What are some symptoms for severe iron-deficiency anemia?


Quick Answer

Common symptoms associated with moderate to severe iron-deficiency anemia include dizziness, fatigue, cold hands and feet, brittle nails, and a tingling feeling in the legs, states Healthline. Additional symptoms of the condition include shortness of breath, weakness, pale skin, unusual cravings to eat items that aren't food, headaches, and fast or irregular heartbeat.

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Full Answer

Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia, according to Healthline. This type of anemia occurs because the body does not have enough iron to produce enough hemoglobin, causing a low level of red blood cells. Hemoglobin carries oxygen to the muscles and tissues in the body. Low levels of the protein mean the body is not receiving the oxygen it requires to function properly. Many people experience the symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia for years without knowing the cause.

Potential causes of iron-deficiency anemia include pregnancy or blood loss due to menstruation, a low dietary iron intake over an extended period of time, internal bleeding, and an inability to absorb iron, explains Healthline. Iron is especially essential during periods when a person grows rapidly, meaning pregnant women and young children may require more iron intake than average. Internal bleeding caused by issues such as colon cancer or ulcers, gastric bypass surgery, and celiac disease are common causes of iron-deficiency anemia.

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