Iron deficiency is the most common nutritional deficiency in the United States and women are more at risk than men. You are anemic when there is not enough iron in your body to make the necessary amount of hemoglobin.
Hemoglobin is the key component of red blood cells and acts like a transportation system for oxygen in the body. If your body does not have enough iron to create hemoglobin, the red blood cell count will drop and make it more difficult for your tissues to get the oxygen needed. This will result to shortness of breath and fatigue.
Below are 7 symptoms of iron deficiency you should know:
Bruises on your skin can be related to iron deficiency or platelets. You can start taking daily iron pills to see if the mysterious bruising begins to subside.
2. Constant Craving for Ice
Constant ice cravings is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency. Doctors theorize that chewing ice increases alertness in iron-deficient people or it can help soothe their swollen tongues.
3. Cracked lips
Some people with iron deficiency are prone to a specific type of cracking called angular cheilitis, that affects the corners of the mouth.
These cracked corners can make it difficult to smile and even eat. Research shows that people with angular cheilitis 35% of them have iron deficiency.
4. Desire to Eat Dirt
People with severe iron deficiencies often crave non-food items such as dirt, corn starch, clay, paint chips, cleaning supplies and cardboard. This condition is called pica. For patients report non-food cravings, iron supplements can help.
5. Hair Loss
Hair loss may be a sign of iron deficiency. Low iron often can be the culprit, so it is best to consult your medical provider to get some test and see if iron is the issue.
6. Spoon Nails
Spoon nails or what is known as Koilonychia, can be indicative of an underlying iron problem. The inside of your nail sinks in, making your fingernail shaped like a spoon. Your doctor can do a blood test for anemia when other causes of spoon nails are not obvious.
7. Tingling Legs
Restless leg syndrome (RLS) or the feeling of tugging, burning, tingling or like you have insects crawling inside your legs, suggests iron-deficiency.