Individuals that suffer from anemia have low levels of hemoglobin, which is the oxygen carrying chemical in the blood stream.
When most people refer to anemia it is usually associated with iron deficiency. But believe it or not, there are other types of anemia. Some of these include chronic lead poisoning, vitamin B12 deficiency, chronic red blood cell destruction and aplastic anemia.
That being said, iron deficiency anemia is the most common. According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NIH), “signs and symptoms of iron deficiency may include brittle nails, swelling or soreness of the tongue, cracks in the sides of the mouth, an enlarged spleen, and frequent infections.”
Some risk factors of anemia include “a history of certain infections, blood diseases and autoimmune disorders, alcoholism, exposure to toxic chemicals, and the use of some medications can affect red blood cell production and lead to anemia (Mayo Clinic).”
If you are experiencing a combination of the symptoms on this list it may be wise to schedule an appointment with your doctor and get a blood test.
Fatigue is said to be the most common symptom of anemia. According to the NIH, “fatigue occurs because your body doesn't have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to its many parts.” That being said, as the levels of hemoglobin fall, there is a drop in the level of blood being delivered to your brain. This ultimately results in less energy and fatigue.
Rapid Heart Beat
According to Mayo Clinic, “anemia can lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia). When you're anemic your heart must pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood. This can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.”
Iron deficiency anemia has been associated with restless legs syndrome. Individuals with this syndrome suffer from insomnia (The Common Side Effects of Sleep Deprivation). If you are worried you may be suffering from anemia try eating foods rich in chlorophyll, which is thought to improve sleep (sharecare).
Lack of fresh oxygen in the blood can cause difficulty concentrating. The brain will become fatigued and disrupt its important functions. According to The Health Site, “since concentration on a task is not of top priority to the brain, a person with anemia finds it difficult to concentrate on tasks at hand.”
Individuals that suffer from anemia have red blood cells that aren’t functioning properly. This causes lack of oxygen to the brain which results in headaches (Signs You’re Having a Migraine).