Health Tips

What are the physical signs of anemia?

The weakness or fatigue is one of the most common physical symptoms of anemia, although not the only one that can make us suspect of an alteration of the health that is translates in a reduction of red blood cells (RBCs) or low concentration of hemoglobin in the blood. The red blood cells play an essential role for the body as these are responsible for transporting oxygen to tissues. When the amount of oxygen is reduced, symptoms such as fatigue, low mood, drowsiness or difficulty for concentrating.

physical signs of anemia

Anemia is diagnosed with an analytical measuring, as the main value, hemoglobin in blood. It is considered that there is anemia when it is less than 13 mg/dl in men and 12 mg/dl in the case of women. It also takes into account other values, such as red blood cells (normal values are between 4.2-5.5 million red blood cells/mm3), and hematocrit, which is defined as the percentage of red blood cells (the normal values are between 40% -55% in men and 35%-50% in women).

Anemia is a condition that should not be underestimated, so it is important to recognize the most common physical signs, including, in addition to fatigue, paleness of the skin, rapid heartbeat or breathing difficulties.

Physical signs

The anemia may appear mild or acute manner, and accordingly its signs will be more or less obvious.

The loss of physical strength, tachycardia, palpitations or shortness of breath (rapid breathing) are typical of a slight anemia, symptoms will be exacerbated as the anemia is going to intensify, and there add others like headache, dizziness, tingling, constipation, hair loss or pale skin and mucous membranes.

The pallor of the skin can be extended to the nails either the gums. For example, the conjunctiva of the eye can be a telltale sign. If the membrane covering the eye and inner eyelid area is almost white can be a sign of anemia (normal is red). The signs of anemia are not only physical, since it also can make us feel more irritable or discouraged.

When anemia appears suddenly, as a result for example of severe bleeding, physical signs that may appear are pallor, tachycardia, chest pain, sweating and, in severe cases, vascular collapse.