Iron deficiency will bound to occur if your body doesn’t have adequate level of the mineral iron in it. This eventually leads to drastically low levels of red blood cells in your body.
That’s because iron is required for the making of hemoglobin inside your body, a protein in red blood cells that enables them to carry oxygen around the body.
If your body doesn’t have enough amount of hemoglobin, your tissues and muscles will not get enough oxygen and they won’t be able to work effectively. This leads to a condition referred as anemia.
Common causes of iron deficiency arises when a person is on a inadequate iron intake due to poor diet or restrictive diets, inflammatory bowel disease, and blood loss through heavy and painful periods or internal bleeding.
Whatever is the cause, iron deficiency can result in unpleasant symptoms which can make a significant impact on the quality of your life. These includes poor health, depleted concentration levels and lower work productivity.
Symptoms of iron deficiency varies depending on how serious your anemia is, how quickly it is developing, your current age & health.
Excessive tiredness is one of the most common symptoms of iron deficiency affecting 50% of the deceased.
When you are iron deficient your body doesn’t have enough hemoglobin so less oxygen reaches your tissues and muscles thus depriving them of energy. In addition, your heart also has to work a lot more harder to transport more oxygen-rich blood around your body.
Generally many people suffering who are consuming inadequate iron experience low energy levels along with weakness, feeling cranky, difficulty in concentrating or poor productivity at work.
The hemoglobin in red blood cells is responsible for giving blood its red color, so at low levels during iron deficiency makes the blood less red. That’s why the skin tend to lose its healthy, rosy color.
Extreme paleness or yellowness in people with iron deficiency can generally appear all over their skin and it is visible in the form of yellowish tint, or it can even be limited to one area, such as the cheeks, gums, inside of the lips or lower eyelids or even the nails.
Hemoglobin enables your red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout your body.
When hemoglobin levels are low in your body during iron deficiency, oxygen levels will also get low. This means your muscles won’t be able to do normal activities, such as walking, running because of the insufficient supply of oxygen in your body.
As a result, your breathing rate will drastically increase as your body tries to get more oxygen into it.
This is the reason why shortness of breath is a very common symptom of iron deficiency.
This symptom is a little less common than the others and is often coupled with lightheadedness or dizziness
During iron deficiency, low levels of hemoglobin in RBCs mean that there is not enough oxygen that can reach the brain. As a result, blood vessels in the brain starts to swell and expand, causing muscle tension and headaches
Many people overlook frequent headaches as it is a very vague symptom but if the cause of headache is unusual and unexplainable then iron deficiency may be one of the reason.
Restless leg syndrome is a strong urge to move your legs when you are at rest. It can also cause unpleasant and tingling sensations when the patient is sleeping.
It usually worsens at night, meaning that sufferers may also suffer from lack of sleep.
As most of the oxygenated blood is transported to other parts of the body, there is very less supply of oxygenated blood into the legs (Because of low hemoglobin levels) as a result the person starts to move his legs as to get more oxygenated blood into them.
Up to 25% of people with restless leg syndrome are thought to have iron-deficiency, and the lower the iron levels, the worser are the symptoms.