Red Flags

Know the "Red Flags" of Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA)!

These are what I like to call the Red Flags of Iron Deficiency Anemia. They are the symptoms you may experience, from mild to severe, if you are suffering from IDA. You may have any or all of this symptoms due to a lack of oxygen in your blood cells. On a personal note, I have experience almost every single one of them...and so do many of the women I hear from. The Red Flags are waving to get our attention! Sometime it takes us a while (maybe years) to connect the dots and realize that all of these odd symptoms are related. It's time to stop ignoring them:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness / lightheadedness
  • Tachycardia (rapid heartbeat)
  • Chest pain
  • Irregular heartbeat or heart palpitations
  • Pounding or "whooshing" in your ears
  • Shortness of Breath after simple tasks such as climbing stairs, walking short distances, doing housework
  • Fainting
  • Sensitivity to cold (low body temperature, unable to get and stay warm)
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Pica (persistent pattern of eating non-food items including ice, glue, paint, sand, dirt, clay, starch, etc.)
  • Restless Legs Syndrome (RLS) (legs tingling, twitching, moving uncontrollably, especially when you go to bed)
  • Pallor or pale skin (oxygen-rich blood is scarce and is being diverted away from skin to major organs)
  • Pale areas inside of the eyelids, mouth and cheeks
  • Pale and/or sore tongue
  • Blue sclera (white part of eyes can take on a bluish tint, similar to the look of skim milk)
  • Skin color can be a gray-green or pale yellow
  • Brittle nails, "spoon" nails (concave and raised on the edges), or nails with ridges or depressed areas
  • Hair Loss
  • Irritability
  • Depression



The content expressed in Anemia Diaries are personal journeys and not meant to serve as medical advice

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