Iron is an essential mineral that our body needs for various functions, including the production of red blood cells and energy metabolism. When we don’t get enough iron, it can lead to a condition called iron deficiency. Iron deficiency can cause several unpleasant symptoms that can affect our overall well-being. In this blog, we will discuss 15 signs of iron deficiency one by one.
15 Signs of Iron Deficiency
1. Fatigue and Weakness
Feeling overly tired and having a lack of energy are the most common in the list of 15 signs of iron deficiency. Iron plays a crucial role in carrying oxygen throughout the body, so when there’s a shortage of iron, it can lead to decreased oxygen supply to the tissues, ultimately causing fatigue and weakness.
2. Pale Skin
If you notice that your skin appears paler than usual, it could be a sign of iron deficiency. Lack of iron affects the production of red blood cells, which are responsible for the pinkish color of our skin. When iron levels are low, the skin can look pale or even yellowish.
3. Shortness of Breath
Shortness of breath while climbing stairs or difficulty in breathing is also mainly seen among the 15 iron deficiency symptoms. When there’s insufficient iron in the body, it affects the amount of oxygen available to tissues and muscles. This can result in shortness of breath, even with minimal physical exertion. If you find yourself gasping for breath after climbing a few stairs, it might be worth considering your iron levels.
4. Dizziness and lightheadedness
Because of iron deficiency, you may experience a drop in blood pressure, dizziness, and lightheadedness. These symptoms can be especially noticeable when standing up quickly or after prolonged periods of sitting or lying down.
5. Brittle Nails
If your nails are constantly breaking, peeling, or becoming excessively brittle, it could be another sign of iron deficiency. Iron is essential for maintaining healthy nails, and when levels are low, it can lead to brittle and weak nails that are prone to splitting.
6. Unusual Cravings
Having strong cravings for non-food items like dirt, ice, or even clay is a condition called pica, which has been linked to iron deficiency. If you find yourself having unusual and intense cravings for non-nutritive substances, it’s essential to get your iron levels checked.
7. Restless Legs Syndrome
Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is characterized by an irresistible urge to move the legs, often accompanied by an uncomfortable sensation. Iron deficiency has been identified as one of the common causes of RLS. If you frequently experience this condition, it’s worth investigating your iron status.
8. Poor Concentration and Brain Fog
Iron is vital for proper brain function and cognitive development. When there’s an iron deficiency, it can lead to difficulties in concentration and poor cognitive performance. Low iron levels could be a contributing factor if you find it challenging to focus on tasks or experience brain fog.
9. Increased Heart Rate
Another sign of iron deficiency is an increased heart rate or heart palpitations. Iron is necessary for the production of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen in our blood. Insufficient iron can lead to a decreased oxygen supply to the heart, causing it to work harder and thus increasing the heart rate.
10. Frequent Infections
Iron plays a critical role in maintaining our immune function. When iron levels are low, it weakens our immune system, making us more susceptible to infections. If you find yourself frequently falling ill or struggling to recover from common infections, iron deficiency could be a potential underlying cause.
11. Hair Loss
While hair loss can have various causes, iron deficiency is known to contribute to hair thinning and hair loss. Iron is necessary for hair growth and the maintenance of healthy hair follicles. If you’re experiencing excessive hair loss, it’s worth considering your iron levels.
Read More – Top 15 Tips to Prevent Hair Loss
12. Cold Hands and Feet
Iron deficiency can affect blood circulation, leading to cold hands and feet. When there’s a lack of iron, the body prioritizes the oxygen supply to vital organs, resulting in reduced circulation to the extremities. If you constantly have icy hands and feet, iron deficiency could be a factor.
13. Mouth Sores
Iron deficiency can lead to mouth ulcers or sores. These painful lesions can appear on the inside of your cheeks, along your gum line, or on your tongue. If you’re experiencing frequent mouth sores, inadequate iron levels might be contributing to the problem.
14. Irritability and Mood Swings
Iron deficiency can also impact your mood and emotional well-being. Low iron levels are linked to irritability, mood swings, and even depression. If you find yourself feeling increasingly moody and irritable, consider checking your iron status.
15. Heavy Menstrual Bleeding
For women, heavy menstrual bleeding can contribute to iron deficiency over time. When periods are exceptionally heavy, they can lead to significant blood loss, depleting iron stores in the body. If you experience heavy menstrual bleeding, it’s important to monitor your iron levels.
Read More – Yoga Poses for Irregular Periods
Friends hope you are now aware of the above 15 signs of iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is a common condition that can have a significant impact on our overall health and well-being. If you experience any of these signs, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional who can accurately diagnose and suggest appropriate treatment options. Remember, a balanced diet rich in iron-containing foods, like red meat, poultry, spinach, and lentils, can help prevent iron deficiency and keep you healthy and energetic.