Anemia happens when your body doesn't have enough red blood cells. They're needed every day to carry oxygen throughout your body. If you're feeling tired much of the time, not eating well (or at all), and sometimes have trouble concentrating, there's a good chance you might be suffering from anemia.
But what are the warning signs to look for? And how can you tell if your symptoms are more extensive than just being tired? Below are warning signs of anemia.
If you notice that your skin is paler than normal or if it's turning yellow, those could be symptoms of anemia. This is because, as red blood cells break down, they release a chemical called bilirubin. This chemical reacts with the skin and can cause a yellowish tint.
If you feel fatigued a lot, especially in the morning when you wake up, it could be a sign of anemia. If you feel exhausted even after a good night's sleep, chances are you might have anemia.
If you're experiencing headaches frequently, that's another sign of anemia. This could be a result of the lack of oxygen getting to the brain. When that happens, you might notice that your brain doesn't seem to function as well.
Feeling tired and sore all over is another sign of anemia. This is because your red blood cells are not carrying oxygen through your body, so you lack energy. If you find yourself going from tired to sore regularly, it's a good idea to have your anemia levels checked.
Bruises are often harmless, but anemia can cause them to form on your skin easily. Those with anemia will find that bruises develop without even bumping into anything. As your body lacks the oxygen needed to form new blood cells, healing bruises is hard.
An unusual amount of dark urine is sometimes a sign of anemia. If you notice that your urine is very dark in color, it could signify that red blood cells are breaking down. If you notice your urine is dark brown or amber, that could be a sign you have iron deficiency.
Anemia is sometimes called "bruising of the body" because it causes your blood to lose its red color. This can cause several symptoms, such as changes in the taste of foods and changes in your sense of smell.
Sometimes, people with anemia don't notice it initially, but their breath will start to smell like the inside of rotting fruit over time. This is because the loss of red blood cells will cause them to turn black and brown, and they begin to decompose.
If you're noticing that your fingernails or toenails are looking unusually pale or even white, that could be a sign of anemia. This happens because the lack of oxygen is destroying red blood cells.
Frequent nosebleeds are another sign of anemia. This happens because your blood cannot clot easily due to the lack of iron, which is needed for the body to form clots. You might also notice that your nose is slightly drippy and clogged at the same time.
A discolored or orange-brown contact solution can be a sign of anemia. This happens because your body is losing too much iron, which is used for making the lens in your contact lenses.
If you notice that you're bloated more often than normal, that could be a sign that your body is lacking iron. This could also occur if you're drinking coffee, which has a lot of iron in it. Also, if you're taking iron supplements, you might notice that your body is bloated and you're drinking more than usual.
If you start having muscle fatigue and weakness, it could be a sign of anemia. This happens because your body is losing too many red blood cells and iron. Even if you exercise, your muscles will feel weak a few days later.
If you begin to feel lightheaded, that could be a sign that you're anemic. This happens because red blood cells are not carrying enough amount of oxygen through your body. As a result, you might start feeling dizzy and lightheaded.
If you notice that your ankles or legs are swelling up more often than normal, it could be a sign of anemia. This happens because the red blood cells are breaking down. Your body tries to remove the extra fluid by causing swelling.
If you notice that your vision is not as clear or blurry, or if you see flashes in front of your eyes, you could be suffering from anemia. This happens because the lack of oxygen is affecting your retina. This is where the light gets converted into a visual signal.
If you notice that you're having more problems with constipation than normal, that could be a sign of anemia. This happens because your body is lacking in iron, which is needed for healthy digestion. Because of that, your body starts to produce mucus to help with digestion.
If you begin to see age spots on your skin, that could be a sign of anemia. This happens because your body is losing too much iron. The iron gets released into the skin and then affects the skin. This can cause age spots to form.
If you notice that you're sweating more than usual, it could be a sign of anemia. It can happen because your body is trying to compensate for the loss of red blood cells. This happens because they're not carrying enough oxygen.
If you start coughing more than you used to, it could be a sign of anemia. This happens because the red blood cells are breaking down, and the lack of iron affects your body's breathing ability. The cough might also come from a stuffy nose, which you're also likely to have.
Making sure you eat a balanced diet will help ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs. A good way to make sure you're getting enough iron is to divide your food into three categories: green vegetables, folic acid-rich foods, and lean protein sources.