Living with anemia is hard. Very hard. I was diagnosed with severe Anemia 3 years ago, and it’s been a long road to recovery.
Over the years, I’ve realized that not many people know about anemia or iron deficiency, and I wanted to take this opportunity to share my experience.

You can read my very first blog that was featured on the HuffingtonPost here, called “The Life Of A Newbie Anemic.

If you or someone you know is anemic, it’s important to understand that some days will be better than others. Some days the symptoms are unbearable, and other days they are “behaving.”

What Is Anemia?

According to Mayo Clinic, There are many different forms of anemia. Anemia is a condition when your blood does not have enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. The hemoglobin is an iron-rich protein that helps carry oxygen from the lungs to your entire body. With anemia, your body doesn’t get enough oxygen-rich blood. Our organs need oxygen to function properly. If we don’t get enough oxygen, we become tired, weak, dizzy, light-headed and sometimes experience shortness of breath and even increased heart rate.

A healthy man’s hemoglobin ranges between 13.5 – 17.5, and for women, it is between 12 – 15.

When I was first diagnosed with anemia in 2015, my hemoglobin was 8 grams/100ml.

Today I wanted to share with you some symptoms of anemia that most people don’t know about. But first, let’s go over the most common side effects that you’ll find if you do research on Google.

In this blog post, I’ve listed some of the most common symptoms and then also a bunch of symptoms people that have iron deficiency or Anemia often experience.

Feel free to download the free resource I created as well. It’s a symptom checker that you can print out, check off which symptoms are present and then give the list to your doctor.

I recommend printing out at least 2 copies and keeping track of your symptoms, that way, when you do your blood tests and meet with your doctor, you will have your list handy.

The Most Common Side Effects Of Anemia

  • Lack of energy
  • Get tired really easily
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • Rapid heart rate (even when not exercising)
  • Dizziness
  • Can’t concentrate
  • Forgetfulness
  • Extreme weakness (even brushing your own hair is extremely exhausting and hard)

I’ve asked members in my Facebook anemia & iron deficiency groups which other symptoms they’ve experienced, and here is a detailed list for you.

I’ve experienced almost all of the following, except for the ones with the (-) sign below.


  • Hands and feet are regularly cold
  • Can’t seem to get enough sleep (even if you sleep 8 to 12 hours, it still doesn’t feel like enough)
  • Sometimes it can be really hard to catch your breath (it feels like you are underwater, gasping for air)
  • Pins and needles – especially in the arms and legs
  • Leg and calf cramps and pain
  • Restless legs
  • Burning legs from climbing the stairs
  • Sores at the end of the mouth
  • Swollen tongue (sometimes it feels like your tongue is so big, it won’t fit inside your mouth)
  • Cognitive fatigue
  • Blurry vision
  • Joint and muscle aches
  • Bruise easily
  • Hair loss and bald spots
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches
  • Brain fog
  • Brittle nails
  • Pica – cravings for non-food things, like ice, chalk, dirt etc
  • Palpitations
  • Anxiety & panic attacks
  • Low motivation
  • Off balance
  • Irritability
  • Pressure in the head and ears
  • Nausea
  • Tinnitus
  • Struggling to find words
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Itchy legs
  • Slurred speech
  • Insomnia
  • Depression
  • Whooshing sound in ears
  • Thumping-pounding heart after exertion
  • Loss of appetite
  • Feeling of helplessness
  • Guilt
  • Crying for no reason
  • Don’t feel like talking to anyone
  • Low self-esteem
  • Inability to do everyday things due to severe exhaustion (like grocery shopping, house cleaning, showering)

I'd Love To Hear From You!

Did you know about these symptoms?
Did I miss anything?

Be sure to comment below and let me know! Scroll down to the comments section below and share your voice.

♡ Love, Nash
P.S: Know someone who has an iron deficiency or anemia? Please share this post with them!



Hi I'm Nash. Yoga teacher, digital marketer & branding strategist. I love travelling around the world and have visited over 60 countries. I currently live in Canada, Hawaii and Curacao. I am also a newbie vegan/plant-based eater and my mission is to help people eat more yummy plant-based meals that are super easy to make, but taste like restaurant-quality!

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