Additional rarer forms of anemia are aplastic anemia, a serious condition where the bone marrow cannot produce enough red blood cells, hemolytic anemia, a condition where the red blood cells are destroyed faster than they can be replaced, and sickle cell anemia, a condition where the body produces crescent-shaped cells that also are destroyed quickly.
Some forms of anemia may present with little to no symptoms. Depending on the type of disease present in the body, anemia symptoms could include:
rapid or irregular heartbeat
shortness of breath, especially with exercise
ringing in the ears
cold hands and feet
Diagnosis is usually made through a physical exam with a primary care physician and a laboratory test called a complete blood count (CBC). A CBC will examine the blood and look at the different components, including red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Additionally, it can look at the shape and size of the cells. If the red blood cell count is found to be low, the doctor may run additional diagnostic tests to determine the source of the anemia.