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Anemia Signs and Symptoms

by Pete Kelly  

Mild anemia doesn’t usually cause signs and symptoms, but early tip-offs could be exhaustion, irritability, and weakness. As anemia progresses, additional symptoms can occur:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty walking
  • Heart pounding or palpitations
  • Pallor or yellowish skin
  • Shortness of breath or rapid breathing
  • Exercise intolerance
  • Restless legs that disrupt sleep
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Pica syndrome—a craving for nonfood items, such as dirt, paper, and ice

This article first appeared in the April 2018 issue of UC Berkeley Health After 50.