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Iron Deficiency Anemia

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Symptoms

Mild iron deficiency anemia may not cause noticeable symptoms. If anemia is severe, symptoms may include:

  • Weakness, fatigue, or lack of stamina.
  • Shortness of breath during exercise.
  • Headache.
  • Trouble concentrating.
  • Irritability.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pale skin.
  • Craving substances that are not food (pica). In particular, a craving for ice can be a sign of iron deficiency anemia.

Other signs may include:

Recommended Related to

Understanding Anemia -- Symptoms

The symptoms of anemia vary according to the type of anemia, the underlying cause, and any underlying health problems, such as hemorrhaging, ulcers, menstrual problems, or cancer. Specific symptoms of those problems may be noticed first. The body also has a remarkable ability to compensate for early anemia. If your anemia is mild or has developed over a long period of time, you may not notice any symptoms. Symptoms common to many types of anemia include the following: Easy fatigue and loss...

Read the Understanding Anemia -- Symptoms article > >

  • Rapid heartbeat.
  • Brittle fingernails and toenails.
  • Cracked lips.
  • Smooth, sore tongue.
  • Muscle pain during exercise.
  • Trouble swallowing.

Babies and small children with iron deficiency anemia may not grow as expected and may have delays in skills such as walking and talking. Children may be irritable and have a short attention span. These problems usually go away when the deficiency is treated. If it is not treated, mental and behavior problems may be permanent.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 27, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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