8 Signs You’re Low on Iron

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8 Signs You’re Low on Iron

Iron plays a crucial role in maintaining your health. Many people don’t get enough of this nutrient, particularly vegetarians and vegans.

Iron deficiency causes a host of health problems, many of which correct themselves when you address the underlying issue. First, you must unearth it. Here are eight signs you’re low on iron.

The Role of Iron in the Body

Remember Popeye? He grew bulging biceps by downing spinach, which has 15% of your daily recommended allowance of iron. What makes it such a strength-builder?

Iron is a major component of hemoglobin, a protein in your blood responsible for carrying oxygen-rich blood to all parts of your body. Without this substance, your body can’t make enough red blood cells to deliver oxygen, leading to fatigue.

Meat provides a healthy dose of iron for most people, so vegetarians and vegans are at higher risk of having low levels of this nutrient. Fortunately, you can find ample plant-based sources such as spinach, kale, beans, peas, and lentils.

Signs You’re Low on Iron

What are the signs that you’re low on iron? Pay heed to the following symptoms.

1. You Develop Unusual Cravings

Your body is smart and will try to compensate for the lack, making you crave items that offer no nutritional value. For example, you may feel compelled to chew on ice, damaging your tooth’s enamel. If your dentist expresses concern about wear and tear, consider talking to them or your doctor about having your iron levels checked.

2. You Feel Fatigued

Without red blood cells to carry oxygen to your body’s cells, you become fatigued. Your body lacks the energy it needs to perform vital functions.

Multiple factors can cause fatigue besides being low on iron. However, you should ask your doctor about testing if you constantly feel tired and also have some of the other symptoms on this list.

3. You Experience Muscle Weakness

Muscle weakness with fatigue increases the odds that you’re low on iron. Without oxygen, your biceps and hamstrings don’t have the energy to flex and extend.

Unfortunately, this symptom can become a self-reinforcing prophecy. When you feel weak and exhausted, you skip the gym. Over time, your muscles begin to atrophy.

4. Your Skin Becomes Pale and Jaundiced

Your red blood cells and healthy circulation give your skin a rosy glow. Without sufficient hemoglobin, you become pale. You may develop dark circles under your eyes even if you have never had them before. Anemia is one of the top causes of the dreaded raccoon mask.

Depending on your skin’s natural undertones, you could become jaundiced. See your doctor if this occurs, as it can also signify liver trouble.

5. Your Heart Skips a Beat

Your heart pumps your blood, and it needs to work harder when it doesn’t contain enough oxygen. It may become enlarged from the extra effort, putting you at risk for failure.

Severe iron deficiency can also produce left ventricular malfunction, along with pain. You should always have new and unusual chest pains investigated by a medical professional. Heart attacks can strike anyone, even the seemingly young and healthy.

6. You Can’t Breathe

Your body needs oxygen. Normally, your lungs have plenty to share with every other organ. However, they don’t get the full benefit of each to inhale when you’re low on iron, leading to breathing problems.

For example, you might find it challenging to climb a flight of stairs, even if you’re generally athletic. If you typically run a mile easily, you could get exhausted from walking around the block. You might also experience tightness in your chest and a drowning sensation as if you can’t get enough air.

7. You Feel Dizzy and Lightheaded

Your brain also needs oxygen. Without it, you could sway on your feet when you stand up too quickly. In rare instances, you could black out and strike your head, leading to further problems — which is why you should seek treatment without delay if you suspect you have low iron. A simple blood test and the right supplement could correct your trouble in a jiffy.

A lack of iron can also contribute to brain fog. You could find it impossible to focus on your work, leading to career woes. Worse, it puts you at an increased risk of having an accident.

8. You Develop Cold Hands and Feet

Blood carries oxygen and also warmth to your extremities. If you aren’t getting enough of it to your fingers and toes, you could develop cold hands and feet.

Although it’s relatively simple to remedy this symptom — wear gloves and socks — you should see a physician without delay. Cold hands and feet, particularly if accompanied by a blue tinge, can indicate problems with your heart. People with Raynaud’s phenomenon run a higher risk of heart disease. Seek help and consider a supplement to protect your cardiovascular health.

Increase Your Iron Intake

Iron is a necessary nutrient. Without a sufficient intake, you can develop severe symptoms.

Pay attention to the above eight signs that you may be low on iron. Fortunately, this condition is easy to treat with supplements and a healthy diet.

Stacey Chillemi

staceychillemi@staceychillemi.com

The Complete Guide to Natural Healing believes that food, vitamins, supplements, and alternative medicine can be your best medicine. Our staff will show you the truth about health and wellness, so you can help your family and closest friends get even healthier. You’ll learn exactly what you should do and how to eat to get healthy, exercise to get your leanest, healthiest body, and how to take control of your family’s health, using natural remedies as medicine.

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