Iron is the most essential mineral required for the proper functioning of the body. It is responsible for the secretion of hemoglobin, a protein that transfers oxygen from the lungs to the tissues in our body. Apart from this, it also helps boost immunity, improve cognition, and reduce fatigue. Therefore, iron deficiency can be highly fatal to the proper functioning of our body. According to several research reports on the internet, around 10 million people in the US have low iron levels, and 5% suffer from iron deficiency anemia. Our body shows some telltale signs that indicate we are iron deficient. Go through this post, and here you will learn 15 Signs You are iron deficient
Here are the 15 Signs You are Iron Deficient
Iron deficiency is highly harmful to our bodies. It can result in anemia, a condition in which the body lacks red blood cells. As per a report published by Cambridge University, a disease called anemia that occurs from iron deficiency has affected one-quarter of the world’s population and has affected children and women on a large scale. This deficiency occurs when our body does not have enough iron. It is vital to diagnose this deficiency timely so we can know how to combat it and take preventive measures. So, let’s begin with the signs.
1) Fatigue and Weakness
When our body is iron deficient, we feel a lack of weakness and fatigue every time. You can feel fatigued during the regular working hours of a day. Fatigue can also be seen in those who do not have enough iron in their bodies. However, they may not have been diagnosed with iron deficiency. Our body feels tired because it lacks hemoglobin, which is supplied by iron.
2) Pale Complexion
Do you think that your rosy hue has suddenly turned into a pale one? Hold on; this may be a sign of iron deficiency. As we know, iron is a leading source for the production of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is responsible for a rosy complexion and glowing cheeks. But because of iron deficiency, our body does not produce enough hemoglobin, so it turns pale. If you feel your body looks pale and tired, you must book an appointment with your family doctor. This is one of 15 signs you are iron deficient.
3) Shortness of Breath
Another commonly visible sign of iron deficiency is shortness of breath. It happens because our body does not produce enough hemoglobin to supply enough oxygen to the body. All this results in shortness of breath, especially during physical exertion. Therefore, if you often experience shortness of breath and exertion, it is a grave sign of chronic iron deficiency.
4) Restless Legs Syndrome
Are you looking for 15 signs you are iron deficient? Restless legs syndrome is one of those signs. Iron deficiency is the primary source of this syndrome. When anyone suffers from restless legs syndrome, they lose control over their legs even while sitting. According to diverse data sources on the internet, almost 15% of the people who suffer from Restless Leg Syndrome are iron deficient.
5) Brittle Nails
Iron plays a vital role in the formation of keratin, which is responsible for the growth of nails and their shine. But if your body is iron deficient, your nails will not get enough nutrients to grow. Therefore, your nails can become susceptible to breaking easily. If your nails are brittle because of a lack of iron, you should take iron supplements after the advice of your doctor.
6) Irregular Heart Rate
Out of 15 signs that you are deficient, one that you might experience is an irregular heart rate. It happens when your body lacks iron for a long time, which results in an irregular heartbeat. Many medical studies have also confirmed a negative relationship between long-term iron deficiency and heart disease. For instance, a journal published by the Texas Heart Institute confirmed that iron deficiency anemia can harm the heart.
7) Hair Loss
Hair loss is vital when we explore 15 signs you are iron deficient. Many professional beauty salons have also confirmed that iron is essential for luscious hair growth and shiny nails. Therefore, long-term iron shortages result in hair loss in women. So, if you want to hold luscious locks forever, ensure your body has a proper supply of iron. Iron supply will keep your scalp healthy, avoiding hair loss.
In women, one of the most significant signs of iron scarcity is heavy flow during menstruation. You may find that your regular periods suddenly turn into heavy discharges. All this is a result of depleted iron levels in your body. Females can suffer from other menstrual issues during these days, such as excessive cramping and intense mood swings. During heavy discharge, women may be required to change their sanitary pads or tampons frequently. If your tampons last less than two hours, it is a sign that you should see a gynecologist.
9) Headaches and Dizziness
One telltale sign of the lack of iron in your body is frequent headaches, migraines, or dizziness. Iron deficiency is responsible for the shortage of oxygen supplies. It results in headaches, migraines, and dizziness as well. As per a report by the National Headache Foundation, lowering oxygen levels can result in swelling of the arteries, leading to headaches.
10) White Lips and Gums
White lips and gums are among the 15 signs you are iron deficient. So, whenever you feel that you do not have sufficient iron in your body, check for white lips and gums. You will also experience some other symptoms, but don’t skip checking this one. If your lips lack rosy color, they always look dry and cracked. So, pay heed to such noticeable signs when you have a scarcity of iron in your body.
11) Concentration Issues
One of the critical signs of iron deficiency is a concentration-related problem. It is one of the notable signs out of 15 signs you are iron deficient. The lack of iron in the body can result in less oxygen supply to the brain. It hampers the ability of the brain to process the flow of information and other signals effectively. Because of the iron shortage, many people face problems with effective concentration and memory lapses.
12) Sore Tongue
Sometimes, the skin can lose its color and become swollen and inflamed. This tongue condition is common during iron deficiency and is medically termed glossitis. Because of the swollen tongue, people cannot chew food and sometimes face difficulties talking.
13) You feel depressed
Depression is often interlinked with iron deficiency. Because iron is responsible for producing dopamine, it is a chemical that sends signals from your body to your brain. Therefore, a low level of iron often leads to mood disorders and depression.
14) Strange Cravings
People who suffer from a shortage of iron often develop strange cravings for non-food items or foods that have no nutritional value. This condition develops because of a severe iron deficiency in your body. The medical terminology for such a desire is pica. The folks are inclined to eat dirt, cardboard, cleaning supplies, and paint chips. Pica is most commonly observed in children and pregnant women.
15) Cold Hands and Feet
Out of 15 signs, you are iron deficient; cold hands and feet are among the most common symptoms. Due to reduced hemoglobin, people face the issue of poor blood circulation. It can lead to cold extremities in your hands and feet. Your feet and hands give off a cold feel whenever you touch them. Therefore, keeping iron sources part and parcel of your diet can solve this problem. It will also improve the flow of oxygen in your blood.
How can I treat my iron deficiency?
Now that you are aware of 15 signs of iron deficiency, the next battle is to combat iron deficiency in your body. Take into account the following ways:
1) Consume Iron-Rich Food
In the event of an iron shortage in your body, your doctor will recommend that you consume iron-rich sources. There are two types of iron: haem and non-haem. Our body can easily absorb haem iron, an excellent source of hemoglobin. The different sources of Haem iron are as follows:
- Meat: Beef, Pork, and lamb
- Poultry: Chicken, Turkey, and Eggs
- Seafood: Salmon, Sardines, and Tuna
- Vegetables: Spinach, Brussels Sprouts, Oyster Mushrooms, Sweet Potatoes, legumes, potatoes, Broccoli, White Mushrooms, Beet Green, and white Mushrooms
- Fruit: Mulberries, Black Olives, and vitamin-C-rich fruits such as oranges and grapes
- Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and pine nuts.
- Dark Chocolates are also a rich source of Iron
- Fortified bread and breakfast cereals
Another way to increase iron in your body is to take iron supplements. But before taking these supplements, get the opinion of your doctor. If your doctor has prescribed some accessories, you should take them. You can consume iron supplements in sachet form and capsule form. These symptoms will fight to unmask the iron deficiency culprits and treat them.
We have seen that iron deficiency can cause so many complications for us. Therefore, we should prevent the shortage by improving iron sources in our diet. The detection of iron deficiency early can prevent so many difficulties for you. These 15 signs of iron deficiency are alarming, so you can combat this deficiency by infusing suitable food sources into your diet. You should see a doctor immediately if you see any of these signs in your body.
1) How can I judge if my iron levels are low?
You can judge the low iron level in your body in various ways. For example, you will experience fatigue, a sore tongue, fatigue or tiredness, a pale complexion, hair fall, and brittle nails. All these are signs of low iron levels in your body.
2) What drinks should you consume to boost iron levels in your body?
You can drink beet juice, Apple juice, Apricot nectar, cocoa, green smoothies, Spinach juice, etc. These drinks will increase iron levels in your body.
3) What are the tips to raise iron levels quickly in your body?
Change your diet plan and infuse iron-rich vegetables into it. Administer your iron intake and ensure that you supply iron daily to your body. Consume foods high in Vitamin C. Take over-the-counter supplements only on your doctor’s advice.