Anemia is a medical condition characterized as not having enough healthy red blood cells to carry enough oxygen to your tissues. Symptoms of anemia typically include fatigue and exhaustion.
There are numerous types of anemia, each with a different cause. Loss of blood is one of the most common forms of anemia and it can occur with heavy menstruation. Anemia can be a temporary or chronic condition. Its severity can range from mild to severe.
Symptoms of anemia actually vary depending on what type of anemia you have, other underlying health problems, and what the cause of it was. In mild or early cases of anemia, your body may not show any signs of symptoms at all.
This is a concern because individuals may be constantly having a shortage of oxygen to their cells without knowing it.
Anemia Signs Regardless the Type of Anemia
Some symptoms of anemia that occur commonly in almost all types of anemia include: lack of energy, easily tired, rapid heartbeat, headache and shortness of breath when exercising, dizziness, troubles concentrating, insomnia, leg crams, and pale skin.
When the body is short of iron, your body is unable to produce enough hemoglobin for the red blood cells. This type of anemia is caused by blood loss, such as heavy menstruation, ulcers, or prolonged use of certain medications (such as Aspirin).
Anemia that is caused by iron deficiency may crave for unusual food items, such as ice, paper, or dirt. They may also feel soreness in the mouth with cracked lips, and a slight upwards curvature of the nails.
Vitamin Deficiency Anemia Signs
Vitamin deficiency anemia is usually associated with vitamin B12 and folate. The body needs these vitamins to produce healthy red blood cells. A lack of these vitamins can result in reduced red blood cells. In addition, some individuals are unable to process the vitamin, which can result in vitamin deficiency and anemia. When individuals are suffering from anemia caused by a deficiency in vitamin B12, they may feel a tingling sensation in their hands and feet (“pins and needles”), as well as difficulty walking, a reduced sense of touch and feeling, dementia, clumsiness, stiffness in the joints, hallucinations, paranoia, and even schizophrenia.
Anemia caused by chronic lead poisoning can lead to abdominal pain, constipation, vomiting, and a characteristic blue-black line on the gums
Those who have anemia caused by chronic red blood cell destruction will experience jaundice (yellowing of the whites of the eyes and the skin), leg ulcers, brown or red urine, and gallstones.
Sickle Cell Anemia Signs & Symptoms
Sickle cell anemia is an inherited type of anemia that can be serious. It is a result of a defective type of hemoglobin that causes the red blood cell to be shaped irregularly. These cells die quickly, causing a deficiency in red blood cells.
Sickle cell anemia causes symptoms such as fatigue, stunted growth in children, and episodes of extreme pain in the joints, limbs, and abdomen. It also increases one’s susceptibility to other infections.
People who are suffering from anemia caused by sudden red blood cell destruction may notice abdominal pain, jaundice, red or brown urine, seizures, bruises under the skin, symptoms of kidney failure, and even seizures.
If not treated, anemia can potentially lead to some serious complications. Some individuals are fatigued that they are unable to do everyday tasks. Anemia can also cause arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats). The heart has to work harder and pump more blood because of the lack of oxygen in the blood.
If you are experiencing the above symptoms of anemia, it is best to make an appointment with your family doctor. Only your doctor will be able to properly diagnose your symptoms. Depending on what type of anemia you may have, there will be different types of treatments.
Signs and Symptoms of Anemia