Symptoms of Hemolytic Anemia

Hemolytic anemia is a condition in which the red blood cells do not live their full natural life and are destroyed before their natural lifespan is over. The signs and symptoms are usually very similar to those of anemia of any other kind, and it takes a battery of tests to diagnose the exact kind of anemia that you may be suffering from. A lot of people, who have only a mild version of the disease, may not even experience any symptoms. However, when the anemia is severe, the symptoms may be serious as well. Here are some of the most common symptoms of hemolytic anemia.

  • Fatigue: One of the most common signs of any type of anemia is fatigue. When the body does not have enough red blood cells, the oxygen needs of the body are not met. This eventually leads to shortness of breath, headaches, and dizziness.
  • Inability to Stay Warm: When the body does not have enough oxygen, it is not able to regulate heat. As a result, the extremities, such as the hands and the feet may remain cold.
  • Paleness or Jaundice: The lack of red blood cells in the skin may cause pallor. Healthy people usually have rosy or pink skin, but those who have anemia are paler than those who do not. When a lot of red blood cells are destroyed, it increases the level of bilirubin in the body; this causes a yellowish color in the whites of the eyes and the skin.
  • Heart Problems: When there are lesser red blood cells in the body, there is lesser oxygen as well. This also means that the heart has to work harder to meet the body’s oxygen needs. This eventually takes a toll on the heart and results in murmuring of the heart, arrhythmias, enlargement of the heart, and eventually heart failure.
  • Fever and Chills: If there is a reaction to blood transfusions, or an autoimmune disease which is causing the hemolytic anemia, it is possible that you may have slight fever. The fever may be accompanied by chills and pain, depending on the severity of the reaction. If the body is not getting enough blood flow and there is a severe lack of oxygen, it is possible that you may go into shock, which is a life threatening condition.
  • Dark Colored Urine: As more and more red blood cells are destroyed, the waste is transferred to the urine. As a result, the color of the urine becomes darker.