Warning Signs for Anemia

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.

A blood sample underneath a microscope. (Image: luchschen/iStock/Getty Images)

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.


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


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

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, 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--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.

Load Comments

Copyright © 2019 Leaf Group Ltd. Use of this web site constitutes acceptance of the LIVESTRONG.COM Terms of Use , Privacy Policy and Copyright Policy . The material appearing on LIVESTRONG.COM is for educational use only. It should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. LIVESTRONG is a registered trademark of the LIVESTRONG Foundation. The LIVESTRONG Foundation and LIVESTRONG.COM do not endorse any of the products or services that are advertised on the web site. Moreover, we do not select every advertiser or advertisement that appears on the web site-many of the advertisements are served by third party advertising companies.