Strong Vigilance Can Pick-up Signs of Iron Deficiency

Nutrition January 8, 2021 • 4 mins read

Iron deficiency remains the world’s most common nutritional disorder, affecting20-25% of the population today. Of these, it primarily impacts women and children. Since iron is stored in the blood, the other common name for its deficiency is anaemia. Women lose blood and haemoglobin during menstruation, making them more susceptible to anaemia. Therefore, it is imperative for women to take supplements for iron deficiency to maintain their haemoglobin levels.

Women supplements play a vital role when you start showing symptoms of anaemia.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

Unusual Tiredness and Heart Palpitations

Haemoglobin is the protein that carries oxygen around the body, giving it to your organs. When you are anaemic, there is not enough haemoglobin to go around. Therefore, you begin feeling tired quicker. Since your muscles aren't getting the oxygen they need, your heart needs to work twice as hard to pump the blood for your body. This also results in heart palpitations where it feels like your heart is racing even though you haven't moved much or done any exercise. In the long-term, these could lead to an enlarged heart, heart murmur, or heart failure.

Paleness and Dryness in the Skin, and Hair Damage

Low haemoglobin means that you have fewer red blood cells (RBCs). This makes your blood less red. Therefore, your skin looks paler. This paleness may present all over your body or specifically in one area like the gums. Additionally, when you have anaemia, your body directs your oxygen to the organs that need it most. In the process, it leaves out your hair and skin. Therefore, extreme hair loss could also be a symptom of iron deficiency.

Shortness of Breath, Headaches, and Dizziness

Linked to tiredness and lethargy, these are also results of low haemoglobin levels. The lack of oxygen means that you need to breathe more and harder to continue pumping your heart and sending oxygen to your organs. Similarly, a lack of oxygen to the brain results in headaches and dizziness. You can identify a common trend here of symptoms that are not necessarily symptoms. If you have a stressful life, you may chalk these up to a result of that rather than jumping to the conclusion that you have anaemia. But it is always a good idea to be wary of your body, particularly during menstruation or any other form of blood loss.

Swelling and Soreness in the Mouth and Tongue

Checking for oral soreness or a smooth or pale tongue can be an indicator of iron deficiency. Much like the skin, the low haemoglobin levels result in low myoglobin levels, i.e. the protein that protects your muscles. Since the tongue is a muscle, it has less protection, making it smoother while also causing mouth ulcers and other soreness in your mouth. 

Restless Leg Syndrome

Anaemic people have shown a common symptom of moving their legs around a lot. This is due to unpleasant crawling or itchy feelings in the feet and legs when they are at rest. This may be similar to legs “falling asleep”. This is often the worst at night, making it difficult to go to sleep.

Brittle and Oddly-Shaped Fingernails

The condition of brittle and spoon-shaped fingernails is called koilonychia. This presents in later stages of iron deficiency when the patient hasn’t been treated. The fingernails may even chip or crack due to their hardness.

Less Common Symptoms

  • Various strange food cravings including a need to eat ice, clay, chalk, paper, etc.
  • Feelings of anxiety
  • Cold hands and feet due to insufficient circulation

The best way to counter this is by incorporating more iron-rich foods into your diet.

Iron-Rich Foods

  • Dark green, leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale
  • Dried fruit, such as raisins and apricots
  • Meat, poultry, and seafood
  • Peas, beans, and other pulses
  • Seeds and nuts

Going Forward

Incorporating iron through women supplements like Revital H Woman into your diet is a sure-fire way of countering anaemia. While these are not a replacement for iron-rich foods, they help return your haemoglobin levels to normalcy. Taking them during menstruation will maintain your RBC count and keep you from experiencing associated symptoms. With these, you can go about your daily life worry-free!

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