There are different types of anemia, however the one you might hear about most often is iron-deficient anemia. This means your body does not have enough iron either because you do not eat it, you do not absorb it, and/or you are bleeding it out somewhere (most commonly due to your period).
What many women don’t realize is that the symptoms of out-right iron deficiency, and having low iron stores (ferritin) can be very similar. Therefore your initial screening test is normal (the CBC) however your ferritin is low or low-normal.
The common symptoms include:
Fatigue with physical exertion (not because you are out of shape!)
Pale skin, mucosa and nail beds (not because it’s winter)
Cracks at the corners of your mouth
Dizzy – especially when going from sitting to standing
Shortness of breath
Craving/chewing on ice, dirt, paper, wax, and/or hair
Cold hands and feet
If you are experiencing the above symptoms, please ask your healthcare provider about testing for iron-deficient anemia that also includes a ferritin test.