[toc]Anemia is a condition when the blood does not have sufficient red blood cells, meaning the haemoglobin content in the blood is low. This means the cells in the affected woman’s body will not receive sufficient oxygen, leading to several health problems. Anemia is caused mainly on account of three reasons – loss of blood from the body, decreased red blood cells production and destruction of the red blood cells in the body. There are around 400 types of anemia, of which iron deficiency anemia is the main form.
The symptoms of anemia don’t usually come to light in the initial stages, but as anemia progresses there is marked increase in the symptoms. There might be permanent damage if you don’t take a look at it immediately. Different types of anemia depict different types of symptoms. Some of the common symptoms of anemia in women are:
Symptoms Of Anemia In women
It is the most common symptom that occurs because of lack of oxygen supply to the muscles of the body. Due to this, the muscles become fatigued or tired more often than in normal individuals. Women suffering from anemia are thus unable to work for long hours and need rest at frequent intervals. There is a feeling of loss of energy from the body even if excess work is not done. They feel exhausted, especially when they have menstrual cycles and when there is increased blood loss.
Late and Irregular Periods
One of the prominent symptoms of anemia in women is having late periods or periods at irregular intervals. There is usually no set cycle which is mainly due to the lack of oxygen in the body. In addition to causing late periods, anemia can also cause irregular symptoms of the periods itself.
For example, there may be increased blood loss, which further complicates anemia. There can also be frequent spotting, absence of sufficient flow or skipped periods.
Dizziness and Breathing Difficulties
When the oxygen content in the blood is low, the brain does not receive sufficient amount of oxygen. The brain needs almost 20% of the body’s oxygen supply and when this demand is not met with, there might be complications like dizziness and fainting spells often. It is also seen that women suffering from dizziness have increased instances of light headedness. In addition to feel dizzy quite often, many women also experience severe restless and asthmatic attacks when they are anemic. This is because of the inability to absorb oxygen from the air. The blood doesn’t contain enough haemoglobin to facilitate your entire body for its oxygen demand.
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Loss of Hair and Leg Cramps
Loss of hair is another common symptom noticed in women with anemia. Although this symptom is not immediately apparent, patients with anemia will start experiencing increased hair loss in 2-3 months time. Women also tend to experience leg cramps very often, especially during their menstrual cycle. This is more severe in the calf muscles area. Sufficient rest must be taken by such women when they are having their periods.
Increased Heart Rate
With minimal activity, women who are anemic feel a rapid pulse. This is because during activities our muscles tend to work more efficiently. These muscles need more oxygen and that is obviously lacking in an anemic person. Hence, to transport more blood and oxygen, the heart needs to beat faster. Women working out at the gym or when they dance tend to feel unusually fast heart beats and palpitations, accompanied by sweating and dizziness.
Numbness At Extremities
The extremities of your body like fingers and toe tips are the most distal areas of the body with the least blood supply. With an already compromised oxygen transport system, your extremities might feel a few degrees lower than your normal body temperature and may end up feeling cold or numb. In iron deficiency anemia, the onset of symptoms is gradual and most women ignore the signs saying there are just minor aches or fatigues. But if you notice paleness in your extremities and you tend to feel cold at all times, you should consult your doctor to know what is exactly wrong with you.