Anemia symptoms are caused by lowered amounts of oxygen reaching your muscles, heart, and brain. They won't work as well as they should. Your heart and lungs must work harder to deliver oxygen to your body.

Some people, mainly in mild cases, don't have symptoms. In those that have them, anemia may cause:

  • Weakness and lack of strength
  • Breathing problems
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Pale skin
  • Headache
  • Worsening problems with other health conditions such as:
    • Chest pains with angina
    • Cramping in muscles when they are being used with claudication
  • Cravings for ice or clay—lack of iron
  • Confusion or clumsiness—lack of vitamin B12
  • Smooth or sore tongue, or sores in the mouth—lack of vitamin B12 or folic acid
  • Diarrhea or weight loss—anemia because of bowel problems

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
  • Review Date: 09/2018 -
  • Update Date: 10/15/2018 -