5 Signs of Iron Deficiency

Iron is essential mineral to your hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells which carry oxygen to every part of the human body. Some iron is found in tissues and muscles, and for whatever movement or activity you do, your muscles will need a lot of oxygen.

2021-01-21 14:23:01

hemoglobinoxygeniron deficiencyanemia

Iron is an essential mineral to your hemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells which carry oxygen to every part of the human body. Some iron is found in tissues and muscles, and for whatever movement or activity you do, your muscles will need a lot of oxygen. If your body does not have enough hemoglobin, it can lead to iron deficiency or even worst, to anemia which means a low level of red blood cells.   

If the cause of iron deficiency is due to poor diet, you can find iron-reach food sources like leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, read meat, seafood, beans, and dried fruits. Beverages are also included in the list of food sources of iron, such as milk, spinach juice, prune juice, and beetroot juice.

Signs of Iron Deficiency

Iron deficiency anemia is the most common type of anemia in the world. The severity of it depends on person by person. While there are people with obvious symptoms, there are others with no symptoms at all. The most common symptoms are:

1.  Atypical Tiredness


One of the first common sign of iron deficiency is feeling very tired or exhausted. Considering that iron’s main role is to deliver oxygen through hemoglobin around your body, it makes sense that you would feel weak or fatigued when you have less iron to complete the job.

With less oxygen reaching your tissues and muscles because of low stores of iron, unusual tiredness is one of the most common signs of iron deficiency.


2.  Paleness

It is the hemoglobin that provides the red color of our blood. Low levels of iron can make your blood less red, and to determine pallor or paleness, doctors check the color of lower eyelids, palms of hand, tongue, and nail bed.

If you check you lower eyelid, it should have a vibrant red color. If it is pale pink or yellow color, this might be from iron deficiency. People with darker skin, this may be the only part of body that can show paleness.

3.  Dizziness


To make the brain works in the best way possible, it will require high amounts of oxygen to keep up the performance. If the brain has low volume of oxygen, the blood vessels in the brain may swell, causing headaches and dizziness.

There are various causes and factors to headaches, but often is related to iron deficiency. When you are feeling dizzy or lightheaded, means that your brain is giving you a sign. In worst cases of low circulation of oxygen, the solution that the brain opts is to pass out.


4.  Shortness of Breath

Do remember that iron is essential to hemoglobin, a red blood cells that is in charge of carrying oxygen to your entire body. If the body is current low in iron, the levels of oxygen in every organ will consequently decrease.

The lungs are key to our breath and are responsible to exchange carbon dioxide for oxygen, but one fact that is not quite known is that lungs also need oxygen supply to keep working on that exchange of gases.


5.  Brittle Nails

Having low quantity of oxygen distributed through your body can cause many signs, and another sign for iron deficiency is brittle nails. The connective tissue under the nail bed start becoming weak due to low magnitude of oxygen that blood is providing, making the nails start to curve inward, having spoon-shaped fingernails. Brittle nails make the nails crack easily but is only shown by 5% of people with severe intensity of iron deficiency.


If you think you have signs of iron deficiency, you should see your doctor for further confirmation. Try to ensure that you are getting enough iron that your body needs from a proper diet and supplements.


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