- Strong fatigue, problems with concentration
- Pale skin and mucous membranes
- Pain and dizziness
- Shortness of breath and shortness of breath
- Pain and swelling of the tongue, chapped lips
- Dry skin, falling out hair, weak nails
- Excessive thirst
- Irregular heartbeat
- Restless legs
- Tendency to get infected
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The symptoms of iron deficiency are not always clear and obvious. Often the body tells us in a very subtle way that it lacks this element. Meanwhile, iron deficiency is very common, especially in women - and the signs of iron deficiency can be really bothersome. What are the early or atypical symptoms of iron deficiency? How do you know when it's time to do your research and change your diet or supplement with iron if necessary? Here are the most common symptoms of iron deficiency.
Symptoms of iron deficiencyis a problem for many people - more often women than men, because one of its causes is blood loss during heavy periods.
The reasons for iron deficiency also include a diet that does not provide a sufficient supply of iron (e.g. poor in iron-containing products or a monotonous or vegetarian diet), as well as inflammatory bowel diseases, kidney dialysis, gastric ulcer disease, taking certain medications ( e.g. lowering blood pressure or antibiotics), exercise or some types of cancer. Pregnant women also have a higher demand for iron.
It is worth knowing that the symptoms of iron deficiency may vary depending on the degree of iron deficiency. The early symptoms of an iron deficiency may be almost imperceptible, but the higher the deficiency, the more severe the symptoms will be.
Iron is necessary for the body to function - it participates in the production of hemoglobin (a component of red blood cells), thanks to which it is possible to transport oxygen to tissues and muscles. If there is not enough iron, the red blood cell count also drops, preventing cells from getting the right amount of oxygen.
The most serious effect of iron deficiency is anemia. And what are the symptoms of the lack of this element?
Strong fatigue, problems with concentration
This is one of the most common and characteristic symptoms of iron deficiency, a direct effect of not enough hemoglobin. When insufficient oxygen reaches tissues and muscles, they do not produce energy.
Hemoglobin deficiency attempts to balance the heart, which then works harder to deliver more oxygenated blood to the cells, and this in turn can cause fatigue. It can be accompanied by various ailments, e.g. problems withfocus.
Pale skin and mucous membranes
Pale mucosa on the inside of the lower eyelids is also considered a typical symptom of iron deficiency (often the doctor will examine them first, before writing a referral for examination) and pale complexion. This is due to low levels of red blood cells, such as for the red color of blood.
Pain and dizziness
Recurring headaches are one of the early symptoms of iron deficiency - it is probably associated with a slight hypoxia of the brain structures caused by too low levels of red blood cells. Headache may be accompanied by dizziness, although it sometimes happens that vertigo is the only symptom of iron deficiency.
Shortness of breath and shortness of breath
Too low a hemoglobin level means that during any exercise (even as trivial as walking) we have to breathe faster to get more oxygen to the muscles. In certain situations, there is therefore shortness of breath - for example, when you have to climb stairs or run a few meters to the bus. Shortness of breath may also be accompanied by dyspnea, which is a subjective feeling of "lack of air" when breathing.
Pain and swelling of the tongue, chapped lips
Many people consider swelling of the tongue and its pain as an unusual symptom of iron deficiency, as well as inflammation in the mouth - burning, changes in the perception of taste, change in the shade of the tongue, or visible smoothing of its surface, and even cracks in the corners paragraph Meanwhile, iron is also important for the he alth of tissues and organs in this area, which is why such ailments with iron deficiency are completely normal.
The most common symptoms of iron deficiency:See the gallery of 13 photos
Dry skin, falling out hair, weak nails
If your skin has become dry and is not helped by any cream, hair falls out, breaks, and nails are brittle and have the characteristic longitudinal striations with grooves, it is almost certain that you are deficient in iron. The skin, hair and nails also need oxygen transported by hemoglobin - when its level is too low, oxygen reaches them only after the needs of muscles and internal organs are satisfied.
Strong thirst is usually associated with diseases such as diabetes, but it can also be a symptom of iron deficiency. As a result of the lack of this element, the body may lose other minerals - their lack must be supplemented, among others, by by adequate fluid supply.
Palpitations felt asIrregular rhythm can be one of the symptoms of iron deficiency - low hemoglobin levels make the circulatory system work more intensively to deliver oxygen to every cell in the body. So the heart is forced to a greater effort.
Iron deficiency can also cause itchy feet, tingling and numbness in the legs, some studies also suggest that it may be related to Restless Legs Syndrome, a condition that causes, among others, an irresistible urge to move your legs while you are resting. That is why it is worth checking the level of this element when you experience the above symptoms or you often wake up with numb legs.
Tendency to get infected
Iron deficiency can also cause recurrent colds and susceptibility to infections, in a word - weakening the immune system. Iron is very important for immunity, as it participates, inter alia, in in the production of antibodies, it is also responsible for the proper functioning of the spleen, one of the important organs of the immune system. People who have too little of this element get sick more often.