10 Signs of Iron Deficiency

The fastest way to diagnose anemia is through blood test, the results will show number, size and shape of erythrocytes, as well as hemoglobin levels. The cause of this disorder may be a lack of iron, and vitamin B9 and B12. The human body is not able to create iron, therefore it is taken from food or supplies in the body. Reserves are found in red blood cells, which lifetime is 120 days, after that the iron from them is returned to the bone marrow, which produces new red cells.

Iron deficiency may occur due to its loss (due to bleeding), increased need for this mineral (during development and pregnancy), a decrease of absorption in the digestive tract or, less frequently, due to insufficient intake through food. The consequences of long-term anemia caused by iron deficiency can be very serious, and if they occur in childhood it may lead to slower development. 

In addition to dizziness, weakness, palpitations or lack of concentration, due to disorder of cells in the body, inflammatory changes on the tongue, ulcers, sores in the corners of the mouth, breaking of the nails may also occur.

Signs of Iron Deficiency

1. Paleness

Hemoglobin gives our blood red color and this is the main reason our skin has pink color. This means that low levels of iron can cause paleness. Regardless of your skin color, iron deficiency can also be seen on the gums, on the inside of the lips and on the inside of the eyelids. If you are paler than normal, it is probably due to lack of iron.

2. You feel exhausted

This is the most common symptom of iron deficiency and the most difficult to detect. People often live chaotic lives and it is quite normal to feel tired. However, due to lack of iron, less oxygen is delivered to the tissue, while you remain without the necessary energy. If your fatigue lasts a long time, it is possible that it is iron deficiency.

3. Headache

When the body is missing iron, it’s priority is to deliver oxygen to the brain while other organs will be placed on the second place. However, even then it may be that your brain wont get enough oxygen, causing swollen arteries in the brain and persistent headaches.

4. Tongue seems strange

Besides losing the old color of your tongue, low iron levels affect the reduction of myoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that maintains the health of muscles such as the tongue. This is why many of those who have iron deficiency complain of pain or unusual slick tongue.

5. Short breath

If you’re running out of air no matter how deep you breathe.. If you find that you are left breathless by doing things that you previously worked normally.. This symptoms may occur because of iron deficiency.

6. You feel nervous for no reason

An iron deficiency can make you feel anxious. Lack of oxygen affects the sympathetic nervous system, which is your initiator. Additionally, due to lack of iron heart beats rapidly, and you feel tense, even if you have no reason for it.

7. Your heart "skips"

If you feel any irregularity in the heartbeat, keep in mind that the situation in the case of iron deficiency may worsen and lead to a number of chronic problems. But this usually occurs when you have problem with iron deficiency for a long time. However, as soon as you solve the problem with iron your heart will work normally and these problems wont occur.

8. Hair loss

Iron deficiency, especially when evolve in anemia, can lead to hair loss. The body switches to survival mode and sends oxygen where it is most needed, in order to maintain vital functions. But do not panic if a few hairs fall. It is quite normal that people loose up to 100 hairs per day.

9. Restless leg syndrome

About 15 percent of people with this kind of problem have iron deficiency. With less iron comes the stronger symptoms.

10. Heavy menstruation

Women who are deficient in iron, have painful periods. They lose too much blood, and only half of it is replaced, so the next month they loose a lot of blood again. This is a sign that you should consume more iron.

Recommended daily intake of Iron
Recommended daily intake of Iron

When it comes to iron, more is not always better. Excess iron in the body can cause damage of internal organs and increase the risk of diabetes, heart attack and cancer, especially in older people. The maximum amount for men older than 19 is 45 mg per day. A normal intake of iron for men older then 19 is around 8.7 mg while for women up to 50 years is 14.8 mg per day.
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