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Warning Signs for Anemia

by
author image Julia Bodeeb
Julia Bodeeb started online writing in 2007. She also worked on staff in medical publishing for more than a decade as a reporter, managing editor and in book acquisitions. She won a Pulitzer Center Global Issues/Citizen Voices Award in 2008. Bodeeb has a Bachelor of Arts in English from Monmouth University and postgraduate credits in psychology and law.
Warning Signs for Anemia
A blood sample underneath a microscope. Photo Credit luchschen/iStock/Getty Images

Overview

Anemia often results in a lower than normal level of red blood cells due to a deficiency in iron. Without iron, the body struggles to make hemoglobin, a protein that transports oxygen from the lungs to circulate in the body. This disease may stem from cancer, pregnancy, excessive menstrual periods or lack of vitamin B9 (folic acid). Anemia, which is confirmed via a blood test, has a wide range of symptoms. This disease becomes more severe if left untreated, and severe anemia may result in death.

Cardiac Irregularities

A racing heart, irregular heartbeat or chest pain may be a warning sign of anemia, the Mayo Clinic reports. The iron deficiency found with anemia may create serious cardiac symptoms.

Exhaustion

Profound exhaustion may be a sign of anemia. As the anemia becomes more serious, the exhaustion may hinder normal activities or work duties.

Dizziness

Dizziness may be an indicator of anemia. The dizzy bouts may intensify and become more frequent as anemia progresses.

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Diminished Cognitive Skills

Diminished cognitive abilities may be a symptom of anemia. Brain function may be affected by anemia.

Cold Extremities

Hands and feet that feel cold may indicate anemia.

Trouble Breathing

Gasping for breath may be a sign that anemia is affecting your health. Difficulties breathing may progress as anemia becomes more severe.

Decrease in Sex Drive

A diminished sexual drive may be a symptom of anemia, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center (UMMC). As anemia saps the body of energy, sexual interest may wane.

Tinnitus

Tinnitus, or hearing ringing in the ears, may be a sign of anemia. It is unknown exactly why tinnitus occurs with anemia, but a link between the two disorders has been shown, according to research at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Pica

Pica--a disorder that occurs when a patient wants to eat odd substances such as ice, paper or clay or food items that make a noise when bitten into--is linked to anemia, the University of Maryland Medical Center reports. The cause of pica is unknown.

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References

Demand Media