Anemia Symptoms & Warning Signs
In the beginning stages, the symptoms of anemia tend to be mild, especially if the underlying cause is related to an illness or nutrition deficiency. Eventually, symptoms will become more prevalent in the form of fatigue, weakness, and a diminished ability to think clearly, concentrate, or focus. People might feel overexerted or short of breath, especially during physical activity.
For certain types of anemia, the symptoms are sudden and extreme. People who experience blood loss due to an injury will feel tired almost immediately, and people with genetic conditions such as sickle-cell anemia may also experience sudden symptoms that they may or may not be able to explain.
Some people with anemia will develop skin changes. Many patients develop pale skin due to lack of oxygen, and others may experience a condition called jaundice, which causes the skin to turn yellow. Bone problems and ulcers of the leg are additional visible symptoms.
Some anemia patients might develop hunger cravings for ice, grass, dirt, paper, and hair for nutrition. These symptoms have been common among anemic women who are pregnant.
Among children, the symptoms of anemia can be more extreme. Children with anemia may become extremely lethargic and show signs of malnutrition, even if they are eating balanced meals. They may lose interest in sports, play-activities, and friendships. When suffering from anemia, children might have trouble performing in school. They might have trouble sitting through class, staying awake throughout the day, finishing homework, remaining motivated, or showing enthusiasm. If your child is showing these symptoms, a doctor's visit and simple blood test may provide an explanation. Children who show signs of anemia should see a doctor as soon as possible to rule out more serious conditions that produce similar symptoms.
Infants can also develop anemia. In general, the cause of anemia in infants tends to be an iron deficiency; however, blood tests are necessary for a conclusive diagnosis. Infants with anemia should be monitored closely since the condition has the potential to impair neurological development. Anemia will sometimes occur after the infant has experienced a recent illness or infection. If you notice that your baby is experiencing a rapid heart rate or respiratory rate, you should visit the pediatrician as soon as possible.
Because of a lack of oxygen, anemia patients are likely to experience dizziness, chronic headaches, cheat pain, constipation, coldness, or tingling sensations in the hands and feet. These symptoms can affect anemic children and adults.
The organs might also be at risk because of anemia. For example, some patients develop swelling in the spleen. Gastrointestinal problems are also possible, producing symptoms including black stool, odorous stools, and blood in the stools.
Heart palpitations (fast or irregular heartbeat) and problems with blood circulation in the legs are signs of heart failure. Sometimes, anemia can cause oxygen levels that are so low that a heart attack can occur. In any case, these symptoms do not always point to heart failure, and they may occur as general symptoms of anemia. If you are feeling lightheaded and uncomfortable, you should avoid taking chances, and visit the doctor as soon as you can.
Anemia can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition that is related to the organs or bone marrow. It is important to be vigilant of symptoms so that a doctor can help determine the precise cause of the condition.
People with chronic conditions should pay particular attention to symptoms of anemia. For people with heart failure or lung problems, anemia can indicate a serious problem. In this situation, it is imperative that the patient see a doctor as soon as possible.
If you have had gastric bypass surgery and you start to feel tired or weak, you may be suffering from a vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency. If you drink a substantial amount of alcohol and you start to feel fatigued or weak, you may be developing liver disease.
If you feel lightheaded, dizzy, nauseous, or faint, you should sit down as soon as possible and relax. Fold over your knees and put your head between your legs until the sensation stabilizes. Contact your doctor immediately for recommendations regarding follow-up care.
If your life begins to suffer and you find yourself unable to perform your regular duties, you should see a doctor as soon as possible. Symptoms may continue to become worse. If symptoms become worse quickly, you will need to see a doctor for more thorough and extensive testing.