Did you know that anemia is one of the most common medical conditions globally?
According to the World Health Organization, anemia affects approximately 42 percent of children under the age of five and 40 percent of pregnant women globally.
That’s a staggering figure!
Anemia is a condition that occurs when you don’t have enough red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen throughout your body.
It can cause a wide variety of symptoms, many of which are often mistaken for other conditions.
This article will discuss nine symptoms of anemia that you should not ignore!
If you experience any of the following symptoms, it’s important to see your doctor and get tested for anemia:
One of the most common symptoms of anemia is fatigue.
Because when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen, it can’t function properly.
You may feel tired all the time, even if you get a full night’s sleep.
Fatigue caused by anemia can be debilitating and make it difficult to carry out everyday tasks.
Another common symptom of anemia that is often mistaken for fatigue is weakness.
You may feel like you can’t get out of bed or that your muscles are too weak to carry out normal tasks.
You may find it hard to do everyday tasks, such as carrying groceries or climbing stairs.
The weakness is caused by the same thing as fatigue: not enough oxygen being carried to your muscles.
3. Pale or yellowish skin
When you have anemia, your skin may take on a pale or yellowish hue.
This is because anemia decreases the amount of oxygen in your blood.
Without enough oxygen, your skin cells can’t produce the pigment that gives your skin its natural color.
Your skin may also feel cooler to the touch than usual.
If you notice that your skin has become paler than usual, it could be a sign of anemia.
4. Irregular heartbeats
Anemia can cause your heart to work harder, which may lead to irregular heartbeats.
You may feel like your heart is racing or fluttering.
This symptom is caused by the lack of oxygen in your blood.
Without enough oxygen, your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body.
5. Shortness of breath
One symptom of anemia that is often mistaken for something else is shortness of breath.
You may feel like you can’t catch your breath, even when you’re not exerting yourself.
In some cases, you may feel like you’re suffocating.
Basically, your body needs iron to make hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is a protein in your red blood cells that carries oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.
If you don’t have enough iron, your body can’t make hemoglobin.
As a result, your tissues and organs don’t get the oxygen they need to function properly.
This can lead to shortness of breath.
6. Dizziness or lightheadedness
Feeling dizzy or lightheaded is another typical symptom of anemia.
This happens because when you have low levels of iron, your body doesn’t have enough hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen in your blood, so when there’s not enough of it, you may feel dizzy or lightheaded.
7. Chest pain
If you’re experiencing chest pain, it could be a sign of anemia.
This is because when your body doesn’t have enough oxygen-rich red blood cells, your heart has to work harder to pump blood throughout your body.
If you’re experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, or an irregular heartbeat, it’s important to see a doctor right away.
8. Cold hands and feet
One symptom of anemia that is often overlooked is cold hands and feet.
This happens because when your body doesn’t have enough oxygen-rich red blood cells, your extremities are the first to be affected.
Although, other factors, such as low blood sugar levels or poor circulation, can also cause cold hands and feet.
However, if you have anemia, you may notice that your hands and feet feel cold all the time, even when it’s warm out.
If you find yourself experiencing more headaches than usual, it could be a sign of anemia.
Headaches are caused by a lack of oxygen in the brain, which is something that can happen when your red blood cells aren’t able to carry enough oxygen throughout your body.
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor.
Your doctor will diagnose anemia by doing a blood test.
If you have anemia, your doctor will work with you to come up with a treatment plan.
Treatment for anemia may include taking iron supplements, eating iron-rich foods, or getting more blood transfusions.
The best way to prevent anemia is to make sure you’re getting enough iron in your diet.
Iron-rich foods include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, lentils, spinach, and iron-fortified cereals.
Anemia is a serious condition that can be deadly if left untreated.
So don’t ignore the signs and symptoms of anemia, and be sure to seek medical help if you’re concerned that you may have this condition.