9 Signs Of Anemia And 4 Major Causes
Even though iron-deficiency anemia is one of the most common types of anemia in people, not many of them know the real symptoms of anemia. The human body requires iron, which is necessary for the production of red blood cells.
In cases of iron deficiency, the body cannot produce enough red blood cells, which means that blood loss can lead to serious health ailments.
According to Dr. Allen Nissenson, bleeding is the most common cause of iron deficiency, as it removes the blood cells that contain iron from the body.
So, being aware of the symptoms of anemia can help people to prevent any potential health complications and get the adequate diagnosis and treatment.
WARNING SYMPTOMS OF ANEMIA
The symptoms of anemia are different, depending on the type of anemia, the root cause, its severity and any potential health conditions, such as ulcers, hemorrhaging, menstrual problems and even cancer. Some of the most common symptoms of anemia include:
1. Fatigue and loss of energy
The National heart, Lung and Blood Institute claims that fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of anemia. Fatigue occurs due to the lack of red blood cells that carry oxygen to different parts in the body.
Fatigue may be caused by other factors, such as sickness, stress and others. However, fatigue caused by anemia is different from the fatigue caused by these factors. People, who suffer from anemia, claim that they are constantly tired and exhausted.
If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, like a racing heart, you may be experiencing anemia. Trying to get more oxygen, the blood is pumped faster, which leads to a rapid heartbeat.
3. Pale skin
The mucous membranes on the eyes can indicate whether you are suffering from anemia or not. To find out if you are anemic, look for the waterline above the lower lash line. This area contains lots of veins, which are pumping blood through them. If this waterline looks pale, it may be a sign that you are anemic.
We have headaches once in a while, but it does not mean that we are all anemic. However, if the headaches are accompanied by some of the symptoms mentioned above, you should consult a doctor. Headaches accompanied with other symptoms may mean that your body is not getting enough oxygen.
5. Going numb
Blood circulates all over the body. However, if the body lacks healthy blood, it may start using the blood that goes through the hands, arms, legs and feet in order to supply the other parts of the body. As a result of this, you may experience numbness in the extremities.
6. Trouble concentrating
Trouble concentrating, also known as brain fog, is a common symptom of anemia. People suffering from anemia may also experience difficulty concentrating and memorizing things, because iron deficiency can affect the judgments, work performance and the ability to focus.
Not only does the lack of hemoglobin affect the production and delivery of blood oxygen to the organs, tissues and muscles, but it also affects the energy levels, mood, the ability to make decisions and to concentrate if the levels of vitamins, nutrients and minerals necessary for the production of red blood cells are reduced.
Anemia occurs if the body lacks these health nutrients.
7. Heavy or irregular periods
Uterine fibroids located inside the uterine cavity may be the cause of anemia in women. Moreover, these uterine fibroids cause heavy menstrual periods. Women, who have irregular periods or painful stomach cramps, should consult with a doctor. Iron-deficiency anemia may be the root cause of the irregular and heavy menstrual periods.
8. Breathing difficulty and shortness of breath
Anemic people prefer sitting still. Moreover, they feel dyspnea while doing physical activity, as the body is not supplied with enough oxygen. Therefore, these people breathe deeply, thus trying to increase the amount of oxygen in the blood.
Light-headedness and dizziness are other symptoms of a lack of oxygen in the blood cells. People with severe anemia may also experience ischemia due to the obstructed blood flow, especially in the extremities.
8. Increased heartbeat
Anemia is affecting the heart and the cardiovascular system due to the fact that the body needs iron in order to produce hemoglobin, a substance that carries oxygen form the lungs to the other parts of the body. Therefore, if there is iron deficiency, oxygen delivery and organ functioning is affected, too.
Low supply of oxygen in the tissues and the organs may have dramatic effects on the cardiovascular system. In addition, people with anemia produce a great number of red blood cells that do not contain hemoglobin necessary for oxygen transport.
Moreover, lack of oxygenated blood can lead to improper oxygen delivery to the cardiovascular system, severe fatigue or damage to the brain and the heart.
If you cannot fall asleep at night, you may suffer from anemia. According to the researchers, insomnia and other sleep difficulties, like restless leg syndrome, are more common in children and teenagers, as well as adults due to the lack of iron.
CAUSES OF IRON-DEFICIENCY ANEMIA
Lack of iron is the most common cause of anemia. There are a few reasons why a person may become iron deficient:
1. Improper iron intake
Lack of iron in the body can occur when we do not take enough amounts of iron. Foods, like eggs, red meat, nuts, dried fruits, seafood and some dark green leafy vegetables are loaded with iron.
2. Blood loss due to menstruation or Pregnancy
Blood loss during childbirth and heavy menstrual cycles are the most common causes of iron-deficient anemia.
3. Internal bleeding
Certain medical conditions, such as stomach ulcers, colon or intestine polyps and colon cancer can cause internal bleeding. Using painkillers on a regular basis may also lead to internal bleeding.
4. Inability to absorb iron
Some surgeries or health disorders may affect the way in which the body absorbs iron. Even though you take enough iron, intestinal surgery or celiac disease can reduce the amount of iron that the body can absorb.
Anemia is one of the most common health issues today. If you have experienced some of the symptoms above, you should talk to your doctor. Treatments for anemia range from taking food supplements to undergoing medical procedures.