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Signs and Symptoms of Anemia

Signs and Symptoms of Anemia

Being aware of the signs and symptoms of anemia can help you with the condition sooner and more effectively, before it turns into something more serious. This HealthHearty article gives you the required information.
Rita Putatunda
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
Take Care!
Anemia is reportedly responsible for causing complications, especially in patients who are already suffering from another illness and hence should not be ignored in any case. For instance, people who have both a kidney problem and anemia are likely to be more susceptible to heart problems.

Energy―with enough of it, life bubbles with joy and happiness, and in short, there's a lot of joie de vivre! Without energy, however, life feels like a grind, depriving you from fulfilling your full potential. You don't feel like doing much, and very few things excite you anymore.
Do you tire very easily? Is your level of energy less than it should be or even used to be? Do you feel washed out by 8:00 pm? If you've answered yes to the above questions, we suspect that anemia could be the culprit. What is anemia? Can you tell if you're suffering from it? We answer all your questions in the next sections of this article.
Meaning and Types of Anemia

Anemia is a medical condition in which the hemoglobin/red blood cell count is less than normal. For men, the hemoglobin count is less than normal if it falls below 13.5 grams/100 ml, while in women, it is considered abnormal when it falls below 12 grams/100 ml. There are various causes as to what causes anemia, along with quite a few different types of the condition. It can be a temporary illness or long-term, and can be anything between mild to severe.
There are many types of anemia, and each has its own cause. Some of them are:
  • Iron Deficiency Anemia
  • Hemolytic Anemia
  • Vitamin Deficiency Anemia
  • Aplastic Anemia
  • Sickle Cell Anemia
There are rarer types of this disorder too, like those caused by defective hemoglobin and thalassemia. Sometimes, there is no apparent cause that can be identified.
Signs and Symptoms

Just as we can play a better poker game if we know our opponent's cards, likewise if we know the symptoms of an illness, we can deal with it sooner and much better. Since anemia is mainly caused due to deficiency of iron in the body, the two major signs are weakness and fatigue. Apart from that, it would be better to look out for some other indications, such as the ones given below. These signs usually occur when the red blood cells lose their capacity to carry enough iron to working muscles.
When there is prolonged deficit of iron, certain changes take place in the tongue, causing it to become sore or swollen. Sometimes cracks may also occur in the sides of the mouth.
Fingernails begin to grow abnormally, and become spoon-like in their appearance.
The skin can get mildly paler than usual, and there can be a loss of color of the lips and gums. Since these changes occur gradually, they are usually hard to detect and might go unnoticed.
Some of the other usual signs and symptoms include:
  • Feeling lightheaded
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Frequent occurrence of infections
  • Cold feet and hands
  • The nails becoming brittle
  • Increased irritability
  • Enlargement of the spleen.
Depending on the cause of the condition, the symptoms could also include jaundice, wherein the white of the eyes becomes yellow, and the urine gets a dark, tea-colored tone.
While mild anemia may have no obvious symptoms, certain specific types have specific recognizable symptoms, like pain that accompanies sickle cell anemia. Or, as in the case of iron deficiency anemia, the patient has unusual cravings for dirt, ice, starch, or paint, which is a condition called pica.
This is a fairly common disorder of the blood. People with certain chronic ailments, and women are more susceptible to it. If you think you have anemia, it is advisable to consult your doctor immediately, for it could also be a sign of some other underlying illness.