Symptoms That May Alert Your Physician To Anemia

The next time you visit your family doctor, he or she may suspect you have anemia simply based upon your physical examination. Normally, anemia is diagnosed with a complete blood count, or CBC; however, your doctor may suspect that you have it based solely on your physical examination. Here are some telltale signs and symptoms of anemia that your family doctor may notice during your routine checkup:


While tachycardia, or a fast heartbeat, can mean that you have a cardiac arrhythmia or that you are anxious, it can also mean that you are anemic. When you do not have enough circulating iron or red blood cells in order to promote optimal circulation to your internal organs, your heart may beat too quickly. Untreated anemia can put a strain on your heart, and because of this, needs to be corrected as soon as possible.

Even though your doctor may suspect that you have anemia based upon listening to your heart, he or she will still order a CBC to confirm the diagnosis. Treatment for anemia may include consuming foods rich in iron and vitamin C, or taking an over-the-counter multivitamin. In cases of severe anemia, a prescription ferrous sulfate supplement may be ordered to help correct an iron-deficiency anemic state.


Another common symptom of anemia is pallor. Not only might your skin look pale if you have anemia, but the insides of your lower eyelids, gums, lining of your cheeks, and tongue may also look lighter than usual. Your doctor will also look at your fingernails to see if they reveal any signs of anemia.

Your nail beds are normally light pink in color; however, if they are white or pale, you may be anemic. Anemia may also make your skin look sallow, yellow, or jaundiced. While these types of skin tones can be associated with high liver enzymes, they can be related to anemia. Sallow skin may also be a variant of normal in some people and not indicative of any health conditions.

If you are concerned that you may be anemic, make an appointment with your family doctor. The combination of a comprehensive physical examination and a complete blood count will help your doctor make a diagnosis. Once a diagnosis of anemia has been made, an effective treatment option will be implemented so that you can get your iron stores back up to where they should be so that you can feel better soon.