It is probable that at some point in your life you have felt overly tired. It may be a result of strenuous activity or even stress, however if you find yourself feeling tired and sluggish more days than not, it may be possible that you are deficient in iron.
I am by no means a doctor, and the information I address in this post comes from Mayo Clinic.
An iron deficiency typically occurs when the body fails to possess enough iron to produce hemoglobin, a component of red blood cells that permit the cell to transport oxygenated blood throughout the body. There are several reasons as to why an individual may be deficient in iron, some more popular causes being pregnancy, menstruation, an inability to absorb iron or consuming a diet that is low in iron, for example vegetarianism. Infants and children are at higher risk for being deficient in iron and furthermore women because of the blood loss that occurs during a menstruation cycle.
Common symptoms of an iron deficiency include:
- Excessive fatigue
- Pale skin
- Chest pain
- Elevated heartbeat/shortness of breath
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Cold hands and feet
- Inflammation/soreness of tongue
- Brittle nails
- Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances, such as ice, dirt or starch
- Poor appetite
In some cases, the symptoms of an iron deficiency can be so mild that they go unnoticed. If you think you may have an iron deficiency, be sure to consult with your doctor in order to determine how to move forward. I myself take an iron supplement because my iron levels are low, and it is essential to speak with your doctor to understand the best method of treatment.
Iron deficiencies are the most common nutritional deficiencies in the US and are treatable. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions, and take care of yourself!