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Signs and Symptoms of Anemia

Anemia is the most common blood condition in the U.S.  3.5 million Americans have signs and symptoms of anemia.  Anemia affects mostly women and people with chronic illnesses.  Anemia is the result of insufficient hemoglobin in the blood, which results in low levels of oxygen for the tissues and organs.  We have put together a list of common signs and symptoms of anemia below.

Also, we have information on diagnosis, supportive natural therapies, helpful books and valuable resources for patients.

The Most Commons Signs and Symptoms of Anemia include:

  • Great fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Weakness
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Pale skin
  • Pale nailbeds
  • Pale lips
  • Yellowish skin
  • Dark urine
  • Hair loss
  • Spots before the eyes
  • Brittle nails
  • Mood swings
  • Irritability
  • Heavy menstruation
  • Loss of menstruation
  • Low libido
  • Headaches cold extremities
  • Frequent illness
  • Chest pain

There are over 400 different types of anemia.   The most common is iron-deficiency anemia, which is caused by lack or iron or poor absorption of iron.  Blood loss can contribute to iron-deficiency anemia.  Pregnancy can also contribute to iron-deficiency anemia, as can the inability to absorb certain nutrients such as folic acid and B12.

In some rare cases, anemia is caused by a hereditary blood disorder.  Thalassemia and sickle cell disease are two such forms of anemia.    Pernicious anemia is the result of the digestive tract being unable to absorb vitamin B12.


Diagnosis of Anemia

A diagnosis of anemia is made through a blood test, which looks at the levels of hemoglobin in the blood.  The red blood cells may also be examined under a microscope to determine irregularities in size, shape and color.  Once a diagnosis of anemia is made, a health care practitioner may do other tests to determine the cause of the anemia, in order to address the underlying condition and to prevent a recurrence.


Books for People With Signs and Symptoms of Anemia

The Iron Disorders Institute Guide to Anemia
Cheryl Garrison
Anemia in Women: Self-Help and Treatment
Joan Gomez


Understanding Anemia (Understanding Sickness & Health Series)
Ed Uthman
Heavy Menstrual Flow and Anemia: Self Help Book
Susan M. Lark


Anemia Resources

General Health Resources

  • Society for the Advancement of Blood Management

Offers research information about anemia associated with end stage renal disease, chronic kidney disease, cancer, HIV, rheumatoid arthritis, heart disease and diabetes.

http://www.anemia.org/

  • MD Junction

Anemia Forums. Discussions, Q&A and friends dealing with Anemia.

http://www.mdjunction.com/forums/anemia-discussions

  • About . com

Anemia professional guide and research studies on anemia iron deficiency associated with anemia of chronic disease such as diabetes, CRI chronic renal insufficiency and more.

http://adam.about.net/reports/Anemia.htm

  • Med Help

MedHelp’s Anemia Center for Information, symptoms, resources, treatments and tools for anemia. Find anemia information, treatments for anemia and anemia symptoms.

http://www.medhelp.org/tags/show/646/anemia



Medical Resources

  • Web MD

There are over 400 types of anemia. Get an overview of this common disorder, including types and causes.

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/understanding-anemia-basics

  • Mayo Clinic

Comprehensive overview covers symptoms, causes, treatment of this red blood cell deficiency.

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/anemia/DS00321

  • Pub Med Health

Reviews causes, risk factors, symptoms, treatment, prognosis and complications.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001586/