Anemia might be the most common blood disorder, but that doesn’t mean it’s not serious. Anemia is not to be ignored. Left untreated, anemia can compromise a person’s quality of life and worsen other diagnoses. Watch out for these surprising signs of anemia.
- Weakness and fatigue are the most common symptoms of anemia. If you’re constantly tired and worn out no matter how many hours of sleep you get, anemia may be to blame. With anemia, your body doesn’t have enough iron. Iron is necessary to produce hemoglobin, the substance in blood cells that delivers oxygen all over the body. Without enough iron, your body has to work a lot harder for energy, leaving you weak and tired.
- If your skin looks paler than usual, it may be due to a decreased number of red blood cells. Iron and hemoglobin make blood red and when there’s a shortage, oxygen-rich blood is diverted away from the skin to major organs, causing you to lose your rosy glow.
- Hair loss. When your body is iron deficient, it channels the oxygen rich blood to support vital functions, like respiration and digestion, and neglects less crucial functions, like keeping hair intact. So, if you’re noticing more hair fall out than usual when showering or brushing, you could be anemic.
- Unusual cravings. If you’re craving something you wouldn’t normally find in a kitchen, like dirt, you’re probably experiencing the condition known as pica, the craving of non-food items. These items could include dirt, ice, clay, paint chips, cardboard, or even cleaning supplies. This symptom can be a hard one to catch because people keep their unusual cravings to themselves. There’s no solid scientific explanation for why pica occurs, but treating anemia can help to subdue the cravings.
- Tingly legs. Reduced blood supply can cause tingling sensations in the extremities. A constant urge to move your legs can keep you up at night. The limited circulation can also cause your hands and feet to feel cold and maybe a little numb.
- Chapped lips. Most people have experienced chapped lips, especially in the cold, dry winter months. However, open cracks or sores on the side could be a sign of anemia. This cracking is called angular cheiltis, and a study showed that 35% of people with it had iron deficiency.
If you or a loved one is suffering symptoms of anemia, call us at 1-877-SEGAL-88 or fill out the form below to see if you qualify for a research study.
Sources: Everyday Health, Prevention