Iron is one of the essential minerals for the human body. Without it, your body wouldn’t be able to produce red blood cells which are responsible for transporting oxygen to your tissues. In cases of iron deficiency, you may experience shortness of breath and fatigue as well as more serious symptoms which can ruin your health.
In most cases, iron deficiency or anemia as it’s also known can be fixed with iron supplements. If you suspect anemia, go to your doctor who will suggest a few tests that will identify the problem. If you’re not sure what the main symptoms of anemia are, this list will help you:
7 Health Issues That Might Indicate You Have An Iron Deficiency
1. Headaches and Dizziness
Feeling dizzy and experiencing severe headaches may be a sign of low oxygen levels in the brain. This means that your whole body is experiencing shortage of oxygen, which can result in the swelling of your brain tissue and increase your blood pressure. Although headaches are less common signs of iron deficiency, they may indicate the problem, especially when accompanied by dizziness.
2. Shortness of Breath
Many people don’t consider shortness of breath an indication of something serious, but it can be a sign of big ailments. When your body struggles to get oxygen and you experience this symptom often, you need to add iron to your diet. If the symptom becomes severe, you won’t be able to perform even simple physical activities such as walking without fighting for your breath, which is a big problem.
Not enough iron in the body means a reduced count of red blood cells and not enough oxygen to the brain and tissues, resulting in fatigue. Our body uses the mineral to produce hemoglobin, a compound which helps red blood cells transport oxygen to the tissues. Less hemoglobin means less oxygen reaching your body parts, resulting in lack of energy and fatigue.
4. Hair Loss
Thinner hair which falls off may also be a sign of iron deficiency. If it gets severe, your body will start directing blood flow to your main organs in order to protect them, leaving your scalp dry. Dry scalp means brittle and weak hair, which will lead to hair loss.
5. Pale Face
A pale face is one of the main symptoms of iron deficiency (anemia). If your face becomes pale all of a sudden and is accompanied by pale gum and nails, you should check your iron levels at a doctor.
6. Irregular Heartbeat
Irregular heart rhythm may also be a sign of anemia. If your heart is beating really fast without an apparent reason, it’s probably lack of oxygen causing it. Our heart works hard to ensure oxygen reaches all our tissues, so if your heart’s beating too fast, you may want to get an iron test.
7. Unusual Cravings
We all experience different food cravings every once and then, but if you’re often craving ice or things like chalk and paper, it may indicate lack of iron and oxygen in your body. Talk to your doctor who will suggest a few tests which can indicate the problem and help you treat it.