Anemia is a serious blood disorder that may develop as a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as an intestinal or autoimmune disorder, pregnancy, cancer, or liver or kidney failure. Some forms of anemia are inherited, so if you have a close family member who has been diagnosed, you could have an elevated risk of being anemic as well. Sickle-cell anemia is an example of an inherited form of the disease that is quite serious and potentially life-threatening, typically requiring a specialist referral. On the other hand, more common forms of anemia such as iron deficiency anemia and vitamin B-12 deficiency anemia may be addressed through nutritional supplements that can be prescribed by your primary care physician. Signs that you or a family member may be anemic include paleness, severe fatigue, shortness of breath, coldness in your extremities, headaches and dizziness.