What Are The Side Effects of Anemia?

Anemia is a serious condition that can cause many health problems. Anemia occurs when there is an inadequate amount of healthy red blood cells. Since the red blood cells carry hemoglobin, the iron-rich substance that is responsible for oxygen distribution, if there is a reduced amount of cells the body will not function properly. The cause of anemia can be from low iron level, blood loss or even an inherited gene mutation. Whatever the cause, knowing the side effects of anemia could help you diagnose the problem quickly and get the treatment needed.


Fatigue is the most common side effects of anemia. It is caused by the lack of oxygen and blood flow. The low amount of oxygen will cause the body to overwork. When this happens, the body will become very tired and may even shut down. Weakness and decreased energy are also common side effects of anemia that go right along with fatigue. Dizziness and headache are also common side effects of anemia. They are caused by decreased oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Chest pain and palpitations may also be experienced as a side effect of anemia. In severe cases, angina or heart attack may occur. Low blood pressure, increased heartbeat and heart murmur could also occur.


The side effects of anemia vary by the type. Sickle cell is one of the types that has a lot of different symptoms. Pain in the joints and bones is a common side effect of this anemia type. Sickle cells are oddly shaped and cannot move through the blood vessels easily. This causes a blockage in the blood vessel and a decreased amount of healthy cells. The blood will not be able to flow freely though the blood vessels which could cause another side effect, swollen hands and feet. Also, you may notice liver damage with sickle cell anemia. The liver’s job is to get rid of all foreign objects in the blood. The damaged cells would be considered harmful. The liver may need to overwork to get rid of the large number of sickle cells and therefore, it could malfunction and cause problems.

joint pain

Jaundice is the most common problem caused by the damaged liver. Some other generalized side effects of anemia include pale skin, cold hands and feet and shortness of breath. All of these side effects can become severe if not treated. If you notice any side effects you should speak with your doctor about possible treatment options.

pale skin

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