Watch Out! 11 Unusual Signs Of Iron Deficiency Every Woman Shouldn’t Ignore

Date April 4, 2018

What is an iron deficiency?

Iron is a mineral that is very important for your well-being. If your body doesn’t get enough of iron, it results in low levels of red blood cells. It happens because this mineral plays a vital role in producing hemoglobin. This protein helps your organs and muscles to get enough oxygen. When something is wrong with your hemoglobin levels, your body is just unable to work effectively. This, in turn, can lead to a dangerous condition called amenia.

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Warning symptoms of iron deficiency

Symptoms and signs of iron deficiency can vary widely, as your age and the current state of health play a huge role. In many cases, people with iron deficiency have no symptoms. Here are 11 surprising signs you may have this condition. If you notice them, visit your doctor and take a ferritin test.

1. You are always exhausted.

Feeling exhausted is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency, as it turns out that more than half of people who are iron deficient notice they are very tired. It happens because your body gets less oxygen, so you just don't have energy to function. Moreover, your heart has to work more intensively, and that can make you tired too.

2. You are pale.

Hemoglobin is a special protein that gives your blood its red color. That means that low hemoglobin levels may make skin, lips, and gums change. Your skin may lose its healthy look if you suffer from iron deficiency. In most cases, it is very easy to spot. Remember that this unusual paleness can appear all over the body, or it can affect only one area, such as the face, inside of the lips, or bottom eyelids and gums. If you notice that these areas are not red as normally, low iron may be to blame.

3. You experience shortness of breath.

Hemoglobin is responsible for oxygen transferring, so in iron deficiency, oxygen levels are low too. As a result, you have to breathe more to get more oxygen. This is why shortness of breath is a warning symptom.

4. You suffer from headaches and dizziness.

Well, there are many cases of headaches, but if you experience recurrent headaches and dizziness, check your blood. It can be a sign of iron deficiency. This symptom is less common, but don’t ignore it. The lack of oxygen can affect your brain, causing the blood vessels to swell.

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5. You have heavy periods.

Too heavy periods can cause iron deficiency. When you lose too much blood every month, your body has no time to replace it. If you have to change your tampon more often than every two hours, visit your gynecologist.

6. Your heart is pounding.

Noticeable heartbeats can be another alarming sign of iron deficiency. As we already mentioned, the lack of iron makes your heart work extra hard to carry oxygen. Iron deficiency can result in irregular or fast heartbeats.

7. Your skin and hair are dry and damaged.

Skin and hair also suffer from iron deficiency. They can become damaged and dry when your body doesn’t receive enough oxygen. In more serious cases, this can lead to hair loss.

8. You have restless leg syndrome.

Nearly 15% of people with restless leg syndrome have iron deficiency. So if you have an urge to move your legs, which often makes it difficult to sleep, it can be due to low iron.

9. You are anxious for no reason.

A lack of oxygen can affect your sympathetic nervous system, and you may feel anxious for no reason. In addition, fast heart rate can make your body feel like you are in fight-or-flight mode.

10. Your tongue looks unusual.

Looking at your tongue or around your mouth can give you an indication of some health problems. If your tongue becomes inflamed, swollen, or even abnormally smooth, it can be a sign of iron-deficiency anemia.

11. Your fingernails are brittle or spoon-shaped.

Iron deficiency may come with brittle nails and other problems. In later stages, spoon-shaped fingernails can develop. This can be a signal of severe iron-deficiency anemia.

Source: HealthLine, Everyday Health, Health

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This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.