What are the symptoms for anemia?

Written by emily retherford
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What are the symptoms for anemia?
(Craig Goodwin)

Anemia develops when a person doesn't have enough haemoglobin in her bloodstream. When a low level of haemoglobin is detected in the blood, it means there aren't enough healthy red blood cells in the body. Haemoglobin is the part of the red blood cells that is rich in iron. Depending on the severity of the condition, patients who are anaemic may need to take iron supplements, multi-vitamins that are rich in iron, or change their diet to include iron rich foods such as spinach or red meat.


Fatigue is a feeling of being extremely tired at abnormal times throughout the day. People who suffer from anaemia can often feel fatigued because the organs and body tissues are lacking oxygen. The purpose of the red blood cells is to carry oxygen to the rest of the body; if the body lacks healthy red blood cells, the person can get tired easier than a normal healthy person.

Pale Complexion

Oxygen in the body affects everything, including skin. The lack of haemoglobin pumping through the veins can make skin look paler than normal. This symptom will go away once the body's iron level is back to normal.

Rapid Heartbeat

When someone is anaemic, he may have a rapid heartbeat. This is because the heart is working harder to pump enough blood to the body so the organs and body tissues get enough oxygen. He may also experience heart palpitations or have an elevated pulse rate.


The red blood cells carry oxygen to the entire body, including the brain. When there isn't enough oxygen carried to the brain tissues, headaches can occur. These are normally dull headaches that are easily treated with over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol or ibuprofen.


Dizziness can occur when body tissues aren't getting enough oxygen. This can be a feeling of being lightheaded or feeling faint. Vertigo can also occur. Vertigo is a feeling of movement when no actual movement is taking place.

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