Signs & Symptoms of Mild Anemia

If you are feeling weak or worn out seemingly for no reason, it may be a good idea to visit your doctor and have your blood checked for anemia. This condition can cause otherwise healthy individuals to feel down in the dumps. Anemia is not contagious. Many forms of anemia are treatable through dietary supplementation and by eating foods that contain high amounts of a deficient vitamin or mineral.


Anemia, the most common disorder pertaining to red blood cells, is experienced when the cells in the body become oxygen-deficient. This occurs when the amount of hemoglobin in the blood becomes inadequate. Essentially, the cells of the body become deprived of life-giving oxygen molecules.


Signs & Symptoms of Mild Anemia

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Iron deficiency anemia occurs when the body does not have an adequate supply of iron to manufacture hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the body’s cells. This is the most common form of anemia. Folic acid deficiency anemia occurs when the body doesn’t have enough folic acid to help red blood cells mature. This is the second-most-common form of anemia. Anemia that is caused by deficiencies such as these may be categorized as mild, as the deficiencies are easily treatable with diet and supplementation.

Warning Signs

Warning signs of anemia include feeling tired, faint, dizzy, out of breath or generally bad; having pale skin, gums, nail beds or eyelid linings; or having bluish lips. In women, increased bleeding during their period, or an absence of a menstrual cycle, may indicate anemia.


What Are the Dangers of Being Anemic?

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In addition to these common signs, many people with anemia experience an accelerated heartbeat, particularly when they exercise, as well as shortness of breath, headaches and difficulty concentrating. Specific to iron deficiency anemia is a craving for substances such as dirt or paper. Having a sore mouth or cracks at the corners of the mouth are other common symptoms of iron deficiency anemia. A person who has folic acid anemia may experience symptoms such as the loss of the sense of touch or a "pins and needles" sensation in the hands or feet. Clumsiness or difficulty walking may be observed. More serious symptoms include dementia, hallucinations, paranoia and schizophrenia.

Risk Factors

Those most at risk for developing anemia include pregnant or breastfeeding women, older women, infants, toddlers and adolescents. Only 2 percent of males, compared with 9 percent of females, are diagnosed with anemia. Individuals who consume large amounts of alcohol are more susceptible to developing folic acid deficiency anemia, due to the fact that alcohol interferes with the metabolic processing of folic acid.


A doctor can check iron and folic acid levels in your blood to determine whether you have anemia. Upon diagnosis, he may instruct you to follow a specific course of nutrition and supplementation. Foods that provide necessary levels of iron to combat iron deficiency anemia include liver, lean red meat, poultry, fish, wheat germ and green leafy vegetables. Foods that provide high levels of folic acid include fresh and uncooked fruits and vegetables, whole grains, spinach, broccoli and orange juice. Drinking orange juice is also a good way to get vitamin C, which the body needs to help with iron absorption. Your doctor may also recommend limiting tea consumption and avoiding antacids, as both have been shown to interfere with this process.