What is Iron? Iron is an essential dietary mineral as it makes hemoglobin, and it is the one that supplies oxygen throughout the body. Iron deficiency is a condition in which your blood lacks red blood cells.
Iron deficiency is mostly noticed in women than in men. It can manifest with several different signs and symptoms. If you want to know if you are low in iron, Here are a few warning signs to watch out for.
1. Brittle Nails
Brittle nails are the most little common symptom observed in iron deficiency people. If a woman has low iron content, they will experience brittle nails that easily chip and crack.
When the iron deficiency becomes a severe issue, at that time, you can observe the middle of the nail gets dips, and the edges will form a rounded appearance. According to the HealthLine, only 5% of the iron deficiency people have experienced this kind of symptom, and it is the rarest symptom. This kind of sign is observed in severe cases of iron deficiency.
2. Damaged Hair and Skin
If your hair didn’t get enough oxygen, then it will reduce the hair growth. Also, if your skin lacks oxygen, it will become dry and weak. If you are experiencing massive hair loss, then it may be due to the low iron.
It is also normal to have hair loss, but it may be due to iron deficiency if you are losing hair more than normal. Learn how to prevent hair loss and improve hair growth in this article.
3. Dizziness, headache, or lightheadedness
If a woman has low iron, then they will get frequent headaches. It is a common symptom of iron deficiency, and most people experience light headaches. But still, now medical science couldn’t be able to solve the link between headache and iron deficiency.
But it is believed that the hemoglobin in RBC cells doesn’t provide enough oxygen to the brain because of low iron. So the brain cells will get swell and cause a headache.
4. Extreme fatigue or weakness
Fatigue is one of the several common iron deficiency symptoms, and fatigue can be observed in a woman commonly who doesn’t have enough iron. The fatigue is caused if your body lacks iron, and it is the main mineral that produces a protein called hemoglobin. This will helps to carry oxygen throughout the body.
If your body doesn’t provide enough hemoglobin, your tissues and muscles won’t receive enough oxygen, resulting in weakness. During this time, your heart will work more so that the body will get oxygen-rich blood, causing even more tiredness to your body. So, low iron in women will cause low energy that results in weakness or difficulty in concentration.
5. Pale skin
Another way to recognize low iron in a woman is to check the inside of your lower eyelids. If there is an iron deficiency, then the color will be pale. The reason for paleness is the hemoglobin is the main reason for our red color blood.
If there is iron deficiency, then the blood becomes less red, and also the healthy color of the body begins to change. Paleness can be observed throughout the body, and in some people, it is observed in the face, gums, inside the lips or lower eyelids, or nails.
6. Cold hands and feet
Most people who are facing iron deficiency will feel cold hands and feet. The poor blood circulation throughout the body will make your body feel cold.
7. Shortness of breath
Hemoglobin is the main reason that enables the red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout the body. When the iron content is low, the oxygen levels in the body will also become low. While doing normal activities such as walking or working, your body tries to get more oxygen and increases the breathing rate.
8. Restless Legs Syndrome
Another symptom of iron deficiency is restless leg syndrome, and it is a strong urge to move your legs at rest. This symptom may cause unpleasant or strange crawling or an itchy sensation to your feet and legs.
The cause of this symptom is not able to find completely, but at night the sign gets worse, and you will find difficulty during sleep.
23.9% of the people who are having iron deficiency had experience restless legs syndrome. Sometimes, general people also feel this kind of symptom, but the sign will be nine times higher when compared to the iron deficiency people. Read about restless leg syndrome remedies.
9. Pica (Unusual cravings for strange things)
This is the symptom where you will crave strange foods or non-food items. Usually, iron deficiency people will tend to crave ice, clay, dirt, chalk, or paper.
10. Chest Pain
Iron deficiency also results in a rapid or irregular heartbeat. The decrease of hemoglobin in RBC will reduce the oxygen supply throughout the body. So at this time, the heart pumps more so that it can compensate for the lack of oxygen in the blood. This will make your heart tired and results in an enlarged heart or heart failure.
You can find out whether you have low iron or not by considering these symptoms. If you experience the symptoms mentioned above mildly, you can prevent it by having iron-rich foods such as nuts, liver, beans, fortified breakfast cereals, and red meat.
When to see a doctor
If you are experiencing unusual symptoms, then you can consult a doctor. He may recommend some iron pills or iron supplements, and it will take 1 or 2 months to get a complete cure. When you are experiencing severe symptoms, then intense treatment will be provided.
But before increasing the iron content in your body, remember that overdosage of iron in your body may also some serious complications, and it may affect your liver.
Iron is essential for women because, during the menstrual period, women tend to lose 1 mg of iron every day of bleeding. Suppose they have an insufficient amount of iron. In that case, they may encounter serious health conditions, so if you have the following symptoms, then you can find that your body has low iron, and preventive measures can be taken accordingly.