Do you feel chronically tired, weak and without energy? Do you have an oddly pale complexion, even when wearing your favorite makeup? If any of these symptoms are familiar to you, it may be time to take a closer look at your iron levels, as they could indicate that you are anemic. More than 1.5 billion people worldwide have anemia, but many seem unaware of it until they experience severe symptoms. To help recognize this potentially devastating disease, this article will explore 7 warning signs that will allow for early treatment before the situation becomes more complicated.

What are the types of anemia?

Anemia is a condition in which a person has a reduced number of red blood cells or hemoglobin, which can lead to fatigue, weakness, and other symptoms. There are several types of anemia that can affect people differently.

The most common type of anemia is iron deficiency anemia, which occurs when the body does not absorb enough iron from food or does not get enough iron through food sources. Other forms of anemia include:

  • Megaloblastic anemia, due to vitamin B12 or folate deficiency, which occurs when the body does not receive enough of these vitamins.
  • Aplastic anemia, which occurs when bone marrow cells fail to grow enough into mature blood cells.
  • Hemolytic anemia, caused by damage to red blood cells due to infections, toxins, autoimmune disorders, or other medical conditions.
  • Sickle cell anemia or sickle cell anemia is a type of inherited hemolytic anemia where red blood cells become misshapen and break down more frequently than normal.

The 7 telltale signs of anemia.

Increased fatigue:

Anemia is an often overlooked health condition, but if left untreated, it can cause a plethora of unpleasant symptoms. One of the most common signs of this condition is feeling extremely exhausted and tired. This can manifest as long-term and short-term fatigue, which prevents a person from participating in activities that were previously easy. If a person notices that they are getting tired faster than usual and having trouble following their routine, it may be a sign that something is wrong and a doctor’s check-up is needed. A simple blood test can confirm the cause of these problems and lead to the right solution to relieve them.

Shortness of breath:

Anemia can cause shortness of breath when the body does not have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body. It can occur when a person tries to exercise or even go outside in cold weather. Shortness of breath can also occur without warning during daily activities such as walking or climbing stairs. Some people may even wake up feeling short of breath or have trouble catching their breath when lying down at night.

pale skin :

Pale skin is usually one of the first warning signs recognized by doctors. Due to a reduced amount of hemoglobin present in the bloodstream, the skin may turn pale or yellowish. An accurate diagnosis is needed to determine if there is a deficiency of iron or any other nutrient or an underlying condition causing the anemia.

Dizziness or vertigo:

People with anemia may feel like the room is spinning and feel out of balance due to their low iron levels. The inner ear, with its delicate balance of fluid and hair-like sensors, can be significantly affected by iron deficiencies, causing that light-headed feeling that can be mistaken for other reasons such as dehydration or a sharp drop in blood pressure. The sensation often fades once the person’s iron levels are replenished. Although uncomfortable, it is important to pay attention to dizziness or lightheadedness, as it can be an indicator of anemia in some people.

Cold feet and hands:

Cold hands and feet can be a sign of anemia, a condition in which the body does not produce enough red blood cells to carry oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. Since oxygen-rich blood is necessary for the normal regulation of body temperature, people with anemia have difficulty maintaining a warm temperature in their extremities. Decreased circulation of oxygen-rich blood causes the hands and feet to feel cold, even when the temperature is relatively high in other parts of the body. This symptom can be both uncomfortable and worrisome, so it’s important to take this into consideration and see a doctor who can point you in the right direction.

Rapid heartbeat:

With anemia, the heart has to work harder than usual, causing the pulse to race and sometimes palpitations (irregular heartbeats). This reaction can manifest both physically and mentally, making it harder to concentrate and causing fatigue.

Headache :

One of the warning signs is an extreme and frequent headache. This happens when blood vessels dilate as soon as low oxygen levels reach the brain. It may feel like a throbbing headache that often gets worse with physical exercise or a sudden change in position. Physically, anemia is usually easier to detect than mental exhaustion; however, it is important to recognize both. Headaches should not be taken lightly, as they can be a sign of hidden anemia.

Who are the people most affected by anemia?

The people most affected by anemia are:

  1. Pregnant women : Anemia is particularly common in pregnant women due to their increased need for iron. Studies show that half of pregnant women in developing countries suffer from it.
  2. Young children: Young children are also at greater risk of anemia due to their growing bodies and their need for growth-promoting nutrients, such as iron.
  3. People with HIV/AIDS: People living with HIV/AIDS often suffer from anemia because the infection destroys their red blood cells.
  4. People with chronic conditions such as kidney disease and cancer: Chronic illnesses can also lead to anemia because they reduce the body’s ability to produce red blood cells.
  5. People who have had surgery or blood loss: anemia can develop if too much blood is removed from a person’s body due to injury or surgery.
  6. Old people : Older people are particularly prone to anemia due to weakened immune systems and lack of certain vitamins and minerals in their diet. Also, conditions like kidney failure and endocrine disorders can also lead to anemia in the elderly. In many cases, elderly patients have no apparent symptoms, which further complicates matters. Early diagnosis is essential to prevent further health complications related to anemia. It is therefore important that they consult their doctor if they feel bad or weak for no apparent reason.
* criptom strives to transmit health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE, the information given can not replace the opinion of a health professional.