Anemia Symptoms in Women

Anemia generally refers to decrease or low level of hemoglobin or red blood cells. Anemia may be of various types and each anemia type may be caused by various factors. For instance, anemia may be caused by iron deficiency or it may be associated with folic acid or vitamin B12 deficiency. Anemia may show up many symptoms, based on the severity and specific types of the condition. Let us know in detail anemia symptoms in women.

Anemia Symptoms in Women:
The symptoms of anemia are almost similar to those that are observed in men. However, the anemia symptoms differ based on its severity and specific type of the condition. Mild anemia does not produce any symptoms or produces only minor symptoms which go unnoticed. Following are the most commonly observed anemia symptoms in women:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Headaches
  • Irritability
  • Pale skin
  • Poor concentration
  • Cold feet and hand
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular or fast heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Tiredness and excessive fatigue

In addition to above discussed symptoms, women with iron deficiency anemia may also experience a few other symptoms. These additional symptoms include:

  • Cravings for unusual substances such as hair, wax, paper, dirt, glass, ice, etc
  • Sore tongue
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Weakness
  • Decreased appetite
  • Brittle nails

Besides these symptoms, severe types of anemia like sickle cell anemia may produce other symptoms. Vision problems, pain in the joints, abdomen and chest, frequent infections, jaundice and swollen feet and hands are some important symptoms of sickle cell anemia. Hemolytic anemia may also cause leg ulcers, jaundice and pain in abdomen and other body parts along with usual anemia symptoms. Aplastic anemia symptoms are almost similar to common anemia symptoms. It can also cause delayed blood clotting, nose bleeding and bleeding gums.

Anemia Causes in Women:
Women, especially of childbearing age develop anemia because of blood loss every month during the menstrual cycle. Most women may experience anemia during pregnancy too. As discussed earlier, there are many types of anemia like sickle cell anemia, hemolytic anemia, aplastic anemia, vitamin deficiency anemia, iron deficiency anemia and anemia which is caused by chronic disease and bone marrow diseases.

  • Iron deficiency anemia is caused by iron loss at higher rates because of blood loss caused by peptic ulcers, heavy menstrual periods, tumors, polyps and hemorrhoids. Poor iron absorption and diet low in iron can cause iron deficiency anemia.
  • Deficiency of folic acid and vitamin B12 can cause vitamin deficiency anemia, which is associated with inability to absorb vitamin B12 and a diet low in vitamins.
  • Besides these, health conditions such as myelodysplasia, leukemia, kidney failure, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDS and cancer can cause anemia.
  • On the other hand, aplastic anemia is characterized as the inability of bone marrow for producing blood cells effectively.
  • In hemolytic anemia, red blood cells are destroyed at high pace than the rate at which they are produced.
  • Another severe type of anemia is sickle cell anemia. In this condition, red blood cells assume sickle shape and die within a less time.

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