Does Alcohol Cause Anemia? What Can You do?

Does Alcohol Cause Anemia? What Can You do?

What is Anemia

Anemia is a condition where your blood has less red blood cells than normal. It can occur when your red blood cells don’t have enough of an iron-rich protein called hemoglobin. This protein, which gives your blood it’s red color, helps to move the oxygen from your lungs through the rest of your body.
“Alcoholics frequently have defective red blood cells that are destroyed prematurely, possibly resulting in anemia” says Dr Harold S Ballard M.D. of Columbia University Medical Center.*

Anemic symptoms include:

  • Feeling grumpy
  • Lack of concentration
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale looking skin (red blood cells give the healthy pink color)
  • Tiredness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Brittle nails
  • Sore tongue

Alcohol and Anemia


The consequences of Anemia can be severe, even life threatening, if left untreated.


The treatment of anemia depends on several factors including the severity of the condition, the type of anemia, and what has caused it. The aim of treatment is to increase the levels of oxygen carried through the blood and address the underlying causes. Methods used can include alcohol avoidance, changes in diet, medication, supplements, or surgery.

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About The Author

Kevin O'Hara

If you want help quitting drinking alcohol, I recommend you join our Mastermind Coaching Program. Here you will find all the help you need with daily exclusive informative videos, Q&A's, and monthly Roundtables on relevant topics. The Mastermind Coaching Group has many supportive members at various stages of their journey. Here you'll find non-judgemental motivation, support, and accountability. Click here for more information.


  • Dii

    Reply Reply October 10, 2013

    Hi Kevin,

    I have been watching all your videos. They are so inspiering. However, I still have not been able to make that move.
    In one of the videos you recommended some books. Two by Allan Carr and one your sister has not given back to you. What was the title of that one please? I read Allan Carrs books about smoking and he really makes sense. So I will get the ones for Alkohol in the next days.

    Cheers and THANK you for all those videos and written work.


    • Kevin O'Hara

      Reply Reply October 11, 2013

      Hey Didi, I’m so glad you’re getting some inspiration from the videos. The one my sister still hasn’t given back (lol) is called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Richard Carlson. It’s more of an inspirational book that can help deal with life in general.

  • Jon

    Reply Reply October 18, 2013

    Hi Kev,

    Thanks for that, my last blood test showed borderline low level red blood cell count, did not link it to alcohol.
    Thanks for the heads up.


    • Kevin O'Hara

      Reply Reply October 18, 2013

      Like I say, I’m not a doctor so it’s not meant to be medical advice. I’m just hightlighting some of the ‘why’ parts of quitting drinking. If any of these vids push people to at least think about the damage, I’ll be delighted!

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