Signs & symptoms

  • Fatigue

  • Headaches

  • Trouble breathing

  • Difficulty exercising

  • Trouble concentrating (often called “brain fog”)

  • Loss of appetite

  • A rapid heartbeat

  • Abdominal and
    chest pain

People with PNH may experience:

  • Bruising or
    bleeding easily

  • Small red dots
    on the skin

  • Blood clots

    (approximately 15%-30% of people with PNH develop blood clots, especially in the veins)

  • Blood in urine

The spectrum of fatigue

PNH impacts each person differently, but one of the most common symptoms people with PNH experience is fatiguefatigueA feeling of being overtired or exhausted, with low energy and a desire to sleep, which interferes with normal daily activities. Fatigue is one of the most common symptoms of PNH.. Some find that fatigue doesn’t greatly impact their day-to-day life, but others find it much more challenging to manage.

  • “These days, I do not experience daily fatigue.”

    – Anita, living with PNH

  • “Fatigue doesn’t impact me much.”

    – Margarita, living with PNH

  • “I’ve had it for almost half my life. It’s just become my new normal.”

    – Daniel, living with PNH

  • “I definitely notice that ‘brain fog’ so many people describe and have a harder time focusing and remembering things.”

    – Leslie, living with PNH

  • “I have to plan ahead and limit what I can do every day. If I overextend myself, even a little, the next two to three days are even more tiresome. Housework, grocery shopping, EVERYTHING 'normal' is impacted by this.”

    – Renee, living with PNH

  • “My symptoms ebb and flow … and treatment doesn’t necessarily equate to ‘feeling normal’ again.”

    – Amanda, living with PNH

  • “Fatigue is a constant battle. I have learned to grieve the loss of a normal quality of life and move forward with my fatigue. My employer is unaware of my condition, so outside of the physical effects of fatigue, it’s exhausting to pretend that the fatigue isn’t there in order to fulfill the roles required of my job.”

    – Emily, living with PNH

  • “Fatigue has prevented me from enjoying things I love as well as missing many of my children’s activities. There are days I can easily sleep 12 hours, get up and eat, and go back to bed. It feels as though I sometimes sleep life away.”

    – Sara, living with PNH

  • “Even though we may be on a medication, some of us are still suffering from crippling side effects of PNH.”

    – Jessi, living with PNH

If you’re experiencing PNH symptoms like low hemoglobin, there may be a treatment option that can help. Talk to your doctor to find out more.

Speaking with a physician who specializes in PNH may be helpful. The Aplastic Anemia and MDS International Foundation offers support finding and connecting with specialists here.