will I have to live with any restrictions?


Anemia—differential diagnosis. Updated September 23, 2015. Accessed September 29, 2015.

How is anemia diagnosed? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: Updated May 18, 2012. Accessed September 29, 2015.

Tips for talking to your doctor. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: Updated May 2014. Accessed September 29, 2015.

Last reviewed September 2015 by Marcin Chwistek, MD

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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