People who are anemic most often experience fatigue. While it’s normal to feel tired after a long day at work or a heavy exercise session, when you’re anemic, you feel weary after shorter and shorter periods of exertion as your body’s cells become starved for oxygen.
As anemia worsens, your body can experience visible physical changes — your skin could become pale, your nails brittle and cuts may take longer to stop bleeding.Other symptoms associated with anemia include:
- Shortness of breath
- Cold hands and feet
- Racing or irregular heartbeat
- Inability to concentrate or think clearly
- Chest pain
- Sexual dysfunction
These symptoms are likely to be very light at first, especially if you have mild or moderate anemia. Our bodies are very adaptable, and will try to compensate for the loss of oxygen in the blood. As anemia advances, your body will be less able to adapt and the symptoms will become more obvious.
You should see your doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms. However, anemia is often discovered while investigating another illness, since early-stage anemia often involves few or no symptoms.