People who do not consume enough iron-rich food in the diet will surely develop a deficiency in iron. Once a person develops an iron deficiency, it can, later on, lead to an abnormal number of red blood cells in the body. The reason is that iron is a vital part of hemoglobin production, which is essential for oxygen transport. In the case of decreased hemoglobin, then that is the time when you will develop iron deficiency symptoms.
The most common reason for deficiency of this mineral is inadequate supply in the diet due to poor food choices and diet restrictions. Aside from that, pregnancy, inflammatory bowel disease, and extreme blood loss due to internal or external bleeding can cause low iron supply in the blood. The signs and symptoms depend on the severity of the anemia and the current health status of an individual. There are cases when a person might not able to experience any symptoms at all. To help you know if you or someone you know is suffering from iron deficiency, the following are common symptoms to look out for.
1. Unexplainable Tiredness
Almost half of the people who are deficient in iron experience unusual tiredness. This is one of the most common low iron symptoms that you may feel once you are low in this mineral. It can happen because iron is vital in producing healthy red blood cells that transport oxygen in different parts of the body. If hemoglobin is limited, then there will be a lack of oxygen for tissues and muscles that is not enough to produce energy. Also, the heart will pump harder to ensure that every part of the body receives enough oxygen. This added work makes the body feel very tired.
Most of the time, tiredness is a part of daily routine as people work and that makes it harder to diagnose signs of anemia. One may also feel muscle weakness, difficulty in concentrating, and decrease productivity alongside tiredness.
2. Paleness of the Skin
One can observe the skin color and lower eyelid as these are signs of anemia. It is the hemoglobin that gives the blood its deep red color, so not enough normal iron level in the blood makes the color less red. This is the reason why skin losses its rosy color. Paleness of the skin might appear in just some parts of the body such as lips, gums, eyelids, and face. This sign is the very first thing that healthcare providers look for to detect an iron deficiency. However, this is not enough, and patients are required to undergo a blood test.
This is one of the many iron deficiency symptoms that is brought about by lesser oxygen in the body because of low hemoglobin. Muscles are affected by low oxygen and will suffer from weakness. It will make it difficult for one to do activities like walking and running. It can lead to an increased breathing rate because the body will try to acquire more oxygen.
Low iron symptoms include headaches and dizziness caused by a low level of oxygen in the brain. Not enough oxygen can cause blood vessels to swell and give pressure to the brain that can result in headaches.
5. Increase heart Palpitation
In case you notice a sudden increase rate of heartbeat or heart palpitations, then it can be associated with signs of anemia. The heart doubles its work to pump more blood and carry enough oxygen in different parts of the body. Change in diet or taking an iron supplement can bring back normal iron levels.
6. Damaged Hair and Dry Skin
A deprived skin and hair from the normal supply of oxygen will result in hair that is prone to damages and dry skin. A severe sign of iron deficiency is also connected to extreme hair loss. Hair fall is normal during combing and washing but if you notice large clumps of hair falling out, then immediately seek for doctor’s advice.
7. Swelling of Mouth and Tongue
By just looking at the inside of your mouth, you will find low iron symptoms. Some of the signs are swollen tongue and sometimes it feels smoother than usual. Myoglobin is a protein found in the blood that supports healthy muscles in the mouth and tongue. Abnormal levels of iron can cause a very dry mouth that cracks.