[toc]Anemia is a medical condition in which the percentage red blood cells (RBC) in the blood is lesser than normal. The RBC contains hemoglobin, an iron-rich protein which distributes oxygen from the lungs to the different parts of the body. It may also occur when the red blood cells contain insufficient amount of hemoglobin.
Anemia may be caused due to deficiency of vital nutrients like iron, Vitamin B12, destruction of red blood cells which may be due to diseases like jaundice, blood cancer, lymphoma, kidney failure, stomach ulcer, occult blood loss, etc. The signs and symptoms of anemia depends on its underlying cause. However, the most common signs or symptoms of anemia are given below.
7 Sign And Symptoms Of Anemia
Cold Hands And Feet
The deficiency of iron in the blood reduces its capacity to keep the body warm. This makes the hands and feet of an anemic patient colder than others which may also be accompanied by a little pain and stiffness in the fingers and toes. Anemic people are also more sensitive to cold weather as compared to others.
Rapid Heart Beat
Deficiency of red blood cells may bring about cardiovascular changes. It may cause rapid or irregular heartbeat. This is because the heart needs to compensate for the lack of oxygen by pumping more blood. An anemic patient may sometimes suffer from chest pain due to congestion in the heart.
Difficulty In Breathing
Anemia can have an adverse affect on the respiratory system. Due to decrease in the level of oxygen in the blood, a patient of anemia may face shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing. The difficulty in breathing increases with any physical activity. Walking, climbing stairs, doing household work in hurry are some of the activities that causes difficulty in breathing.
Anemia is caused due to deficiency of the oxygen carrying pigment called hemoglobin in the blood. The deficiency obviously makes the redness of the blood lighter. Due to this, the skin of an anemic person becomes pale and whitish. Even a person who is dusky may look whitish due to acute anemia. However, the paleness starts disappearing as and when hemoglobin is replenished.
Lack Of Focus Or Concentration
Overall lack of concentration is another early warning of anemia. It may be with studies, at work place or any day to day activity. This is again due to lack of oxygen which interferes with the sensory organ’s sending signals to the brain. An anemic patient may remain absent minded and lack presence of mind, at times.
Leg cramps are very common in an anemic person. Anemia caused due to iron deficiency also causes restless leg syndrome due to restrictions in the flow of blood.
Most anemic people often suffer for muscle contraction or spasms, especially while sleeping. Women with anemia are more likely to experience cramps during menstrual periods.
Due to deficiency in hemoglobin, all the parts of the body do not get sufficient amount of oxygen. This may cause tiredness and fatigue. Some other symptoms that are associated with weakness are excessive sweating, high pulse rate, dizziness, etc.
The patient may also feel like fainting and see darkness before the eyes due to excessive fatigue or lack of energy throughout the day.