Iron deficiency can happen to anyone if you are not getting enough iron in your daily diet. It can trigger various conditions that disrupt your quality of life or even your daily routine. Which is why it’s important to consume more iron-rich foods such as red meat, leafy greens and nuts. That said, here are 10 Signs Of Iron Deficiency You Should Take Note Of.
1) You Feel Tired All The Time
Feeling tired is normal and it happens to all of us. But feeling constantly exhausted regardless of day or night? You could blame your irregular sleep pattern but it can be a sign of an iron deficiency. Here’s why: Your body needs iron to make haemoglobin, which is a protein found in red blood cells. They are particularly crucial to help transport the oxygen around the body. And if your body lacks iron, it means less oxygen — a result that causes tiredness and low energy.
2) You Often Run Out Of Breath
While lacking oxygen makes you exhausted, don’t be surprised if you find yourself constantly suffering from shortness of breath. That means you will find exercise and even daily activities like walking and climbing the stairs akin to a serious test of physical stamina.
3) You Are Prone To Headaches
Sure, headaches happen to all of us regardless of age. But it’s far from normal if you often rely on Panadol to get rid of your constant headaches. The possible trigger? It could be a sign of iron deficiency, in which low oxygen in the body causes blood vessels in the brain to swell. This, in turn, causes headaches as well as dizziness and lightheadedness.
4) You Are Experiencing Rapid And Irregular Heartbeats
In another word, you are suffering from heart palpitations. When you lack iron, your heart has to work overtime to carry oxygen around the body. In some cases, it can also lead to possible heart failures. Either way, it’s best to talk to your doctor and get a proper diagnosis.
5) You Tend To Develop Strong Urges Of Moving Your Legs
Did you know that iron deficiency can cause restless leg syndrome? It is a type of nervous system disorder that trigger unpleasant sensations in the feet and legs. This, in turn, causes your legs to throb, shake and feel itchy. These symptoms tend to worsen at night, particularly during bedtime where it can disrupt your sleep.
6) You Look Pale
Take a look at your own skin. Does it look pale? Iron deficiency could be the main culprit here. It happens when low haemoglobin levels in the body cause your skin to lose its natural colour. Depending on your condition, pale skin or even paleness can be visibly seen all over the body or certain area such as the face, inside of the lips or eyelids.
7) You Suffer From Damaged Hair
Notice your hair strands tend to fall out more than usual? Your hair might be dry and damaged due to the possible sign of iron deficiency. This occurs when the hair follicles are lacking sufficient oxygen, which in turn, weakened your hair. And in some worst-case scenarios, you might experience hair loss.
8) You Are Having Cold Hands And Feet
Normally, we would associate cold hands and feet with cold temperatures regardless of air-conditioned indoor space, rainy season or when you are travelling to a winter destination. But iron deficiency can even trigger such conditions. This typically happens when your body is deprived of oxygen and fewer red blood cells a.k.a. anaemia.
9) You Are Having A Hard Time Staying Focused
A sign of iron deficiency can make or break your overall cognitive functions. Which means if you are lacking in them, it can affect your ability or having difficulty to concentrate or even stay focused. Again, this usually occurs if your body fails to develop enough haemoglobin or red blood cells.
10) You Have Weak Fingernails
If you have a severe case of iron deficiency, you may find your fingernails being weak, brittle and tend to crack easily. Such a condition is otherwise known as koilonychia. In a related case, you may notice your fingernails looking like a spoon where the middle of the nail dips and the edges raises.