As you may already know, feeling tired occasionally is not uncommon; however, chronic tiredness is usually a sign that there is a problem in the body.
Often times, among other things, chronic fatigue may indicate lack of iron, i.e. iron deficiency.
This mineral plays a major role in the hemoglobin production which aids the oxygen flow throughout the body.
When you do not have the sufficient amount of iron in your body, it has to work harder in order to produce the necessary energy. Consequently, you feel tired, weak, and irritable.
What Are the Symptoms of Iron Deficiency?
The symptoms of this health problem can differ from individual to individual. A blood test is the best way to determine if there is an iron-deficiency anemia.
Low levels of iron in the body can be triggered by numerous causes, including poor diet, IBS, pregnancy, heavy menstruation, etc.
In order to be able to recognize lack of iron timely and head out to the doctor’s office for tests and treatment, it is good to know the most common symptoms.
Check them out in the list below…
The 6 Major Iron Deficiency Symptoms
- Chronic tiredness
Feeling too tired, even after getting good night’s sleep, may be a sign of low iron levels, among other things. This being said, if you notice a change in your energy levels and if you have been feeling more tired than usually, consult your physician and explain the symptoms.
- Poor breathing
Haemoglobin does not just help our skin have a healthy and rosy color, but it also participates in the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. If its production is impeded due to insufficient iron, the oxygen levels can drop.
And, this will weaken the breathing and make the simplest of tasks like walking or climbing the stairs tiring and challenging. This being said, for any prolonged breathing issues, especially while resting (not exercising), talk to your physician.
- Pale skin
When there is lack of iron, the skin may become paler than usually. The paleness will also be visible inside the lower eyelids. This happens because haemoglobin is what makes our blood red and provides the rosy color, which is also a sign of good health.
When this production is prevented, the skin will become whiter. Other areas that will lose their redness will be the gums, nails, and the insides of the lips.
- Swollen tongue
People who are iron deficient often report swollen tongue, as well as soreness and dry mouth.
- Brittle nails
Nails that have recently become more prone to breakage and chipping may indicate low levels of iron. As the iron drops, the nails’ centre can become dented and the nails will remind of the shape of a spoon.
- Dizziness and headaches
The improper haemoglobin production can trigger frequent headaches and dizziness. Namely, when the haemoglobin does not reach the red blood cells, the brain does not get the oxygen it requires. Consequently, the blood vessels begin to swell and form intracranial pressure.
3 Best Ways to Fight Off Iron Deficiency Naturally
- Boost your intake of iron-rich foods
In order to get the needed amounts of iron and increase the levels, make sure you consume foods that offer a lot of iron, including leafy veggies, lentils, dried fruits, pork, chicken, and fortified cereals.
Also, elevate the intake of vitamin C because this will ease the absorption of the non-heme iron in the body. This is the iron present in plant-based foods like veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds, and beans.
- Add supplements
Even though the best way to get the needed nutrients is from eating whole foods, supplementation can also be of aid. Opt for 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day to prevent anemia and boost the iron levels.
Pregnant or breastfeeding women need to get 2.6 mcg of this vitamin on a daily basis. Consult your physician for the best iron supplements.
- Minimize your coffee intake
To be able to boost the iron you get from your diet and supplements, make sure you limit your coffee consumption. This is because the tannins in coffee can mess with the proper iron absorption.