The treatment for anemia depends on its cause and severity, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. For iron deficiency anemia, physicians typically prescribe an iron supplement or recommend dietary changes, such as increasing iron and vitamin C intake. For pernicious anemia, which is a caused by low levels of vitamin B12, vitamin B12 supplements are prescribed. In severe cases, physicians may treat anemia with a blood transfusion.
Chronic disease may cause some cases of anemia, according to the American Society of Hematology. In these cases, physicians treat the disease first. Medication, such as erythropoietin, may be required to raise the number of red blood cells. Treatment for sickle cell anemia, a hereditary form of anemia caused by crescent-shaped red blood cells, includes pain relievers, blood transfusions and antibiotics, according to Mayo Clinic.
Anemia occurs when the blood does not contain enough healthy red blood cells, according to Mayo Clinic. Without healthy blood red blood cells, the body does not receive enough oxygen. Anemia is caused by blood loss, impaired red blood production or destruction of existing red blood cells. To diagnose anemia, the doctor may perform a physical exam, order a complete blood count or CBC and check the level of iron in the blood. More tests may be conducted to pinpoint underlying causes.