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Anemia Symptoms

Anemia: Symptoms


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1. Other symptoms

There are also a host of less common symptoms associated with anemia. These are swellings of the arms and legs, vague bruises, increased sweating and vomiting. Certain anemic conditions also result in the enlargement of the spleen. When the anemia becomes severe, normal fatigue could change into dizziness. This dizziness in turn leads to fainting episodes. A general decrease in energy levels, palpitations and light headedness are symptoms that may often be mistaken as caused by other problems or illnesses.

2. Heartburn and change in stool color

Anemia could also be caused due to bleeding into the gastro intestinal tract. When such bleeding happens, large amounts of blood in the stomach could result in reflux leading to heartburns. The blood in the gastro intestinal tract also results in bloody colored stools. The blood makes the stool sticky and smelly and the color could also change to maroon.

3. Restless legs syndrome

Anemia could also result in a neurological disorder that causes an irresistible urge to move one’s body in order to stop odd or uncomfortable sensations. It usually presents itself as an itch or tickling in the muscles that just does not seem to stop. The reason for this is the scarcity of iron which happens in some kinds of anemia. The cerebrospinal fluid and substantia nigra of patients with restless legs syndrome have been found having low levels of iron. Iron is a vital ingredient in ensuring that the dopamine levels in the brain are optimum.

4. Chest pain and angina

Since the various organs and limbs of the body receive less oxygen, anemia often results in hyperdynamic circulation of the blood in an attempt to provide sufficient oxygen. When that gets intensified, it could lead to severe tachycardia. This in turn results in bounding pulse rate and flow murmurs. The ventricles of the heart which do the pumping, often get swollen with the effort. This ventricular hypertrophy usually occurs with the left ventricle. Such swelling could lead to angina and in worst cases, could result in heart failure.

5. Pallor and changes in the skin

Pallor is the term used to describe the paleness in the skin that sets in due to reduced oxyhemoglobin in the the skin and mucous membranes. The nail beds also become pale, though the paleness is more evident in the face and the palms. This cannot be taken as a reliable sign. However, there are some specific symptoms for certain types of anemia. There will be a yellow coloration of the skin when the anemia is due to hemolysis or the abnormal breakdown of red blood cells. The skin may be ridden with ulcers when the anemia is due to the sickle cell disease. Spoon nails are the result of anemia caused due to iron deficiency. In this case, the nails thin out and lose their convex shape.

6. Dyspnea

Dyspnea is defined as the shortness of breath or inadequate breathing. While this is a usual symptom of congestive heart failure, asthma, pneumonia and pulmonary disease, it is also a common symptom of anemia. It presents itself as labored breathing. When the body does not receive sufficient oxygen, it takes measures for an increased oxygen intake. Thus, the patient finds himself/herself breathing harder and faster.

7. Malaise

This is a general feeling of discomfort and uneasiness. There is a lack of energy and motivation that is largely physical. This is the usual warning sign of the beginning of any illness or infection. Anemia results in a low RBC count. This affects the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. As a result, none of the limbs and organs of the body receive sufficient oxygen, making them perform below par. So there is an overall feeling of being unwell and fatigue sets in easily.

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